Some disconcerting news hit the web yesterday:

Yep.  According to the World Health Organization, bacon and other processed meats (hell, red meat in general!) are very, VERY bad for you. They’ve been classified as a Group 1 Carcinogen along with asbestos and tobacco.  Apparently, daily consumption (of the meats, not the asbestos or the tobacco as those numbers may vary) increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%!  18%!  What does that mean?!!  I have no idea.  Does it mean you have an 18% increased risk of developing colorectal cancer if you eat processed meat EVERY DAY?  Or does it mean that that slice of bacon you had for breakfast last Tuesday has increased your chance of getting cancer by 18%?  If the latter, what if you have bacon two days running?  By week’s end, you’d be dead!

Then, today, I came across this article that helped put things in perspective:

“Here’s the deal: The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer weighs the strength of the scientific evidence that some food, drink, pesticide, smokable plant, whatever is a carcinogen. What it does not do is consider how much that substance actually increases your risk for actually getting cancer—even if it differs by magnitudes of 100.”

Hang on a second.  So eating a smokie ISN’T as bad for you as working as a drywall taper on long-condemned buildings?  Well, this IS news!

Curious, I decided to check out what other items make the WHO’s list of Group 1 Carcinogens and put together the following rundown for your edification.  Please avoid the following as they may be hazardous to your health…


Coal tar

Oral contraceptives

Alcoholic beverages


Mustard gas

City air

Salted fish

Processed meats


Didn’t see heroin on the list.  All the same, I’d recommend limiting your dosage out of an abundance of caution.

20 thoughts on “October 29, 2015: Beware bacon and sunlight!

  1. Don’t get too worked up about the new “findings” net week they will probably reverse it in favor of something else. ~sigh~
    I found this you tube video, has to do with food, kinda neat!
    Hope this works….

  2. I haven’t read the actual report, but I’m often disappointed in the way that the media reports scientific information. The coverage is often skewed and sensational, and it leads people to not trust the actual legitimate science behind the news. I’m not sure whether it’s because news organizations feel they need to dumb down coverage because they think people are stupid, or if people actually *are* stupid. A vicious cycle, I suppose.

    Anyway, I’ll continue to eat those things, but in moderation. I’m reminded of something I read on a pro-science skeptics page on FB – The poison’s in the dose, not the chemical. In other words, most things are fatal in sufficient dose.

  3. There will always be sensationalized science studies but I can tell you as someone who works at an NBC affiliated news station in the U.S., there are very few science reporters anymore, if any. So generally speaking when a science story is covered it is likely by someone who knows little to nothing about science.

  4. So if you had bacon dipped in dark chocolate, would that have a neutral effect do to the high anti oxidants in the latter?

  5. If you don’t die as the result of an accident, drug overdose, suicide, medical mistake, or horrific disease (cancer included), you are going to die from some sort of heart or respiratory failure.

    In other words, we all gonna die! So, goshdarnit, eat your freakin’ bacon and enjoy it! 😀


  6. Mustard gas. Huh. There goes my plans for the weekend. I also don’t see meth on there, either. Or anything about melting Styrofoam with diesel. Erm.

    :: eats smoked salmon wrapped in bacon ::

  7. 18%! What does that mean?!!

    Here’s my take on it. It could be wrong but I’m going with it.

    If you take 200 people and put 100 in one room and 100 in another room. Then, in the first room you feed them a normal, balanced diet. In the second room you feed them a relatively normal diet but you also give them processed meat every day.

    After 70 years or so you count up the number of people that have colorectal cancer in each room and you find that there’s 18 more people in the second room that have cancer compared to the first room.

    What the statistics don’t tell you is how many people in the first room also got cancer. If there were zero people in the first room and 18 in the second then that’s significant. If there were 50 people in the first room and 68 in the second then, meh, I wouldn’t worry . . . the cancer is likely to get you eventually anyway.

  8. Well that settles it! I am stopping my cyanide intake immediately. So long, “Jim’s Russian Roulette Style Moscow Mules”. You will be missed.

    The only surefire way to avoid cancer is to commit suicide immediately.

  9. If you look up what centenarian’s did to achieve longevity, you’ll find a lot of them eat eats and bacon, daily.

    I agree with Ponytail, “Do tell”. 🙂

  10. Hi Joe
    Heh, from all the ‘scientific measurements’ and web pages that predict when you’re going to kick it, I ‘officially’ died the middle of last year. You’d think I’d at least get out of paying taxes!


  11. Vegetarians who never ever have red meat/bacon will get cancer at 5 per 1000.

    People who exceed the recommended amount will get cancer at 6 per 1000.

    Enjoy your bacon.

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