After declaring Argentina to have the fifth highest obesity rate in the world last year, the World Health Organization is at it again: today, it released a statement declaring red and processed meat to probably be carcinogenic. Damn it, WHO.
The study, which comes from the WHO’s International Organization for the Investigation of Cancer (IARC) and was conducted by 22 experts from 10 countries, classified processed meat as “carcinogenic” and found that red meat was “probably carcinogenic.”
“Processed meat” includes meat that has been salted, fermented, cured, smoked or transformed by other methods “to enhance flavor or improve conservation,” according to the report, and includes hot dogs, ham, sausages, corned beef and beef jerky.
“Red meat” includes beef, veal, pork, lamb, horse, goat and mutton (hmm, mutton).
So there goes your Sunday asado.
“In view of the large number of people who consume processed meat, the global impact on cancer incidence is of public health importance,” said Dr. Kurt Straif, Head of the IARC Monographs Program, on the report.
The WHO report warns that a daily intake of 50 grams of processed meat may increase risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent.
Argentina, which ranked first in the world for beef and veal consumption last year, has traditionally had a deep value for the deliciousness of meat. After all, the infamous asado is straight outta Argentina (side note: the typical asado meal contains 1,700 calories on average. That’s the same as eating 14 tablespoons of butter, apparently.)
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Probably not when it comes to cancer. Tofu asado, anyone?