Eating Meat: Just As Bad As Smoking Cigarettes?

Eating Meat: Just As Bad As Smoking Cigarettes?

New evidence shows that processed meat increases risk of cancer.

There have been controversies pertaining to the meat industry for as long as most of us can remember. The never-ending debates between vegans and carnivores have become a standard part of the world we live in. Generally, we all have our side of what we conclude to be true. But what does one do when a prestigious and respected group such as the World Health Organization comes out with new research that could affect the entire population? Do we just ignore it because it may not be in line with the very beliefs that we hold to be true?

It's time to stop being stubborn and listen to the facts. We need to evaluate what actions we are implementing and food we are consuming as an entire nation. The World Health Organization has recently come out with a statement in which they proclaimed, "Bacon, ham, and sausage rank alongside cigarettes as major cause of cancer."

As a society we continuously roll our eyes at sentiments such as this because "everything gives you cancer!" It is as if we begin to believe this incredibly arduous disease is a made up tale that no one can come in contact with. I hate to break the news, but we are not immortal, and cancer does in fact exist. If we link up the statistics of all the hazards we face to the amount of people that suffer from cancer in the world, we can easily see that maybe these risks we continuously hear about do in fact make sense. It has been estimated that more than one in three people (thirty three percent) will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime. This multitude of the population suffers from cancer because it is a disease that has a copious amount of factors in play.

"Does this mean that my chance of getting cancer is the same if I eat meat and if I smoke?" It depends on the kind of meat you're eating.

The World Health Organization has come to find that they had enough evidence to place processed meats as a group one carcinogen. Processed meat has been found to be linked to causation of bowel cancer.

"What is processed meat exactly?" Processed meat included meats that go through a preservation process that could include smoking, salting or the adding of certain chemicals.

Examples include; hot dogs, ham, and salami. Ever hear people express that they won't eat hot dogs because they "don't know what is even in them"? This is exactly why.

The World Health Organization has placed red meat in group two A, which is under the category as being "probably carcinogenic to humans." As stated by the International Agency of Research on Cancer, red meat has been found to having casual links to prostate and pancreatic cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the amount of deaths in 2015 from rectum and colon cancer are projected to be a staggering 49,700. The IARC has stated that for every 1.8 ounce portion of processed meats one eats daily, their risk of these cancers increases by 18 percent. See the image below from USA Today for portion size reference.

"So is eating meat really as bad as smoking?" Not necessarily.

While processed meat has been placed in the same category as tobacco use in terms of carcinogenic to humans, this category more so evaluates the strength of the scientific evidence, rather than the level of risk, the WHO explains.

Even though eating processed and red meats may not necessarily be as great a cause of cancer as smoking is, it should still raise a red flag for us to look at our habits and what we are putting into our bodies. Cancer is a serious disease that takes over 14 million lives each year (See here for a chilling visual), and every precaution should be evaluated.

(There are many studies showing nutritional benefits of red meats, and this article in no way expressing to cease all consumption.)

Popular Right Now

10 Reasons Moe's Will Always And Forever Be Superior To Chipotle

Welcome to Moe's!

With the great debate between which burrito place is the best, here are 10 reasons why Moe's is clearly the better option than Chipotle. *Side note, I do like Chipotle, but Moe's will always be No. 1 in my heart.


You don't get this kind of hospitality from Chipotle.

2. Their menu is much larger.

Moe's offers burritos, quesadillas, nachos, burrito bowls, tacos, salads, and they all have cool names! Chipotle just has burritos, bowls, tacos, and salads. BORING.

3. They offer a variety of toppings.

Moe's offers over 20 fresh ingredients while Chipotle has...barely anything. :/

4. Moe Monday.

$5 BURRITOS!!!!! Seriously no one can beat that.

5. Their prices in general.

At Chipotle it's $6.50 just for a for a burrito alone. Add on chips, guac and a drink and that's roughly $13. At Moe's you can get a burrito, chips, unlimited salsa, and a drink for $8.80. Add on queso and that's only $1.25 more. (But totally worth it!!!) Which brings me to my next case...

6. QUESO!!!!!!!!!!

Queso is bae. That is all.

7. Free chips and a salsa bar!

We don't pay extra here.

8. The atmosphere at Moe's just feels better.

Chipotle's are usually tiny little restaurants that barely have any tables. Every time I go to Chipotle I feel rushed to eat my food because people are usually hovering over you looking for a seat. Moe's is like five times it size and they play good music.

9. Moe's is made with FRESH ingredients.

I'm not even gonna get into the whole Chipotle situation...

10. Overall, Moe's just tastes better than Chipotle.

Sorry 'bout it.

Cover Image Credit:

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Coffee Drinks You Need To Try If You're Willing To Go Outside Your Comfort Zone

Even if you like your coffee black, I have some drinks you might want to try.


Here are some quick little changes to add to your typical coffee order!

Starting with things to add to a regular old cup of coffee, you could order a cafe au lait. A cafe au lait is half your medium/dark roast coffee with half steamed milk. For the espresso drinks, ask to add a raw sugar in with the espresso. Personally, this is my favorite because it adds a little bit of sweetness, but not much at all. I like a lot of foam with my lattes, so I will order a cappuccino, which are the shots of espresso and more dry foam filled to the top. Keep in mind: you can add any syrup flavor to these drinks.

Most people who go out for coffee stick with the same order; I asked one customer if they would like to try the oat milk with their french vanilla latte.. and get this! He liked it and orders it with oat milk every time! Whether you're dairy-free or not, trying different types of milk in your coffee is fun!

There is typically oat milk, coconut milk and almond milk at coffee shops. Switch out the whole milk for almond milk and it's a whole new taste on the latte! Non-dairy milk is also better for you, especially your skin! Remember that cafe au lait I was talking about earlier? You can make it iced! The barista will take their cold brew concentrate and put it over ice, with your choice of milk poured on top!

Always ask to see what kind of syrups the coffee shop has because most do have more than just vanilla and caramel! My personal favorites are butterscotch and maple! The peppermint mocha is always one of my easy favorites to order, as well. You chai lovers! Add vanilla or blackberry syrup to your typical chai, it's like a whole new drink!

On the coffee stand, there's usually honey and cinnamon. With any drink you order, even tea, honey will make a huge difference in your choice of drink. Next time you go to a coffee shop, look at the syrup flavors, ask questions, and maybe try a new kind of milk! Also remember, just because fall season is coming up and it's getting a little chilly out, doesn't mean you have to stop getting iced coffee.

Related Content

Facebook Comments