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.)

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.

Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:” Line Matters,

I want to start off by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can’t afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you’re just lazy and you “don’t feel like it”? Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you’re unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the US Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck.” stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:” line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can’t seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to ten people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!”

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the seventeen other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there’s a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 dollar bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of ten times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession - whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food, and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a forty dollar bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes - as if you’re better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you’ll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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The Best Summer Job And Lobster Roll In Connecticut

It's truly the coolest summer job.


I work at a restaurant on the Connecticut Shoreline called Lobster Landing. Lobster landing is located on the water in Clinton, CT. I work every day in the kitchen helping to serve food, take orders, and cook food. Having a summer job can be really boring at times, but not when you work at a place like this because there's always something going on. Deciding to apply and work at Lobster Landing was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Lobster Landing is owned by two amazing people, Enea and Cathie Bacci. The two of them have worked incredibly hard by devoting much of their time and energy into getting their business to be as successful as it is today. They always welcome their customers with a warm smile or even sometimes a big hug. Cathie and Enea make it an unforgettable and happy experience for everyone that comes to their restaurant. Lobster Landing is a home away from home for not only the customers but also for the staff. They have a very small staff of about 13 people who act like a close-knit family.

Lobster Landing is a very simple restaurant. There are only three things on the menu. Lobster Landing is most famous for their Lobster Rolls. Their Lobster Rolls could be considered to be the best in the state of Connecticut. Because I'm a little biased, I would say they're the best in the world. They also offer a sweet Italian sausage with peppers, onions, and a spicy mustard vinaigrette sauce and lastly, they offer all-beef hot dogs with cheese or sauerkraut. They are also BYO (bring your own.) You can bring anything they don't serve including wine, beer, French fries, side salads etc. For side's, they offer coleslaw, bags of potato chips and at the end, they have cups of gelato! I am definitely guilty of eating lots of gelato at work, but don't tell anybody!

So what makes the Lobster roll so amazing? Lobster Landing serves only hot lobster, not cold. They serve their lobster rolls European style, which means they don't have mayo on them. They use fresh lobster meat, steamed and cut that day in their roles. Each roll contains a quarter of a pound of heated lobster meat. After the lobster is put in the roll, fresh lemon is squeezed on it. Then, warm melted butter is poured over the top of the roll. Lobster Landing also offers a gluten-free option for those who need it!

Not only are the Lobster rolls the greatest of all time, the environment and view is also incredible. They have ocean side seating. The upper deck next to their famous building is built over the water. You can sit anywhere at the restaurant and have a beautiful view of Connecticut oceans. The breeze that comes off the water is perfect for a hot summer day. Lobster Landing is built right next to a marina so there's always boats passing by with eager people waving to their wonderful customers.

One of the main attractions of Lobster Landing is the building itself. The building has been here for a very long time and has survived large storms, hurricanes, floods etc. This rustic building is very beautiful and you'll often see people taking pictures of it or in front of it. I've even seen prom pictures, wedding pictures, and special occasion photos being taken in front of the building.

Lobster Landing offers such a nice environment for its employees and it is always so much fun to work there. The customers are always so nice and talkative, and it is always wonderful to see the regulars that are there almost every week! If you haven't tried a lobster roll here, you seriously need to, it's worth it!
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