View Reports Linking Red and Processed Meat to Cancer with a Skeptical Eye

WELLNESS-If you have been watching the news lately you may have seen the recent reports stating that red meat and processed meats have been linked to cancer.  

Before we get into the risk associated with eating animal products and getting cancer let's look a little deeper at the reporting. First, comparing red meat and processed meats is like comparing water to sugary drinks. Processing any food always changes the composition of the food into something different than before it was a whole food; hence the importance of eating whole foods. A cut of unprocessed meat that was obtained from a healthy animal that was fed a non-GMO diet to a slice of processed bologna is erroneous and irresponsible.  

You will also notice that these reports often use the words "linked to." Just because there is a link between a condition and an external element does not mean that there is causation. Saying red meat is linked to cancer is not saying that red meat causes cancer.  

Responsibly farmed red meat consumed in moderation has many benefits. For example, there is heme and non-heme iron, and the iron obtained from meat, poultry and fish is about 40% heme which is easily absorbed by the body. The heme iron in red meat supplies vitamin B12, which helps make DNA and keeps nerve and red blood cells healthy. It also contains zinc, which keeps the immune system working properly. Besides iron, Red meat also provides protein, which helps build bones and muscles. 

Many studies show that iron derived from heme sources make up two-thirds of the average person’s total iron stores despite only constituting one-third of the iron that is actually ingested. This likely explains why vegetarians are more prone to iron deficiency than those who regularly consume red meat. There is a reason that 1.6 billion people on our planet deal with anemia (low iron) and not having access to animal products is the reason.  

Not all meat is created equal. Too many of our animals are locked up in the equivalent of concentration camps for animals. They are fed GMO corn and other foods not natural to their normal dietary needs.  They are also kept in small spaces locked up where they are fed antibiotics so they don't get each other sick.  Adding insult to injury many of these animals are not offered room to graze properly on land making them fat and unhealthy.  

Taking time to find out where your meat comes from in order to purchase meat that has been raises responsibly and fed a healthy non-GMO diet of grass is crucial. This meat tends to be more expensive but eating small amounts of meat 2 or 3 times a week at most is plenty.  If we eat less red meat and purchase the meat eat from responsible cattle farmers, the animals will be treated better and we will be consuming an animal with less GMO's, antibiotics, and fat.   

(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 323.935.3420. twitter: @CristianoWFR)





Vol 13 Issue 87

Pub: Oct 27, 2015