April 17, 2012
By Nancy Shute
“Now this is what is wrong with the food people are eating in America. A bacon sundae – are you kidding?!” –KTRN
Is Burger King’s new bacon sundae a delightful concept, or the most recent example of all that’s wrong about American food?
That’s pretty much the divide in opinion here at Salt Central, as well as in online forums and social media, where the bacon sundae is inspiring fierce debate. “Really? I know sales are low and all but REALLY?” questioned one Twitter skeptic. “Americans eat death, pay for the privilege,” added another. Countered by an enthusiast who typed: “IT’S ABOUT TIME!”
That’s a lot of passion for a $2.49 menu item available only at a handful of Burger Kings in Nashville, Tenn. “The company is currently testing menu items in a small sampling of U.S. restaurants,” spokesperson Randi Farynyk told The Salt. “The brand does not have plans to expand the test to additional markets at this time.”
Drat. Count me among the staffers here who said “Yeah!” when the sweet-salty-savory news broke. Since NPR wasn’t popping for a road trip, I had to turn to Sam Bradley, a 27-year-old Nashville resident I found on Twitter, for confirmation. She had already trundled over to her local Burger King to check it out.
January 20, 2012
By James Gallagher
“If you’re going to eat beef – it must be grass fed and organic. Otherwise, become a vegetarian.” –KTRN
A link between eating processed meat, such as bacon or sausages, and pancreatic cancer has been suggested by researchers in Sweden.
They said eating an extra 50g of processed meat, approximately one sausage, every day would increase a person’s risk by 19%.
But the chance of developing the rare cancer remains low.
The World Cancer Research Fund suggested the link may be down to obesity.
Eating red and processed meat has already been linked to bowel cancer. As a result the UK government recommended in 2011 that people eat no more than 70g a day.
Prof Susanna Larsson, who conducted the study at the Karolinska Institute, told the BBC that links to other cancers were “quite controversial”.
She added: “It is known that eating meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer, it’s not so much known about other cancers.”
The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, analysed data from 11 trials and 6,643 patients with pancreatic cancer.
August 22nd, 2011
The Huffington Post
Chipotle has always advised on its website that vegetarian and vegan customers should avoid its pinto beans. The beans are cooked with “a small amount of bacon,” unlike the Mexican chain’s black beans, which are vegan. But in-store menus do not indicate the porkiness of the pinto, and Chipotle’s burrito assemblers are instructed to inform customers of the bacon inclusion only if they order a burrito without other meat.
This policy meant that at least one regular Chipotle eater, Maxim senior editor Seth Porges, unwittingly ate lots of bacon over the past several years. Porges does not eat pork, as he said in a letter to Chipotle, “for religious and cultural reasons,” and so was shocked to discover, after years of eating Chipotle’s pinto beans, that it contained bacon. Consumerist reports that Porges tweeted about the shocking discovery, and also emailed Chipotle CEO Steve Ells, to complain. Ells responded immediately. He told Porges that the chain would change its menu to include a mention of the bacon in its pinto beans.
The timeframe for the menu change is unclear, but perhaps Chipotle will add the bacon notice when it starts offering brown rice and breakfast burritos nationwide — or maybe as it rolls out its vegan-friendly garden blend option or its delicious new chorizo filling. Ells should also be thankful that Porges isn’t a Hindu in need of costly spiritual cleansing after his irreligious consumption.
August 22nd, 2011
AOL Real Estate
By: Neal Barnard, M.D.
Are hot dogs a political issue? Surprisingly so.
On Monday July 25, my non-profit organization, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, erected a billboard outside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The picture was stark — a cigarette pack emblazoned with a skull and crossbones. But sticking out of the pack were not cigarettes — instead there were hot dogs. The message said “WARNING: Hot dogs can wreck your health.”
The issue is cancer. Every year, about 143,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and more than 50,000 die of the disease. About half of all cases are already incurable when found. The U.S. Government and other entities have poured millions of dollars into the search for the cause. But one of the causes they found turned out to be too hot for the government to handle.
It’s the ordinary hot dog. At least 58 scientific studies have looked at the issue, and the jury has rendered its verdict, which is now beyond reasonable doubt. The more hot dogs people eat, the higher their risk of colorectal cancer. And it’s not just hot dogs. Any sort of processed meat — bacon, sausage, ham, deli slices — is in this group. And here are the numbers: Every 50 grams of processed meat you eat on a daily basis (that’s about one hot dog) increases your risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent. And just as there is no safe level of smoking, no amount of hot dogs, bacon, sausage, ham or other processed meats comes out clean in scientific studies.
The problem goes beyond colorectal cancer. An NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study found a 10 percent increased risk of prostate cancer for every 10 grams of increased intake of processed meats. Other studies have linked these same products to leukemia and ovarian cancer. Exactly how processed meats do their dirty work is not clear; it could be their nitrites, saturated fat or other ingredients.
But here’s where politics come in: Even though much of this research was paid for by the U.S. government, the government also subsidizes meat. It supports feed grains to fatten cows and pigs, buys up meats for the school lunch program and helps the meat industry in countless other ways. So I think that the last thing the government wants to do is to publicize the cancer risk of one of its favorite products. I believe that this is why there are no government billboards, radio ads or television spots to warn anyone about this easily preventable cause.
At a ballgame, if you’re thinking about buying your daughter a hot dog, there are no notices, no warning labels on the food product, no nothing. Meat industry lobbyists have made sure that your government won’t breathe a word.
The fact is, hot dogs are not fun, cute or “All-American.” If you are not convinced, just ask to see how one is made.
When good research finds a potentially fatal risk to Americans — one as close as our refrigerators and as dear to us as our children — the government needs to let Americans know.
And when it does not, we will.
August 11th, 2011
By: Nanci Hellmich
Eating processed meats and red meat regularly increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, a large new study shows.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed dietary-intake data from more than 200,000 men and women in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and the Nurses’ Health Studies. The participants have been tracked for a decade or more.
The scientists also did a larger analysis, combining their data and that from other published studies to analyze the diets of 442,101 people. About 28,000 of these people developed type 2 diabetes.
The researchers adjusted for the participants’ age, weight, physical activity level, smoking, family history of diabetes and other dietary and lifestyle factors. Their findings are published today online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:
•A 2-ounce serving a day of processed meat (hot dog, bacon, salami or bologna) increased the risk of diabetes by 50%.
•A 4-ounce serving a day (the size of a deck of cards) of unprocessed red meat such as hamburger, steak, pork or lamb was associated with a 20% increased risk of diabetes.
•Substituting nuts, whole grains and low-fat dairy such as yogurt for a serving a day of these types of processed or unprocessed meats lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 16% to 35%, the analysis showed.
“Many previous studies have shown the link between processed meats and diabetes, but this is one of the first (large studies) to show that unprocessed red meat is a significant risk factor,” says senior author Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.
“Clearly, processed meat is much worse than unprocessed meat for raising the risk but unprocessed red meat is not benign,” he says. “This is the largest and most convincing data accumulated so far.”
Hu says the high amount of sodium and nitrites in processed meats are potential factors that increase diabetes risk.
With red meat, it may be the high amount of heme iron, he says. Although iron helps prevent anemia, many people in the Western world have iron overload, which is a risk factor for diabetes, he says. “There are probably other factors in these meats that contribute to diabetes.”
He advises reducing the consumption of these types of meats and incorporating more nuts and low-fat dairy and whole grains into meals.
Previous research has linked eating red meat and processed meat to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer, particularly colorectal cancer.
Registered dietitian Shalene McNeill, a spokeswoman for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, says, “These are epidemiological studies, and they can’t identify cause and effect. They are identifying associations, and what we know from gold-standard research that does look at cause and effect is that higher protein diets that include beef are very effective for helping people manage their weight and balance their blood sugars — both important factors for reducing your risk of developing diabetes.”
Diabetes afflicts more than 25 million adults and children in the USA. Most have type 2 diabetes. The long-term complications of the disease include heart attacks, blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage and amputations.
“Type 2 diabetes has a very strong genetic component, and multiple environmental factors, such as obesity, physical inactivity and poor diet, interact with genetics to increase the risk and accelerate the development of the disease,” says Vivian Fonseca, president-elect of medicine and science for the American Diabetes Association and a professor of medicine at Tulane.
“People who are eating a lot of red meat and processed meat may not be eating as much nuts, beans and fish which may be protective. People who eat more of those foods tend to have less diabetes,” Fonseca says.
May 18, 2010
By Julie Steenhuysen
Eating unprocessed beef, pork or lamb appeared not to raise risks of heart attacks and diabetes, they said, suggesting that salt and chemical preservatives may be the real cause of these two health problems associated with eating meat.
The study, an analysis of other research called a meta-analysis, did not look at high blood pressure or cancer, which are also linked with high meat consumption.
“To lower risk of heart attacks and diabetes, people should consider which types of meats they are eating,” said Renata Micha of the Harvard School of Public Health, whose study appears in the journal Circulation.
“Processed meats such as bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs and processed deli meats may be the most important to avoid,” Micha said in a statement.
Based on her findings, she said people who eat one serving per week or less of processed meats have less of a risk.
The American Meat Institute objected to the findings, saying it was only one study and that it stands in contrast to other studies and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
“At best, this hypothesis merits further study. It is certainly no reason for dietary changes,” James Hodges, president of the American Meat Institute, said in a statement.
April 29, 2010
No one wants cancer served up with their steak or hamburger. But that’s just what you may be getting. As NaturalNews has previously reported, numerous studies have linked meat consumption with cancer. Now comes evidence from scientists at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center that eating meat frequently, especially meat that is well done or cooked at high temperatures, significantly raises the risk of developing bladder cancer.
These research cancer findings, recently announced at the American Association for Cancer Research’s 101st Annual Meeting held in Washington, D.C., indicate that heterocyclic amines (HCAs), substances formed when meat (including beef, pork, poultry and fish) is cooked at high temperatures, may be what links meat to malignancies. Earlier research found strong evidence that 17 types of HCAs contribute to cancer.
“It’s well known that meat cooked at high temperatures generates HCAs that can cause cancer,” study presenter Jie Lin, Ph.D., assistant professor in M. D. Anderson’s Department of Epidemiology, said in a statement to the media. “We wanted to find out if meat consumption increases the risk of developing bladder cancer and how genetic differences may play a part.”
The M.D. Anderson researchers studied 884 patients with bladder cancer and 878 people who were cancer-free. The research subjects were matched by age, gender and ethnicity and followed for about 12 years. Using a standardized questionnaire designed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the scientists documented each participant’s dietary habits. Those who ate the most red meat had about one and a half times the risk of developing bladder cancer than the research subjects who ate little or no red meat.
Beef steaks, pork chops and bacon raised bladder cancer risk the most. People who consumed a lot of well-done meat were at about twice the risk to develop bladder cancer as those who preferred rare meat. Even chicken and fish significantly upped the chances of getting cancer — but only if they were fried. The M.D. Anderson researchers also found that people with the highest estimated intake of three specific types of HCAs were more than two and a half times more likely to develop bladder cancer than those with a low intake of HCAs.
In addition, the researchers analyzed study participants’ DNA to see if there were genetic variations that would make some people particularly more likely to develop cancer if they ate red meat. The results showed that people with seven or more specific genotypes who consumed a diet full of red meat had five times the risk of bladder cancer.
“This research reinforces the relationship between diet and cancer,” lead author Xifeng Wu, M.D., Ph.D., professor in M. D. Anderson’s Department of Epidemiology, said in the media statement. “These results strongly support what we suspected: people, who eat a lot of red meat, particularly well-done red meat, such as fried or barbecued, seem to have a higher likelihood of bladder cancer. This effect is compounded if they carry high unfavorable genotypes in the HCA-metabolism pathway.”
April 20, 2010
Eating lots of meat, especially if it is overcooked, increases the risk of bladder cancer, say experts.
Frying, grilling and barbecuing until meat is charred can form cancer-causing chemicals, research shows.
In a study, people whose diets included well-done meats were over twice as likely to develop bladder cancer than those who preferred meats rare.
The research findings, based on over 1,700, people were presented at a US cancer research conference.
The University of Texas investigators found the risk was highest for those who ate well-done red meat such as steaks, pork chops and bacon.
But even chicken and fish, when fried, significantly raised the odds of cancer.
Three major types of the cancer-causing chemicals, collectively called heterocyclic amines (HCAs), raised cancer risk by more than two-and-a-half.
And some people appear to be genetically more susceptible to this diet-linked cancer risk, the researchers found.
In the study, which took place over 12 years, the researchers analysed the DNA of all the participants to look for any differences in the way individuals metabolised the cooked meat.
Having particular genes made some people almost five times as likely to develop bladder cancer when they ate a lot of red meat.
Stacking up risks
Lead author of the study, Professor Xifeng Wu, told the American Association for Cancer Research: “This research reinforces the relationship between diet and cancer.
“These results strongly support what we suspected – people who eat a lot of red meat, particularly well-done red meat, such as fried or barbecued, seem to have a higher likelihood of bladder cancer.”
According to the National Cancer Institute in the US, experts have identified 17 different HCAs that “may pose human cancer risk”.
Charred meat has already been linked to pancreatic cancer.
Cancer experts said that more research was needed before we can say for sure whether or not regularly eating red meat affects bladder cancer risk, and if the way it is cooked has an impact.
Dr Panagiota Mitrou, of the World Cancer Research Fund, said: “When we looked at all the evidence on meat and cancer, it did not suggest meat increases risk of bladder cancer.
“There is, though, convincing evidence that red and processed meat increase risk of bowel cancer.
“This is why we recommend that people aim to limit consumption of red meat to 500g – cooked weight – per week and to avoid eating processed meat.”
Dr Alison Ross of Cancer Research UK said: “Smoking is the most important preventable cause of bladder cancer, so giving up is the best way to cut your chances of getting the disease.”
The UK Food Standards Agency says people can reduce their risk from chemicals that may cause cancer by not allowing flames to touch food when barbecuing or grilling, and cooking at lower temperatures for a longer time.
But warns that undercooked meat can cause food poisoning.
More than 10,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK.
Around 5,000 people die from it every year, and almost 90% of deaths are in people over 65.
July 07, 2009
by Sherry Baker
According to a new study by scientists at Rhode Island Hospital, millions of Americans could be at risk of serious and even fatal diseases because of chemicals used to fertilizer and to preserve food. Scientists have found a strong link between increasing levels of nitrates and nitrites in our food supply and increasing death rates from Alzheimer’s, diabetes mellitus and Parkinson’s disease.
The research, just published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, investigated trends in death rates due to diseases associated with advancing age. They found convincing parallels between age adjusted rises in mortality from certain illnesses — Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and diabetes — and the steadily increasing human exposure to nitrates, nitrites and nitrosamines through processed and preserved foods as well as fertilizers.
Suzanne de la Monte, MD, MPH, of Rhode Island Hospital, and her research team suggest that the exposure to these chemicals is playing a direct role in the cause, development and effects of the pandemic of these diseases. “Because of the similar trending in nearly all age groups within each disease category, this indicates that these overall trends are not due to an aging population. This relatively short time interval for such dramatic increases in death rates associated with these diseases is more consistent with exposure-related causes rather than genetic changes,” Dr. de la Monte explained in a statement to the media. “Moreover, the strikingly higher and climbing mortality rates in older age brackets suggest that aging and/or longer durations of exposure have greater impacts on progression and severity of these diseases.”
Nitrites and nitrates belong to a class of chemicals called nitrosamines that are created by a chemical reaction between nitrites or other proteins. They’ve long been shown to be harmful to both humans and animals. In fact, more than 90 percent of nitrosamines have been shown in tests to be carcinogens. However, they are allowed to be freely added to the US food supply. In fact, if you pick up a processed food package such as luncheon meat or bacon, certain beers and some cheese products, you are likely to find that they contain these chemicals. In addition, exposure to nitrates and nitrites are widely found in fertilizers, pesticides and cosmetics. Exposure also occurs through the manufacturing and processing of rubber and latex products.
Nitrosamines are problematic because they become reactive at the cellular level and that means they can alter gene expression and cause DNA damage. The new research suggests that the cellular alterations that occur as a result of nitrosamine exposure create a process much like accelerated aging in the body and that could spur on the development of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
“All of these diseases are associated with increased insulin resistance and DNA damage. Their prevalence rates have all increased radically over the past several decades and show no sign of plateau. Because there has been a relatively short time interval associated with the dramatic shift in disease incidence and prevalence rates, we believe this is due to exposure-related rather than genetic etiologies,” Dr. de la Monte stated.
For the study, the researchers graphed and analyzed mortality rates and compared them with increasing age for each disease. Next the scientists looked at the growth of the US population and the annual use and consumption of nitrite-containing fertilizers, annual sales at popular fast food chains (which carry nitrate and nitrate containing foods), sales for a major meat processing company, and consumption of grain (often fertilized with nitrates). For a control, the research team also looked at statistics on the consumption of watermelon and cantaloupe — foods that not typically associated with nitrate or nitrite exposure.
The results show that while nitrogen-containing fertilizer consumption increased by 230 percent between 1955 and 2005, its usage doubled between 1960 and 1980 — and that’s the time period just before the insulin-resistant epidemics of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease began. What’s more, the investigators also found fast food chain and the meat processing company sales increased more than eight fold from 1970 to 2005, and grain consumption increased five-fold. That means the US population has been exposed to dramatic increase in foods loaded with nitrates and nitrites.
Bottom line: the researchers think the increased prevalence rates of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and diabetes cannot be explained on the basis of gene mutations and, instead, are examples of toxin exposure-related disease. “If this hypothesis is correct, potential solutions include eliminating the use of nitrites and nitrates in food processing, preservation and agriculture; taking steps to prevent the formation of nitrosamines and employing safe and effective measures to detoxify food and water before human consumption,” Dr. de la Monte, who is a professor of pathology and lab medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, said in a press statement.