Back away from the bacon. Hold off on that hot dog. Don’t touch deli meat sandwiches.

After reviewing 7,000 studies covering links between diet and cancer, the World Cancer Research Fund came out with a bold conclusion: Processed meats are too dangerous for human consumption.

What is Processed Meat?

Many people may not know the difference between processed meat and non-processed meat (fresh meat).

  • Fresh meat has only one ingredient – the meat! Fresh meat is refrigerated, has a very short shelf life, and is usually packaged in simple wrappers.
  • Processed meat has many ingredients and is usually packaged for long-tern shelf life. These products almost always contain sodium nitrite, a cancer-causing chemical additive.

Here is a partial list of some processed meats:

  • Bacon
  • Beef jerkey
  • Bologna
  • Breakfast sausage
  • Deli meat
  • Ham
  • Hot dogs
  • Meat in canned soup
  • Meat in frozen pizza
  • Meat in kids’ lunch products
  • Meat used in ravioli, spaghetti, or Italian pasta products
  • Pepperoni
  • Sandwich meat (including that served at restaurants)
  • Sausage

Dangerous Chemicals in Processed Meat

Sodium nitrite is a chemical additive that meat companies use as a color fixer; it turns the meat bright red makes it look fresh.

  • It is highly carcinogenic once it enters the human body, wreaking havoc on internal organs, especially the liver and pancreas.
  • It is widely regarded as a toxic ingredient. The USDA actually tried to ban this additive in the 1970s but was vetoed by food manufacturers who complained they had no alternative for preserving packaged meat products.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is another dangerous chemical found in most processed meat products.

  • It is an excitotoxin, which means it overexcites your cells to the point of damage or death, which leads to neurological problems such as migraine headaches, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Lou Gehrig’s disease.
  • It also leads to loss of appetite control, obesity, infertility, and reproductive disorders.

In addition to these chemicals, the animal fat used to make processed meat contains toxic chemicals, heavy metals, environmental pollutants. Fat tissues tend to concentrate whatever pollutants are found in the diet of the animal.

Processed Meat Connected To Cancer

The link between consumption of processed meats and cancer is very strong. After a five-year project spanning 7,000 studies, cancer researchers published their conclusion in the World Cancer Research Fund’s report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective (2007). They declared that all people should immediately stop buying and eating processed meat products and that all processed meat should be avoided for life! The report can be downloaded free at

The chemical additives in processed meats are known to greatly increase the risk of:

Do You Need a Visual Reason Not to Eat Processed Meat?

Mike Adams from provides some, um, interesting photos of processed meat in his Mystery Meat Macrophotography article.

How To Protect Yourself

  1. Boycott processed meat for life. Do not buy it, eat it at a restaurant, or at social events. Do not let your kids eat it at school.
  2. Read ingredient labels and do not buy meat that contains sodium nitrite or monosodium glutamate (MSG).
  3. If you want to eat meat, choose only fresh, organic, free-range meat.
  4. Educate yourself!

As Mike Adams from says:

Processed meats promote cancer. There is simply no question about the scientific validity of that statement, and anyone who disagrees with it is either working for the meat industry or hopelessly behind the times on their nutritional research.

No industry wants to admit their product is unsafe. Remember tobacco companies insisting cigarettes weren’t bad for your health? The processed meat industry is no different. So you have to make your own decisions. Educate yourself so you can make the best decisions when you shop for food. Saving money now may be costly to your health in the future.

Wendy –

Healthy Living SeriesRead all the posts in the Healthy Living series by clicking on the icon on the left.

(photo courtesy Afonso Lima)

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This