Yesterday the World Health Organisation declared red meat consumption “probably carcinogenic to humans” and processed meat as “carcinogenic”.
For our own health and yours, we looked deeply into this allegation. In our search for the truth of the statistical data, incidence reports, and quantities referenced, we are comfortable stating that the WHO must have fallen on its head. The reasons for such a bold statement are below. If you don’t believe us, check out the references below from highly respected colleagues, nutrition experts, and medical doctors.
Dr Elizabeth Lund, independent consultant in nutritional and gastrointestinal health, and a former research leader at the Institute of Food Research, says red meat is only “linked to about three extra cases of bowel cancer per 100,000 adults in developed countries”.
Our foods will not be changing. Other than our short list of suggestions below, we make no recommendations for change. For optimum health and weight loss we continue to promote a macro-balanced diet that includes quality meats and poultry.
Vice-President of scientific affairs at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Betsy Booren went on record to state: “They tortured the data to ensure a specific outcome.”
Finally, if you’ve been putting off sourcing grass-fed, pasture-raised, free-ranged animal products there is no better time to begin. If you can’t find or afford these qualities in your meats, don’t panic or buy into the WHO’s hyperbole!
- The entire study is based on unreliable dietary questionnaires.
- Data used in the study did not adjust for age, current health issues, smokers, etc.
- The study did not look at traditional methods of preparation or processing practices vs. factory processing (chemical use, unnatural additives, etc.).
- The study did not even entertain the difference between factory-farmed (poor feeding practices and drug use) in commercial meats vs. traditional animal husbandry.
- The statement “each 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%” is ridiculous! Digging deeper into the study you’ll discover that (even if the study had been performed by pristine scientific standards) the incident rate would actually be 51 per 100,000 people (about 1 in 2200 people). As the current rate of all cancer diagnosis are 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women, the World Health Organization’s statement is completely discredited as inflated hype built on some very shaky statistics.
1) You’d have to explain how we survived the past 3.5 million years, since Australopithecus Lucy first walked upright; especially how we survived the ice age(s). 2) You’d have to explain why all the nutrients we need to live (essential fats, complete protein, vitamins and minerals) are found in meat if it were trying to kill us at the same time.” – Zoe Harcombe
LCHF Dieting: Red Meat Consumption
- Continue to eat your meat in a macro-nutrient balanced manner. Even the Lancet (linked to from within WHO’s press release) states that “red meat contains high biological value proteins and important micro-nutrients” (B vitamins, iron, zinc, etc.). Furthermore, all educated dietary experts will tell you that red meat also contains essential fatty acids and complete proteins, as well as the necessary vitamins and minerals humans need.
- Keep it clean! Buy whole foods, not processed and packaged meats. The more you can cut out the processing plant and all of the unnatural preservatives, the healthier you’ll be!
- Cure your own bacon (very easy to do), make your own jerky, shape your own sausage patties.
- Cook your own roasts, steaks, chops and whole chicken and other poultry.
- Get to know your local butcher or find a Farmer’s Market near you so that you know how your food was raised.
References & Further Study:
Read this piece by Zoë (Zoë is working toward her PhD in public health nutrition. She was awarded an MPhil in public health nutrition in December 2014.)