Bacon: From Treasured Food to Feared

In 2015 the media announced that certain processed meats such as bacon and hot dogs can increase your chances of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer (Kluger 2015). This chance will increase by eighteen percent by eating six pieces of bacon or one hotdog according to the International Agency Research on Cancer (IARC). The cause is thought to be due to the nitrates that are used as preservatives in processed meats that can transform into carcinogens once entering the human body. However this is no cause to worry since even unprocessed meats can have the same effect, especially if we ingest charred parts of grilled meats.

These claims of increased risk of cancer have minimal effect. Too many other factors such as blood pressure, obesity and diet need to be taken into consideration. According to the article, scientists are disappointed with the few who “waste tax dollars to support a biased agenda of an activist group” (Kluger 2015). Cancer is also a disease that occurs over a lifetime. Placing the blame on a specific potential cause over a lifetime is a difficult correlation to make since number of factors could potentially affect the chances of being diagnosed with cancer.

The knowledge of any potential negative effects that food has on humans seems to always cause public worry. The common fact is that no matter what, everyone dies eventually so why not enjoy life while it lasts? People tend to be ruled by their fears and worries so much that it affects their lives. The simple response to the previous comment would be to suck it up and live life to the fullest in whatever way each individual views it.


Kluger, J., Dickstein, L., Oaklander, M., Sifferlin, A., Elliott, P., & Newton-Small, J. (2015). THE WAR ON DELICIOUS. (Cover story). Time, 186(19), 30-36


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