31 Oct 2015

Bacon kills?

From This Way Up, 12:15 pm on 31 October 2015
Bacon and eggs in a fry pan


This week's big food scare; bacon kills. According to the WHO, eating 50 grams of processed meat a day (about 2 rashers of bacon or a single sausage) will increase your risk of getting colorectal cancer by 18 percent. Although the evidence is less clear cut, there's also a probable link between eating 100 grams of fresh red meat a day and an increased risk of cancer too.

Here in New Zealand the Cancer Society's been recommending that New Zealanders eat less than 500 grams of red meat a week, or 70 grams a day, since 2012.  It also says that people eat "...very little, if any, processed meat.".

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health also recommends eating less than 500 grams of cooked red meat a week.

So the news that there's a link between eating lots of meat and our health shouldn't come as a huge surprise. Sarah Boseley is the health editor of the Guardian and has been following the story in Europe and the US. 

We also speak to Ian Shaw, he's a Professor of Toxicology at The University of Canterbury on the science of processed meats, and why they can be detrimental to your health.

Colin Peacock from Mediawatch investigates how the media butchered the story about the cancer risks of meat