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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Bacon Lovers: The Other Side Of The Story

Studies show all that processed meat isn't terribly good for you, or for the environment. Do you eat it anyway?

bacon

Photo: cookbookman17 (Flickr)

It sure looks good, but is it worth it?

There is a downside to eating all those bacon sundaes.

Processed Meat And Pancreatic Cancer Linked

A study published in the British Journal of Cancer has confirmed the more processed meat a person consumes, the greater their risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

In fact, just two servings a day makes you 19 percent more likely to develop the illness. Double that and the risk jumps to 38 percent.

Never mind the well-known suite of health problems associated with high-fat, high-cholesterol and high-sodium diets.

Climate Concerns

If the potential to develop cancer isn’t disheartening enough, meat production is also closely tied to climate destruction.

Recommendations printed in the April edition of Environmental Research Letters advise developed countries to cut back on meat consumption by 50 percent if they want to see a greener future.

The problem is that raising livestock is incredibly resource-intensive. Not only do pigs and cows need water and food, but their food needs water and fertilizer in order to grow and fossil fuels in order to be planted, harvested and distributed.

But old habits die hard. Meat is a staple not only of American diets but also of American culture. Only some 3 percent of people residing in the U.S. are vegetarian or vegan.

Till Death…

We all stand on different parts of the meat divide. However, if you really love bacon that much, you can now be buried in it.

J & D Foods — the same people who created bacon-flavored lip balm — have created a coffin with the appearance of bacon. The tagline? “For those who love bacon to death.”

More: Don’t miss the third installment of Earth Eats’ bacon miniseries: Bring On The Bacon: 5 Amazing Bacon Creations.

Read More:

  • Bacon linked to higher risk of pancreatic cancer, says report (The Guardian)
  • Food industry courts meat-eating vegetarians (Harvest Public Media)
  • Eat less meat to prevent climate change (The Guardian)
  • Love Bacon to Death? You Can Now Be Buried in a Bacon Coffin (ABC News)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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