Hey there ~ I recently submitted the below ‘Letter to the Editor’ to two local newspapers. Please share this vital information with your family and friends.
Summertime. The season of cooperative weather, gardening, and enjoying our favorite outdoor activities. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, summer is also known as “peak” hot dog season. Not only are hot dogs regularly served at our social gatherings and picnics, they’re available at festivals, baseball games, store parking lots, fund raisers, and gas stations.
The red tubes filled with a variety of meat pastes, fillers, salt, preservatives, nitrates and flavorings are especially celebrated in hot dog eating contests on National Hot Dog Day. According to marketplace.org, Americans consume around 20 billion hot dogs each year (that’s over 70 per person), with 150 million being eaten on the fourth of July alone.
The public is largely unaware of the connection between processed meats and the very real cancer risk. The American Institute of Cancer Research wholeheartedly agrees with the World Health Organization’s report that processed meats (hot dogs, bacon, sausage, pepperoni, ham, jerky, deli meats, and anything smoked or canned) are ranked in the highest cancer-causing category, along with asbestos, arsenic and tobacco.
Processed meats are KNOWN carcinogens (not just linked to cancer, but initiators of cancer). One daily hot dog, 2 slices of bacon, or one smoked sausage increases the risk for colon cancer by 18%. And that’s just for one portion. All other meats, such as beef, chicken and pork, are ranked in the “probably causes cancer” category.
Processed meats also raise the risk of stomach, prostate and pancreatic cancer. Yet we continue to promote eating a food that’s a bigger contributor to cancer than smoking. I continually strive to raise awareness of the connection between diet and disease by awakening people to the health risks of the Standard American Diet (SAD). The colorectal cancer rates have doubled in recent years in younger adults, and I urge local organizations who sell processed meats, host social events or promote contests to take these matters seriously. Diet is the biggest determinant of our health (greater than genetics or environmental exposures). A whole food, plant-based diet is your best defense in the prevention and reversal of our ever-growing disease rates.