I have always been a moderate meat eater. Most of the meat I eat comes from a trusted source. Usually me or a farming friend. I raise chicken and lamb on the farm.
This World Health Organization study condemning red meat is not what the media is presenting.
This is a collection of data from random trials. When you study a group of people who eat a lot of hot dogs or other processed meats, you are probably not studying people who spend a good deal of time in the gym. These studies are based on questionnaires, not, as best I can see, on controlled scientific studies. Do they sit on the sofa in front of a TV while consuming large quantities of sausage or do they eat the sausage after a five mile run? Or even better, do they eat a grass-fed lamb chop with an organic salad and beets after a hard day of farming?
They make no distinction between grass-fed and grain-fed red meat. Meat processed by salting, fermenting, curing or smoking is different than meat preserved with sugars and nitrates.
My father died of colon cancer and I do not take the risk lightly, but I feel that the conclusions made by the WHO are not warranted from the information in the study. Possibly the average American eats too much meat and most of the meat is raised under unhealthy situations. Cows, lambs and goats cannot digest grain well and most are raised in horrible confined situations. Can we connect the stress the animal is in to the quality of the meat? Does it matter that the people raising the animal have no regard for their wellbeing?
If this declaration makes more people choose to avoid the fast food hamburger and forgo the hot dog, it will have a positive effect on the world’s diet. It should help the meat consumer become more aware of the quality of meats, and therefore, should help the small, local farmer who raises meat responsibly.
However, if you read the report, you will find that the conclusions are not good science.