Part One – The Problem
A bona fide health organization has issued a statement, with clinical studies for back up, stating categorically that it is not good to eat certain processed food made from red meat because of usage of chemicals sodium nitrite and MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) as they are connected with cancer. The statement reads:
"The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has just completed a detailed review of more than 7,000 clinical studies covering links between diet and cancer. Processed meats are too dangerous for human consumption. ... sodium nitrite also results in the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines in the human body. Its conclusion is rocking the health world with startling bluntness."
It's Not Natural
When looking at the package labels it is overwhelming on how many different chemicals are in processed meat. Definitely, not “natural” (not changed chemically or artificially) and definitely not organic (no synthetic chemicals, hormones, drugs, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides). John Q. Public knows all is not “okay” with our food.
- There is a huge increase and interest in organic food (sales increased from $1 billion in 1990 to almost $30 billion in 2010)
- Currently there is overwhelming interest in vegetarian diets, farmers markets and a boom in the health food industry
- Why in this day and age of heightened medical information and modern treatments are cancers of the breast, colon, pancreas and prostate increasing.
Foods to avoid as listed in the article
“Beef jerky, Bacon, Sausage, Hot dogs, Sandwich meat, Frozen pizza with meat, Canned soups with meat, Frozen meals with meat, Ravioli and meat pasta foods, Kid’s meals containing red meat, Sandwich meat used at popular restaurants, Nearly all red meats sold at public schools, restaurants, hospitals, hotels and theme parks”.
A quick check at the local grocery store and some basic label reading, identified sodium nitrite in the following meat products – many of them “family favourites”: Ukrainian sausage ring, bacon (all), ham, Stackers (a kids food), smokies, salami, frozen pasta (canneloni), beef jerky, pepperoni, bologne, most cold cuts.
Interestingly, some of the products are described by the manufacture as “good for you, quality you can trust, naturally smoked, fat free, so good, boneless, skinless, fresh, country naturals, meat experts, natural weiners, and finally the good stuff” ~ all contained sodium nitrite. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and sometimes sodium nitrite turned up, individually and together, in tinned and dried soups, etc. See CAP article MSG by any other name
Here is an excerpt on Sodium Nitrite, in part, from a book by Ruth Winter, Food Additives Dictionary and the date published - 1984 :
- (Quote) Nitrite combines with natural stomach and food chemicals (secondary amines) to create nitrosamines, powerful cancer-causing agents.
- ... in August 1978 a new concern about nitrite was raised. The USDA and the FDA issued a joint announcement that the substances has been directly linked to cancer by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study.
- In 1980 the FDA revoked its proposed phase-out because manufacturers said there was no adequate substitute for nitrites.
- Nitrosamines also produced cancer in hamsters similar to pancreatic cancers in humans. (End quote)
Interesting Chemical Statistics
- Since the 1950's over 3000 chemicals have been introduced to our processed food.
- The annual additive consumption per annum in the 1960's was in excess of 3 lb (Per adult? Per child?). Now it is over 5 lb p.a for every man, woman and child in the USA.
- Many of the chemicals introduced are believed to be safe for humans but are not necessarily long term clinically tested and many times when tested it is by the manufacturer of the product being tested!
Let's hope this news article brings a renewed awareness, especially to parents with young children who will hopefully be encouraged to change from an unhealthy diet of processed hot dogs, cold cuts, to a more wholesome, chemical free diet ~ please see CAP articles - a book review of Please Mum Dont Supersize Me and Fast Foods Big Mac on McDonalds
Next week – advice on simple action we can take to reduce synthetic chemicals in our food.
You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces –
just good food from fresh ingredients. ~ Julia Child
References & Links
- What are Endocrine Disrupters ?
- Organic Food Sales Statistics
- Information from PAN on Sodium Nitrite
- Controversial Australia advertisement on childhood obesity as it relates to junk food
- A Consumers Dictionary of Food Additives by Ruth Winter, Crown Publishers, 1984
- Food Additives by Christine H. Farlow, Kiss Publishing, 2007
- Here is the full article on processed meats declared too dangerous for human consumption
- MSG and autism connection ?
- Time for a Change - Caramel and Parsley article