Bacon fans embrace cancer

Bacon fans embrace cancer


Standing at the meat counter at a Mariano’s grocery store in Chicago, a half-dozen customers bantered with the butchers about the recent World Health Organisation report linking processed meat to colorectal cancer.”Give me two pounds of bacon,” said Roland Marks, 47, a software engineer, rolling his eyes. “I’ll take my chances.”
It is too early for consumer or retail market data to show what any longer term impacts of the report will be in the United States, or whether shoppers will shun the traditional Christmas ham this year, say industry analysts.So far, public reaction on social media has been a clear vote in favour of all things sausage and bacon, as hashtags #FreeBacon and #JeSuisBacon joined the top-trending topics worldwide on Twitter.The WHO took to Twitter, too, and also issued a statement to emphasise that its International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) review “does not ask people to stop eating processed meats,” but just indicates that cutting consumption can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

Monday’s WHO report is just the latest blow to the US meat industry, which has seen a years-long downward trend of general red meat consumption in the country, despite the booming popularity of high-protein trends like the Paleo diet.Controversies over antibiotic use on farm animals to fights over chicken cage sizes, have also heightened public debate over how the modern food system produces meat.Demand for organic products is growing and chicken sales are rising, in part due to lower retail prices and public health warnings over high-fat foods.Whether the WHO report will prompt the meat industry – in particular, bacon, sausage and other processed meat makers – to shift their businesses going forward remains unclear.But there were some signs this week that the WHO report has rattled livestock markets.Lean hog futures prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange fell almost 7 percent this week in the heavily traded December contract.


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