I love my In-N-Out and Tommy’s burger fix, my Rosie’s rib night, and my steak at Morton’s. Few things sound better for breakfast than my favorite BLT. Clearly, I don’t have long to live.
A recent study featured last week in the Los Angeles Times advises all of us that according to a 20 year study involving 110,000 people, it concluded that any type or amount of red meat in our diet significantly increases our risk of premature death by 17%. It gets worse, (can it really get worse?). The study states that even adding an extra daily serving of processed red meat such as 2 slices of bacon or a hot dog is linked to an additional 20% higher risk of death.
There is death written all over this survey. A cheerful little read.
I couldn’t help but think about all the things I’ve done that were sure to kill me.
For starters, I rode in my dad’s car standing up in the front seat from the time I was 2 years old. No seat belt, no infant seat. I was just running all over the place. I could have been killed.
Do you remember a time when we all rode our bikes without helmets, drove in cars without seat belts, ate very rare hamburgers, and drank coffee when a survey indicated that anything over 2 cups a day would severely stunt our growth?
We have seen our way through the saccharin scare, the food dye threat, preservatives, deodorant with lead in it, the Millennium bug (which was going to destroy civilization as we knew it), asbestos, salmonella in eggs, global warming (okay, I am starting to believe there is a little something to this one), SARS and the swine flu. I’m still waiting for the killer bees to reach America along with the African ants and the bird flu. But I believe the most dastardly imprint left by the surveyors was the one about 15 years ago that advised us that chocolate was bad for us (how dare they). Now we are encouraged to eat a piece of dark chocolate every day for its health benefits. Few of these scares had merit.
So many of them were ridiculously overblown, irresponsibly reported and propagated by overzealous “experts”. Of course, the media took it and ran with it. Fear mongering should be out-lawed. It’s hard to tell the difference these days between irresponsible reporting and the truth.
I’ve heard the scares about red meat for years. Lately, mostly from my daughter who refuses to eat red meat all together. She is also gluten free (I seriously still don’t know what that means), but she swears by it.
I believe that too much of anything is a bad thing. I am trying to cut down on my red meat, my sugar intake and my carb fascination, but that’s because I’m 58 and would like to live to be … well, to be older, and, dare I say, I wouldn’t mind losing a pound or twenty.
I agree that we all should be watching our health, make good choices and be accountable for what we put into our mouths (there’s a joke here, but I digress). Healthy eating these days is easier with all the information we have on hand. Red meat is here to stay. Moderation is the name of that game, not scaring the hell out of people. I wonder how long it will take before this survey is de-bunked like so many others before it.
There is a lot about meat that doesn’t suit me very well. I’ve seen too many documentaries that show us the cruelty with which the cows, chickens and pigs are raised and kept. It’s very hard to reconcile that. I think that fact more than any other one has contributed to my declining intake of meat in general.
I’m sure there are quite a few “scares” I can’t quite remember, but I’m betting some of you will.
Who are these people who are telling me that by eating 2 slices of bacon I’m increasing my chances of an early death by 20%? That’s just bad form. Come on guys; go hang out with the people that are predicting the world will end December 21st because that’s when the Mayan calendar runs out.
I’m going to fix myself a juicy BLT and we can talk about this subject again on December 22nd.