4

votes

When is processed meat bad?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 18, 2010 at 12:26 AM

I'm new to paleo, and reading a great deal. The general gist I get is processed meat = bad. Would that apply to deli meat from like whole foods? If I have sliced ham (especially breakfast ham) or bacon, aren't those processed? I assume it's all about the ingredients, but any info is appreciated.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on May 18, 2010
at 10:59 PM

Pesticides have recently been linked to increased risk for ADHD in children ( http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100517/ap_on_he_me/us_med_children_pesticides;_ylt=Ah_Cd_jbHFdgRR4vQnewsLPVJRIF;_ylu=X3oDMTJyNGY0bTRuBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwNTE3L3VzX21lZF9jaGlsZHJlbl9wZXN0aWNpZGVzBGNwb3MDMgRwb3MDMwRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawNyZXNlYXJjaGxpbms- ), and processed red meats (smoked, cured, or sodium and/or nitrates added) were in the news yesterday for increasing heart disease and diabetes risk ( http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=116365 ).

6cf810b800b37f9c11bc14c6b06dab4e

(80)

on May 18, 2010
at 08:11 AM

With that said there are good arguments for Organically grown veggies - but these are based around environmental impact. There is very little evidence to show whether the pesticides used in conventional (non-organic) agriculture will cause problems to human health, however, there is a greater body of evidence which the consumption of sodium nitrate in processed meats with cancer. From what I've read I wouldn't advise someone to hold the veggies - eat more veggies - get some fibre, else you'll get piles..

6cf810b800b37f9c11bc14c6b06dab4e

(80)

on May 18, 2010
at 08:11 AM

Do you have any links to evidence which backs this up? The difference is - the nitrates are naturally present in the vegetables.. with meat they're used as food colouring. In terms of raw nutrition there is very little difference between plants grown organically, and those grown with pesticides.. I've been unable to find a link to the study, however, here is a news article on it.. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE56S3ZJ20090730?loomia_ow=t0:s0:a49:g43:r1:c1.000000:b30335952:z0

0a8f18c1bf567443a481a7fd40b3777d

(164)

on May 18, 2010
at 01:22 AM

Nitrites may indeed cause cancer, but it's not the hot dogs that are the problem. It's actually the vegetables, especially the non-organically raised vegetables, that yield the most. If it's a problem, it's conventional agriculture and over-consumption of leafy greens that's causing it.

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3 Answers

1
1340fe0b7e7b01683ea33042092e05d6

on May 18, 2010
at 12:32 AM

Do not let the label of "processed" meat sway you. Its how the meat is raised through out its life.

The word processed can mean many different things. As there is 100% grass-fed ground beef which can be considered processed (muscle meat, organs, etc thrown into the grinder).

But in the same right, all the meat sold at McDonald's and Burger King is also processed, as many as 100 different individual cows can be found in your hamburger from there. But the meat in those burgers is DEFINITELY not grass-fed, or humanely treated, or contain the health we all seek.

So when you go to Whole Foods and buy their deli meat, just check to see how it was raised and what it was fed through out its life, that is what is important. I've never bought deli meat from Whole Foods, but I've bought grass-fed ribeyes/sirloins/strips and they were openly labeled that they were 100% grass-fed.

Hopefully you can find that info readily available from the Deli as well..

0
6cf810b800b37f9c11bc14c6b06dab4e

(80)

on May 18, 2010
at 01:13 AM

It's not so much how the meat has been raised.. it's more what happens to it when processed. The concerns you have read about most likely centre around sodium nitrite. Sodium nitrate is often used in processed meats. It's listed right on the label of products like bacon, pepperoni, ham etc. Some studies have linked moderate consumption of sodium nitrate with pancreatic cancer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_nitrite

Sodium nitrate isn't really needed - it's basically there to give the meat colour. It's a chemical which turns the meat red..

The jury is still out on if it really does cause cancer.. however, I'd probably lean on the side of caution and stick to eating meat which hasn't been messed about with too much.

6cf810b800b37f9c11bc14c6b06dab4e

(80)

on May 18, 2010
at 08:11 AM

Do you have any links to evidence which backs this up? The difference is - the nitrates are naturally present in the vegetables.. with meat they're used as food colouring. In terms of raw nutrition there is very little difference between plants grown organically, and those grown with pesticides.. I've been unable to find a link to the study, however, here is a news article on it.. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE56S3ZJ20090730?loomia_ow=t0:s0:a49:g43:r1:c1.000000:b30335952:z0

6cf810b800b37f9c11bc14c6b06dab4e

(80)

on May 18, 2010
at 08:11 AM

With that said there are good arguments for Organically grown veggies - but these are based around environmental impact. There is very little evidence to show whether the pesticides used in conventional (non-organic) agriculture will cause problems to human health, however, there is a greater body of evidence which the consumption of sodium nitrate in processed meats with cancer. From what I've read I wouldn't advise someone to hold the veggies - eat more veggies - get some fibre, else you'll get piles..

0a8f18c1bf567443a481a7fd40b3777d

(164)

on May 18, 2010
at 01:22 AM

Nitrites may indeed cause cancer, but it's not the hot dogs that are the problem. It's actually the vegetables, especially the non-organically raised vegetables, that yield the most. If it's a problem, it's conventional agriculture and over-consumption of leafy greens that's causing it.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on May 18, 2010
at 10:59 PM

Pesticides have recently been linked to increased risk for ADHD in children ( http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100517/ap_on_he_me/us_med_children_pesticides;_ylt=Ah_Cd_jbHFdgRR4vQnewsLPVJRIF;_ylu=X3oDMTJyNGY0bTRuBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwNTE3L3VzX21lZF9jaGlsZHJlbl9wZXN0aWNpZGVzBGNwb3MDMgRwb3MDMwRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawNyZXNlYXJjaGxpbms- ), and processed red meats (smoked, cured, or sodium and/or nitrates added) were in the news yesterday for increasing heart disease and diabetes risk ( http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=116365 ).

0
431274eafd914ee34d9c57262c1f617a

on May 18, 2010
at 01:10 AM

I'd also look at the ingredients. Ham at Whole Foods may have "organic" additives, but chances are a lot of them still are not good for you!

If there are additives other than salt, spices, I don't buy it! Hoping to switch soon to all pastured meats, but for now I buy the best I can get for the money I have. My meat has no added ingredients.

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