All plants. All the time.

Cancer on a bun

Sausages on BBQ

As we head into BBQ season, I’d just like to ask everyone to hit pause and give some thought as to whether that hotdog or steak is really the best choice for your body. Some of you may like to throw caution to the wind — the ol’ “we-have-to-die-from-something” refrain — but I urge you to consider the implications of your choices. I hate to be the voice of doom (and I know scare tactics are less effective at eliciting change) but I just want to point out that lifestyle-related diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease, may seem like things that happen way down the road—but your lifestyle can catch up with you in what seems like the blink of an eye.

An Oktoberfest sausage at the neighbour’s BBQ. A chargrilled steak at the cottage. A red hot at the ballpark. Just a typical summer. But did you know that processed meat (e.g. bacon, hot dogs, sausage, luncheon meat, ham) was declared Grade 1 carcinogenic by the World Health Organization (WHO)? They have blatantly stated that processed meat causes cancer. Not might cause cancer or probably causes cancer. It definitively causes cancer. You know what else is Grade 1 carcinogenic? Asbestos. Tobacco. Not great company to be keeping.

WHO’s recommendation? Avoid processed meat. Don’t eat it. Ever. There is no safe amount for consumption. Red meat is only slightly better, earning Grade 2 carcinogenic status, meaning it probably causes cancer.

Although there are multiple factors that contribute to developing disease, and the WHO classification does not focus on the percentage of increased risk associated with processed meat consumption, I urge you to think twice before you tuck into that bacon-wrapped filet mignon. Your body, especially your colon, will thank you for it.



  1. Trevor Baldry

    May 23, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Damn. 🙁

    Informative post, thank you!

    • jennifer

      May 24, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. But I beg you to say goodbye to those nasty Subway meat subs! 🙂

  2. Interesting and thought provoking. And, I agree with some of what’s presented here. I would, however, caution when suggesting that cancer is “lifestyle-related”. That’s a very slippery slope.

    • jennifer

      May 24, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      I hear you. What I mean is that given that only 5%-10% of cancer can be attributed to genetics, the majority of cancer risk is influenced by lifestyle-related factors, such as diet, physical inactivity, sun exposure, smoking, and exposure to environmental contaminants like pollution, pesticides, 2nd-hand smoke, radiation etc. My aim is to bring attention to factors that are within people’s control (specifically diet which is my area of research) in the hopes that they make will changes to minimize their cancer risk.

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