Meat and Cancer: The W.H.O. Report and What You Need to Know

October 26, 2015 9:20 PM

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Processed meats like hot dogs and sausages have been salted, cured or smoked to enhance flavor and improve preservation. Scientists have long worried that this processing leads to the formation of potentially carcinogenic chemicals like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in these products.

The concern with red meats — beef, pork and lamb — has more to do with the cooking, not the processing. Grilling, barbecuing and pan-frying meat creates potential carcinogens, including heterocyclic aromatic amines.

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