Photo by KOMUnews via flickr

Photo from KOMUnews via flickr

For this week’s “In the News,” we want to talk about meat and cancer. We at CROPP (Organic Valley/Organic Prairie) know that meat has its benefits, especially in a well balanced diet. Here is a breakdown of recent news about why meat has recently been related to causing cancer.

Wisconsin Public Radio recently published a story, that goes in depth on why cooking meat in certain ways is being linked to causing cancer. In this story, a study published in the journal Cancer finds that high-temperature cooking methods may increase the risk of kidney cancer if you consume a lot of meat. Stephanie Melkonian, a post-doctoral fellow at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses ways to cook your meat using “lower-risk methods” like baking and broiling.

Chemistry professor Matthew Hartings of American University explains that “If you cook the meat too long, at too high a temperature, the chemical reaction keeps going, creating other compounds. Some of them, known as heterocyclic amines (or HCAs), can be carcinogenic when we consume them in high-enough concentrations.”

In another article on MSN Health and Fitness, “Bacon, ham and sausages rank alongside cigarettes as a major cause of cancer, the World Health Organisation has said, placing cured and processed meats in the same category as asbestos, alcohol, arsenic and tobacco.” Dr Kurt Straif, head of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) monographs programme said, “For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed.”

Therefore, until further research expands upon these findings, a good practice is to moderate meat consumption and cook at lower temperatures for a longer amount of time (see below for some links to delicious recipes using low-and-slow cooking methods).

Our organic meat company, Organic Prairie, knows the importance of having meat that does not contain synthetic nitrates or nitrites as well as the importance of being 100% certified organic. Being 100% certified organic means that our meats are raised without synthetic hormones, antibiotics and GMOs, and feed and pasture are never treated with toxic pesticides.

Organic Prairie also knows that meat is best on the side of the plate. The IARC study suggests that a maximum processed meat consumption threshold of no more than 50 grams per day can reduce cancer risks. This is in line with Organic Prairie’s long-standing recommendation to reduce serving sizes of all meats and increase daily intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains in order to achieve better health outcomes.

Low-and Slow Cooking Recipes:

Beef Liver with Apple Cider Caramelized Onions

Beef Steak Stew

Spinach Salad With Hot Bacon Maple Dressing