Findings from a report by the World Cancer Research fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research of a “convincing link between processed meats and colorectal cancer” is good news for the Australian organic meat processors. The report states there is solid proof that high levels of processed meat containing nitrite and other preservatives increase the risk of cancer in the colon and rectum; two key organs of the digestive system. Nitrites are barred from use in the processing of organic meat. The findings come as no surprise to Steve Povey, meat processor certified by Australian Certified Organic, and owner of Brisbane butcher shop, ‘The Meat-Ting Place’. He has specialised in the production of non-nitrite, preservative free and organically cured ham and bacon for the last ten years and says the benefits have brought in customers via doctor’s referrals.
“People come to us after seeing their doctors, who have associated high nitrite levels with a range of problems; gout, shingles, nervous rashes and so on,” says Mr. Povey. “We receive customers from the age of eighteen and up wanting to decrease the chemical build up in their bodies. People consistently eating our meat say they feel better in themselves – and, some senior customers say it tastes like meat used to sixty years ago.”
Sodium Nitrite is added to conventional processed meat for preservation purposes and is the reason meat retains its recognisable red colour. It is particularly high in foods such as ham, bacon, pastrami, salami, sausages and frankfurters and fast foods. The report found the consumption of red and processed meats to increase with income and particularly high in western countries.
Australia’s consumption of cured ham and bacon has almost doubled from 4.6 kg to 8.7 kg per person in the sixty years up to 1999, according to the last official records. Organically cured meat means Australians can bring home the bacon, minus the carcinogens.
Link to the World Cancer Research Fund Report ‘Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a global perspective,’ http://www.dietandcancerreport.org/?p=ER