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For those not in the know, the WHO released a study today saying that Bacon, hot dogs and other processed meats cause cancer. They further say that red meat "probably" causes cancer. A common reply to the various comment threads is something along this conversation

twitter processed meats

So people give themselves a pass with this research with the excuse "I eat locally sourced, hipster raised, nanobatch smoked bacon so I'm ok".

Is this a valid reaction? Or does the research cover all processed meats, regardless of preservatives?

closed as off-topic by Oddthinking Oct 27 '15 at 9:59

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  • 2
    FWIW: sodium nitrate is not necessary in processed meats (only in cased meats such as sausages where salmonella might be a problem). – Sklivvz Oct 26 '15 at 17:25
  • @Sklivvz true, though many processed meats do contain these known carcinogens which might explain the study results (this may be the underlying causal factor). It also leaves open the possibility that processed meats without nitrates, etc don't cause cancer – Doug T. Oct 26 '15 at 17:37
  • Your claim is "I eat locally sourced, hipster raised, nanobatch smoked bacon so I'm ok"? Can you show examples of people making this claim? – Oddthinking Oct 27 '15 at 9:59
  • @Oddthinking: forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2015/10/26/who_processed_meat/…, not exactly a 'claim', a suggestion maybe. – Benjol Oct 27 '15 at 10:54
  • The WHO says eating processed meat (as a group) increases risk of cancer. It is legitimate to ask "Are there any exceptions? Is it the preservatives? Is it one particular preservative?" but they aren't claims. Some random tweeter (with 128 followers) suggests it is Sodium nitrate as a factor, but that's not a notable claim by itself and it isn't the question being asked. – Oddthinking Oct 27 '15 at 12:45

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