The University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Center can’t “make cancer history” through treatment so it’s decided to blame meat?
The Center issued a media release today entitled, “Keep Cancer Off the BBQ Grill.”
MD Anderson recommended the following:
1. Avoid processed meats.
Skip processed meats like bacon, ham, pastrami, salami, sausage, hot dogs and pepperoni.
Cancer-causing substances form when these meats are preserved, says the American Institute for Cancer Research. And, eating these meats can damage a person’s DNA, increasing the risk of colorectal cancer.
2. Limit red meat.
Eating too much red meat like pork, lamb and beef (including hamburgers) can raise a person’s cancer risk. Try grilling skinless chicken breasts and fish instead.
Insist on red meat? “Limit yourself to three, six-ounce (cooked) servings per week,” Scroggs says. “One serving is the size of two decks of cards.”
3. Don’t char or burn meat, poultry or fish.
Charring, burning or grilling meat, poultry and fish over high temperatures causes heterocyclic amines (HCAs) to form. These HCAs can damage a person’s genes, raising the risk for stomach and colorectal cancers.
To avoid HCAs:
Stick with fish. Fish contains less fat and cooks faster than meat and poultry.
Lightly oil the grill. This keeps charred materials from sticking to your food.
Pre-cook food. Cook meat, poultry or fish in the microwave or oven for two to five minutes, then finish them on the grill. Less grill time means less exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.
Lower the temperature. For a charcoal grill, spread the coals thinly or prop the grill rack on bricks. This reduces the heat by increasing the distance between your food and the coals. And, use barbecue briquettes and hardwood products, such as hickory and maple. They burn at lower temperatures than softwood (pine) chips.
Scrub the grill. Cleaning the grill after each use prevents harmful chemicals from building up and transferring to your food.
4. Use a marinade.
Marinating meat in vinegar, lemon juice and herbs such as mint, rosemary, tarragon or sage can reduce HCA formation by as much as 96%. Just 30 minutes can help.
5. Trim the fat.
Cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) form in the smoke when fat from meat, poultry or fish drips onto the heat source. That PAH-filled smoke then coats your food.
Curb exposure to PAHs by trimming fat from meat before grilling. Or, choose cuts labeled “lean.”
6. Showcase fruits and veggies.
No barbecue should be a meat-only affair. Grilling fruits and veggies is a great way to load up on vitamins and nutrients that help your body fight off diseases like cancer.
“For some grilling enthusiasts, these changes might initially be a lot to stomach,” Scroggs says. “But updating how you barbecue may mean you continue to enjoy grilling for many summers to come.”
There is, however, no evidence that any of these actions will have make any difference whatsoever to anyone in terms of cancer risk. Aside from the weak association epidemiology and dubious toxicology studies behind MD Anderson’s nonsense, there is no credible evidence that vegetarians are any healthier or experience less cancer than carnivores.
While there’s no shame in the reality that the “war on cancer” has largely failed, the cancer industry ought not convert that failure into a scam — or are we too late? 🙂
For further reading, check out JunkScience.com’s Debunkosaurus where we’re collecting resources on the meat and cancer scare.