Smithfield, the largest pork producer in the world, launched “Deli for the Cure,” which donates money to cancer research for every pound sold of the type of meat that, according to the World Cancer Research Fund’s cancer report, causes the most cancer. Eating organic strawberries, however, appears to be protective against cancer cell growth; eating the liver, eyes, or brains of berry fed pigs is another option. Cured meats such as bacon and ham are loaded with carcinogenic nitrosamine producing nitrites and should be avoided (see also here, here, here, here). The level of nitrosamines in bacon is so high that they have even been found in the smell of frying bacon. Pan fried pork chops likewise contain carcinogens. Total meat intake (including pork) appears to increase the risk for multiple myeloma. A case report linked pork consumption to a penis tumor caused by HPV, which can cause cancerous anal and genital warts. Pork consumption has also been linked to liver failure, due to hepatitis E (which is now known to be zoonotic). Pigs appear to be reservoirs of the virus (see also here). Pork tapeworms can take up residence the human brain, and in fact are the most common cause of adult onset epilepsy. They can be contracted through pork consumption or eating food handled by a person who eats pork. Pork is a source of saturated fat as well as cholesterol (see also here). Saturated fat has been linked to lower rates of breast cancer survival. Pork is the source of lard. Consumption of fecal bacteria from pigs is less of a problem than with chickens because normally pig’s skin is not consumed, and it is the skin that may be most contaminated. Arsenic is fed intentionally to pigs (85 tons of arsenic compounds fed to pigs every year) and consequently may contaminate pork. Arachidonic acid is found in pork, among other meats, and appears to negatively affect mood. Pork has been found to contain PCBs. Retail pork samples have been found to be contaminated with staph bacteria; only turkey was found to be infected at higher rates than pork (see also here, here). Replacing bacon and eggs with a plant-based smoothie for breakfast will exponentially increase one’s daily antioxidant intake.
Topic summary contributed by Claire.