How they vilify meat, particularly "processed meat"

(Bob M) #1

Here’s the latest crap-idemiology study, mainly using Harvard FFQ-based epi evidence:

They used this thing called the “Nova classification” to classify foods as being “ultra processed”.

If you go to the study from reference 26, this is what you get:

This is one of their definitions:

Note anything odd about this? Sausage = ground meat with herbs/spices, sometimes fat, sometimes sugar. Burgers = ground meat. (Though they are perhaps considering “burgers” to mean meat + all the other stuff including bun, but they also include “buns” as being ultraprocessed, so it’s unclear what “burgers” means.)

Neither sausage nor “burgers” (at least the meat part) should be “ultraprocessed”, because they aren’t. They’re just ground meat.

Yet, if you include them with a ton of other crap, which actually might be bad for you, they can make the case that “ultraprocessed” “meats” are bad for you.

It’s really slight of hand.

(And we won’t even get into the fact these are FFQ-based and have so many other problems.)


Agreed. It’s confusing. Sausages and hot dogs without nitrates/nitrates (in my view), FD&C’s, preservatives, etc. are certainly not ultra-processed and in the same category as doughnuts.


It doesn’t make sense to me either but I just don’t care about what people write and think. (Okay, sometimes I think about other people and I hate unjust things and if too many people’s views change very significantly, it even affect what I can buy - okay, that’s so major that pretty much impossible - but I can’t do much about that and such articles has exactly zero impact on how I want to eat.)

Sausages are nice but processed so I keep them at the minimum. But I surely don’t worry about them ever. I don’t avoid worse things if it would be inconvenient and the amount is tiny. My body handles so many things already, a TINY extra work will be fine, I feed it good enough :slight_smile: At this point and level I really don’t worry about my health related to eating and never will start. Things aren’t perfect, I know. Unprocessed things aren’t that either. I do what I can and it’s more than enough for health for several more decades - if we only consider my diet, obviously there are many other factors.

So why would I worry who think what causes what? I never will get cancer anyway. Okay, that’s my anti-hipochondria (I mean, my perfect belief in my health all my life, I don’t know a better term) combined with my good genes and pretty okay woe. I do what I can without worrying too much or making sacrifices that actually make my life unhealthier (as far as I can tell, of course)… And my body does the rest.

By the way… I don’t think that all chocolate, all candies, all sausages are just the same horrible thing. They surely aren’t. Mere processing doesn’t even bother me, ingredients are more interesting, I personally prefer making everything from scratch since ages - and the tiny exceptions are something I can handle.

Pasta is often just flour and water and salt, in better cases eggs too… What can be so horrible in that? (Apart from the carbs that bother some of us, of course. And there are people with sensitivities, sure. But why would it be better if I mixed those items at home? Bread, sure, mine is way better but pasta? They are simple.)

(Joey) #4

Angst over processed meat is kind of amusing as compared to the lack of fear-mongering when it comes to “processed” grains, oils, or plants in general.

…which (except for the overpriced organic section of the produce aisle) represents virtually every form of non-meat food product for sale in the western world.


and sugars.

(Todd Allen) #6

Culture milk and instead of calling it processed we call it yogurt and most will tell you it is a probiotic great for gut health. Culture meat in a similar fashion and it is processed meat that causes colon cancer…

(Edith) #7

And I’m sure “Beyond Meat” products with their 20 or so different ingredients are NOT considered ultra processed.

(Joey) #8

Good point. Doritos, Coke, Oreos, M&Ms, … all naturally manufactured by hardworking humans.