Processed meats

Grab any processed meat and you know there is no choice meat in it. Primal cuts* are reserved for steaks, filet mignons, roasts and chops; the meat for processing is collected during cleanup right before the dumpster trip. Most processed meats, like hot dogs, ham, bacon, sausage, and some deli meats, are separated by machine and bones are included. Here is a surprise for you: chicken meat is not the primary ingredient in fast food chicken nuggets! Count on plenty of fillers in processed meats, that’s why you get it so cheap.

(* Just because you paid $20-40 for a meal at a restaurant doesn’t mean you are getting a decent piece of meat. “Meat glue,” composed of an enzyme called transglutaminase, is used to stick together small chunks of meat that are too small to sell, in order to pass them off as prime cuts.
Some meat glues are produced through the cultivation of bacteria, while others are made from the blood of pigs and cows, specifically the coagulant that makes blood clot. Bacterial contamination of meat-glued steak is hundreds of times higher than a solid piece of steak; therefore, if you cook your steak rare, which is the ordinarily most healthful way to cook your meat, you’re at a much greater risk of contracting food poisoning.
Food manufacturers are not required to inform you they’ve glued your meat together, which is both unethical and dangerous.)
Processed meats are smoked, cured, salted, fermented, canned, dried, or preserved. Cold cuts, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, salami, beef jerky, ham, corned beef, and other processed meats are linked to a variety of health problems. In several studies, people who ate the most processed meat had higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer. Excess salt, nitrates, nitrites, preservatives, and saturated fat in these processed meats increase these health risks.

Fast food hamburgers are often made from lower-quality meat from cows that have been raised and treated with antibiotics and growth hormones. The patties are often high in saturated fat, sodium, fillers and preservatives.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified processed meat as a carcinogen, something that causes cancer. IARC is the cancer agency of the World Health Organization.

(Sources: IARC, WHO,

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