All week long, readers have been sending emails or posting comments asking about the latest study purporting to show a link between red meat and colon cancer.  Here’s a sample headline from an online article about the study, followed by some quotes:

Red meat ‘increases risk of bowel cancer’

Eating less red meat could prevent 6000 cases of Australia’s second deadliest cancer every year, experts claim. They say studies confirm that consuming roast beef, lamb and pork increases your risk of developing bowel cancer.

The World Cancer Research Fund said there was convincing evidence of a link between bowel cancer and red meat in its latest report, which combines existing research with 10 new studies.  It had already warned people to avoid eating processed meats and restrict their weekly intake of red meat to five medium portions – or 500g – to lessen the likelihood of developing bowel cancer.

Pretty scary so far, eh?  Eating meat raises your risk of bowel cancer, so you’d better cut back on the stuff.  Now check out this quote:

Milk appears to cut the risk of bowel cancer, but the WCRF does not recommend dairy foods because evidence for overall cancer risk is unclear.

Apparently the WCRF doesn’t view consistency as a necessary trait for researchers.  Meat raises your risk of cancer, so you’d better cut back.  Milk reduces your risk of cancer, but we’re not going recommend milk, because … uh … well … because the evidence on milk is unclear! Yeah, that’s how we get around that one!

The implication, of course, is that the evidence linking red meat to colon cancer is clear.  So is it?

Hardly.  In my Science For Smart People speech, I listed several critical-thinking questions we need to ask when some new study warns that this-or-that food is going to kill us.  If you haven’t seen the speech, you may want to give it a look before continuing.

Let’s examine this latest study and ask ourselves those questions.  (By the way, if you’re not as prone to banging your head on your desk as I am, you can download and read the full WCRF document.)

Q:  Is this a controlled clinical study, or an observational study?

A:  The WCRF study is a meta-analysis of other observational studies.  In other words, they took the data from some observational studies and pooled the results.  So in effect, this is yet another observational study.  As I explained in the speech, observational studies at best provide evidence for a hypothesis.  They don’t even come close to proving cause and effect.  That alone means you could pretty much write off the sensational headlines and head out for a nice steak dinner. But what the heck, let’s continue.

Q:  If A and B are linked, is possible that B causes A?

A:  I’m going to step out on a limb here and conclude that developing colon cancer doesn’t cause people to eat more red meat.

Q:  If A and B are linked, is it possible that A is connected to B because they’re both caused by C?

A:  Dern tootin’ it’s possible.  Health-conscious people — who are different in many ways from their I-don’t-give-a-hoot peers — avoid what they’re told is bad for them and gravitate towards what they’re told is good for them.  Even if the WCRF researchers really and truly found a meaningful link between red meat and colon cancer (which they didn’t), it could simply mean that health-conscious people eat less red meat because they believe it’s bad for their health.

Q:  Did the researchers control their variables?

A:  Nope.  Just as with a recent study I mentioned in my speech, the studies included in the meta-analysis lumped red meat and processed meat together.  Here’s a quote from the full text:

The summary relative risk was 1.17 for colorectal cancer for each 100g/day increase in red and processed meats … The definition of red meat varied between the studies. Red meat was described by the studies as fresh red meat, red meat or a combined exposure of beef, pork and lamb.

In other words, we’re putting burgers, pizza, burritos, hog dogs, deli sandwiches, pigs in a blanket, prime ribs, pork chops, filets with béarnaise and racks of lamb with mint sauce all into one category.  Whole foods or processed foods that are typically served with a heapin’ helping of white flour … all the same to us.

To be fair to the WCRF researchers, it would be nearly impossible to make the distinction anyway, since the data came from observational studies that were based on food-recall surveys.  Which leads to another critical-thinking question I included in the original draft of my Science For Smart People speech, but deleted to stay within my allotted time:

Q:  Is the data reliable?

A:  HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!  Sure, about as reliable as a congressional budget forecast.  The largest study included in this meta-analysis (and therefore given the most statistical weight) was the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, which I analyzed in a long post nearly two years ago.  Here’s how the data for that study was gathered:

Throughout 1995 and 1996, the investigators mailed a food-frequency questionnaire to 3.5 million members of the American Association of Retired Persons, all aged 50 to 69, who lived in six states (California, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, Louisiana), plus two metro areas (Detroit and Atlanta).

Only 17% of those who received the surveys responded.  They were overwhelmingly white, affluent and (of course) elderly.  The investigators decided this wasn’t a problem because “a shifting and widening of the intake distributions among respondents compensated for the less-than-anticipated response rate.”  Uh-huh.

Ten years later, similar food-recall surveys were sent out again, along with questions about any health and medical issues the respondents may have experienced.  From these two data sets — gathered ten years apart — the researchers reached their conclusions.

Now, about those food surveys … have you ever taken one?  I have, because I was required to by an employer.  My co-workers and I found the questions impossible to answer accurately, so we just started making up the answers.  Then we went out for happy hour (during which none of us recorded our food intakes).  I’ve reproduced part of the NIH-AARP food questionnaire below:

Over the last 12 months, how often did you eat the following foods? (Ignore any recent changes.)

Whole milk (4%), NOT in coffee, NOT on cereal: Never | 1-6 per year | 7-11 per year | 1 per month | 2-3 per month | 1-2 per week | 3-4 per week | 5-6 per week | 1 per day | 2-3 per day | 4-5 per day | 6+ per day. Portion size: less than ½ cup | ½ to 1 cup | more than 1 cup.

Breads or dinner rolls, NOT INCLUDING ON SANDWICHES: Never | 1-6 per year | 7-11 per year | 1 per month | 2-3 per month | 1-2 per week | 3-4 per week | 5-6 per week | 1 per day | 2-3 per day | 4-5 per day | 6+ per day. Portion size: less than 1 slice or roll | 1 or 2 slices or rolls | more than 2 slices or rolls.

Ground beef in mixtures such as tacos, burritos, meatballs, casseroles, chili, meatloaf: Never | 1-6 per year | 7-11 per year | 1 per month | 2-3 per month | 1-2 per week | 3-4 per week | 5-6 per week | 1 per day | 2-3 per day | 4-5 per day | 6+ per day. Portion size: less than 3 ounces | 3 to 7 ounces | more than 7 ounces.

Could you answer those questions accurately about your diet for the entire previous year?  No, I didn’t think so.  But the WCRF researchers expect us to believe that based on questionnaires like this one, they can determine what people eat accurately enough to link various foods to minor changes in cancer rates.  (Yes, minor changes … we’ll get to that soon.)

But let’s suppose for the sake of argument that we’re looking at accurate dietary information and move on …

Q:  If a scientist proposes that A causes B, do we find that connection between A and B consistently and repeatedly, or are there glaring exceptions?

A:  Allow me to quote the WCRF document.  Here’s what they said about the first group of studies they analyzed:

Sixteen cohort studies on colorectal, or if not available colon cancer risk were identified. Eleven studies provided sufficient data to be included in the highest versus lowest analysis. Nine studies reported an increased risk for the highest versus lowest processed meat comparison, one was statistically significant. One study observed no association. In addition, positive associations were observed in men, and in women in the study that reported on the subgroups separately. Only the result in men was statistically significant.

Out of 11 studies with sufficient data, nine reported higher cancer rates for heavy meat-eaters … but only one was statistically significant, and only if they teased out the data for men separately.  I guess women can eat all the red meat they want, but men will die of cancer if they chow down on burgers.  The paragraph above also means, by the way, that two studies with “sufficient data” showed no increase in cancer rates among heavy meat-eaters.

Here’s the official word on the second group of studies analyzed:

Twelve cohort studies on colorectal cancer risk were identified and included in the highest versus lowest forest plot. Eight studies reported an increased risk for the highest versus lowest red meat comparison, one was borderline significant. Two studies reported no association and two studies observed a statistically non-significant inverse association.

Head.  Bang.  On.  Desk.

Of the eight studies that showed an increase in colon cancer among heavier meat-eaters, apparently only one was “borderline significant” — it’s difficult to tell, since the sentence is poorly written.  Two studies showed no increase, and two other showed a slight decrease in cancer rates among heavy meat-eaters.  That means one-third of the studies — one-third! — failed to show a correlation between eating red meat (and processed meat) and colon cancer.  If red (and processed) meat causes colon cancer, how can that possibly be?  Were people in one-third of these studies somehow immune to red meat’s cancer-causing effects?

So there’s your evidence from the studies the researchers chose.  Before we move on, here’s the conclusion from another meta-analysis of 14 studies published in 2004:

Greater intake of either red meat (excluding processed meat) or processed meat was not related to colorectal cancer risk.

So I’m guessing if we could somehow overcome cherry-picking and publication bias, even more than a third of the studies would fail to show a link between meat and colon cancer.  A researcher who criticized a previous WCRF report certainly seemed to think there was some cherry-picking going on.  Here’s part of what he wrote in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

The report omits 13 cohort studies on red meat and colorectal cancer with a total of 1,578,970 subjects, including a very large 1992 study by the American Cancer Society and studies by Hirayama, Heilbrun et al, Goldbohm et al, Knekt et al, Gaard et al, Hsing et al, Jansen et al, Flood et al, Kojima et al, Chao et al, and Sato et al. All but 2 of these studies found no significant association with red meat.

The report omits the follow-up of 5 groups of vegetarians compared with socially matched omnivores by Key et al. They found no difference in mortality from colorectal cancer.

But back to the current WCRF analysis … Below, I’ve copied some charts that were included in the full text of the report.  Take a look at this one:

In the chart above, you’re seeing the relative risk of developing colon cancer for each 100 grams of red (and processed) meat consumed each day.  The black vertical line represents a relative risk of 1.0 – that is, a neutral risk.  Notice that in two of the studies (Lee and Pietinen), each 100-gram increase in red (and processed) consumption was correlated with a lower risk of colon cancer.  Now look at the last figure labeled Overall.  That’s the statistical average for all the studies, and it’s the figure being trumpeted by the researchers.

Yup, based on some studies that showed a decrease in colon cancer among meat-eaters and other studies that showed an increase, the WCRF folks declared that we should all be cutting back on red (and processed) meats.

Now here’s the chart showing the dose-response change in relative risk for women:

Notice anything interesting there?  Three of the studies showed cancer rates going down as meat consumption went up.  The others showed a very slight increase in cancer rates.  The average (for what it’s worth, which isn’t much) was essentially no change at all.

But wait, it gets even better.  The chart below shows what happened to rates of colon cancer in several of the studies as meat consumption went up:

This is laughable … look at the studies by Lee, Wei and Jarvinen.  Rates of colon cancer went up, then down again as meat consumption rose.  I swear, next time I have lunch in a restaurant and see someone eating meat, I’ll feel obligated to offer a warning:

“Excuse me, but did you just eat some red (or processed) meat?”

“Why yes, I did eat some red (or processed) meat.  So what?”

“Well, you better eat more red (or processed) meat for dinner, and lots of it.  You don’t want to develop colon cancer.”

Rather than simply declare the data inconsistent — which it clearly is — the researchers plugged their pooled data into Excel, came up with a tiny average increase in colon cancer risk as meat consumption went up, then called a press conference.  (Then probably sent out more fund-raising letters.)  But again for the sake of argument, let’s assume that tiny average increase represents something meaningful and ask our next question:

Q:  What was the actual difference?

A:  The WCRF people proclaimed that the average relative risk of developing colon cancer among heavier meat-eaters (in the studies they chose to include) was 1.17, otherwise known as a 17% increase.  Sounds kind of impressive, huh?  A lot of media reporters certainly thought so.  But what does that actually mean?  In the Science For Smart People speech, I explained that the actual difference — otherwise known as absolute risk – means subtraction.  Relative risk is calculated using division, which usually produces a more impressive (or more frightening) number.

According to some data I found online, the lifetime odds of developing colon cancer in America are 1 in 20.  So with a little Excel magic, I extended the figures to a population large enough to avoid comparing fractions of people.  Here’s how it would work out if eating red (and processed) meat really and truly produced a 17% increase in colon cancer:

In a population of 4,000 Americans, there would be about 100 lifetime cases of colon cancer among people with a lower intake of red meat, and about 117 lifetime cases of colon cancer among people with a higher intake of red meat.  So the actual difference (117 – 100) would be 17 additional cases of colon cancer for every 4,000 people.  I’m pretty sure I’ll beat those odds, especially since the relative risk was calculated using unreliable and inconsistent data.

Q:  Do the results actually support the conclusions reached by the investigators?

Let’s tally up the score, shall we?  The WCRF analysis is 1) based on observational studies that 2) lumped red meat and processed meat in the same category and 3) relied on food surveys that are notoriously inaccurate.  The WCRF took the results of those observational studies, which 4) did not show a consistent link between red meat and colon cancer, and averaged the results in order to produce 5) a small increase in relative risk that translates to 6) a meaningless rise in absolute risk.

Based on that analysis, the researchers declared that there is now convincing evidence that red meat increases the risk of developing cancer.

Like I concluded in my speech:  Scientists Are Freakin’ Liars.

One of the media articles I read about the study included this blaring headline:

Scientists confirm direct link between bowel cancer and red meat consumption

So I guess it’s time to reach another conclusion:  Journalists Are Freakin’ Idiots.

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70 Responses to “The Latest ‘Meat Causes Cancer’ Bologna”
  1. I had a thought. Studies such as these tend to produce those very effects which they purport to find. Here’s how. A study on the pernicious effects of red meat (or saturated fat, or cholesterol, etc.) come out and are trumpeted by the press. People read and believe them. Some follow the advice. Some ignore it. Those who ignore it tend to disregard all health advice. Thus those who ignore it tend to suffer from a greater variety of lifestyle diseases, and so observational studies will find a link between consumption of red meat and disease.

    These studies change behavior, and change it in a way that makes it more likely that the correlations they claim to exist will hold in the future. The “science” changes the reality; the reality (by a confusion of correlation and cause and effect) in turn in used to support the “science”.

    Exactly right. That’s a point I made in both speeches. Health-conscious people are more likely to avoid what they’re told is bad for them.

  2. Dan says:

    Would someone forward the Scientific Method to the people who did this study? I think they need to retake 6th grade Science Class.

    The scientific method is a way to ask and answer scientific questions by making observations and doing experiments.
    The steps of the scientific method are to:
    -Ask a Question
    -Do Background Research
    -Construct a Hypothesis
    -Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
    -Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
    -Communicate Your Results
    It is important for your experiment to be a fair test. A “fair test” occurs when you change only one factor (variable) and keep all other conditions the same.

    That’s the limitation of observational studies. The way they did this meta-analysis, they seem to have amplified the limitations.

  3. Laurie says:

    Alzheimer’s and Lipitor. There was a ‘study’ , with ‘results’ blared everywhere, that purported to show that taking Lipitor protects against developing AD. I learned interesting things about the obfuscation that went into the conclusions to this ‘study’ from Stephanie Seneff.
    The thing is they did not distinguish between patients who had never been on Lipitor from those who had ever been on Lipitor. So if a patient is on Lipitor and then is subsequently diagnosed with AD, they are taken off the Lipitor (’cause I guess what’s the point?). But, they go in the column of – Lipitor, + AD. Voila, taking Lipitor must therefore protect against AD!!! Mental gymnastics, interpretational contortion and subterfuge.

    Exactly. Dr. Ravnskov demonstrated (in a book or one of his many articles; can’t remember which) how those number games are played.

  4. PHK says:

    every time i see studies linking colon caner w/ red meat, i’m always curious about the mechanism works. cause as far as i know, colon cancer is mostly due to “localized” causes.

    & protein is digested in stomach & has no residue in colon. fat also has no residue in colon.

    fiber seem to be the food stuff that colon “sees.”

    regards,

    That’s another critical-thinking question I had to cut from my speech for time-allotment purposes: If A supposedly causes B, what’s the plausible mechanism? In Voodoo Science, the author pointed out that during the big scare that power lines caused cancer, no one could describe a plausible mechanism, because the magnetic current can’t penetrate the skin. In all these scare-mongering stories about meat causing cancer, I’ve yet to see the supposed mechanism explained.

  5. Jay says:

    Did a quick search, this is the only thing that ‘claims’ to tell the how behind red meat causing cancer.

    http://www.sharecare.com/question/how-eating-red-meat-cancer

    No need to really watch, all she says is that it ‘produces compounds that can be cancer causing.’ What compounds, I haven’t the faintest idea.

    Also, hi, first time posting here, got alot more to say at some point, but a simple ‘thanks!’ should do for now…so…thanks!

    Doesn’t sound like a convincing explanation of the cancer-causing mechanism in meat. By contrast, research in labs clearly shows that cancer feeds on sugar. Combine that with the research showing that low levels of vitamin D can cause cells to lose their identity (kidney, muscle, liver, etc.) and start living for themselves, and I’d say you’ve got a plausible mechanism.

  6. Ricardo says:

    Its not that the meat is bad per say. Its the processing of the meat with the estrogen chemicals and the preservatives like sodium cancer that mostly causes some cancers. Ori Hofmekler talks about estrogen and chemicals in most meats in America and how they make us sick

  7. The Older Brother says:

    @Gerard

    900 calories is a starvation diet. Unless you’re just doing it for a few days as some kind of quick start, I’d be concerned you’re going to short-circuit yourself.

    It’s hard to shake the “calories count” (exclusively) mindset, but focus on getting the right foods — saturated fat, protein, maybe some veggies and a bit of fruit. The calories should take care of themselves.

    If you get hungry eating the right foods, you’re not eating enough.

    Cheers.

    Good point. Some intermittent fasting or occasional very-low-calorie days may provide some benefits, but long-term semi-starvation has been shown to depress the metabolism.

  8. gollum says:

    Um, milk could have adverse effects on other cancers. Breast cancer comes to mind, since today’s turbo milk contains probably more even more hormones. It is not something you can dismiss in zeroth order guessing, although the anti-milk information usually comes with vegan drivel attached. (Then of course, how about the good effects of red meat?)

    Did they compensate for preservatives in sausages? sodium nitrite etc.
    I don’t really care. Since we are being lied to constantly, I dismiss these as propaganda.. which is not scientifically valid of course. Maybe fiber is good and red meat is bad, but these come with other effects.
    .
    Did you ever wonder about the style of veggie propaganda? Eat veggies! Why? They are healthy.
    If they cared about that, would they not recommend to steam the carrots in butter, to actually get some provitamin A out of them? (etc. etc.) Nooo, it is always EAT VEGGIES EAT EAT MORE MORE MORE EAT FIVE FULL HANDS A DAY MORE AT LEAST.. I mean, mommy doesn’t know much about this biochemistry stuff, but these people call themselves nutritionists and still sound like veggie PR dept.

  9. Razwell says:

    Hi, Tom. :)

    Great article. No genuine scientist would ever point to meat as the cause of coronary artery disease. The medical profession clings to dogma.

    Coronary artery disease , as well as many others, are extremely complex. These (vegan propgandist) doctors who perpetuate the meat myth will never admit that no one has a complete understanding of the mechanisms behind the progression of coronary artery disease. To do so would require a complete understanding of human cellular metabolsim. Science does not currently understand cellular metabolism that well . We only understand bits and fragments. They will never admit plants carry risk, and do contain compounds which can be dangerous. Many ancestors died of choosing the wrong plant or could have ate safe wild mushrooms that were contaminated with bacteria laddeneed deer crap etc.

    These articles will never admit that the only “problem” with meat is if it completely crowded out greens, other colorful veggies, fruits nuts seeds, eggs etc. Meat is VERY nutritious and has always been a part of our diet. Anyone reasonable eats variety and balanced, and includes adequate plant matter.

    They are on a witch hunt against meat. The whole idea is unscientific. Without science, “authorities” can and do go far, far astray.

    I also think insects are super nutritious ( like they eat in Thailand) and most likely were a very strong part of the ancestra diet. But I could not stomach it. LOL !

    Take care,

    Raz

    My daughters have well-informed opinions about the flavor of ants. Apparently the red ones are a bit spicy.

  10. Elenor says:

    You know, Tom… Gary Taubes has “published” (released online) the “missing chapter” of Good Calories, Bad Calories… YOU could “publish” (videotape and release) the parts you had to cut from your speech. (And on the next one you make and sell on DVD? — include your “missing bits” rather than (or in addition to) a doctor clarifying his field!)

    I know you’re not going to start a podcast, and I’m fine (well, sorry but okay) with that — I want you to pay off Fat Head and do another whole movie! (Just like I want Gary to keep shorting his blog and write his next book!) But if you have snippets and bits of something you’re doing — we’ll ALL watch!

    Every speech I write starts out much longer than the time allotted. I’d like to include those bits, but I don’t want to mix a live speech with a canned speech recorded in my office. When I get booked for longer speeches, I’ll include them.

    If I added anything to the workload, it would be videos. There are so many great podcasters out there already, I can’t keep up with their episodes.

  11. Peggy Holloway says:

    This is Peggy, the person who has the stepfather who derides low-carb diets but had a quadruple bypass last fall. I just visited my mother for a few days, and I almost fell off my breakfast chair when I saw him pour a bowl of Grape-nuts for breakfast. I thought “Snickers bar” immediately.:)
    On a sad note, the news from Lake Woebegon was not what I wanted to hear.My sister was also visiting, and our conversations lead to great frustration for both of us. She has also followed a low-carb diet for 11 years, since her diagnosis with Type II Diabetes. My sweet, wonderful sister is the one person who is disproving my theory that Type II is reversible with proper diet. In spite of her low-carb diet and regular exercise, she is not able to get her blood sugar under control and she is still over-weight, carrying all her weight around the midsection. Her morning readings are regularly around 180 and her post-prandial readings can be all over the place,even after eating the exact same meal. Even the slightest cold or other illness sends her blood sugar through the roof. She is taking Januvia, and an attempt to go off it for 2 months resulted in an A1C of 12. Her doctor, who does not support low-carb dieting and follows conventional treatment, wants to put her on insulin. Because we live in Nebraska, she has finally decided to try to see Dr. Mary Vernon in Kansas, with the hopes that Dr. Vernon can figure out why the low-carb diet isn’t working for her. Any other ideas about what she needs to do? We are all very concerned for her. (I also posted this on Jimmy Moore’s blog. This is desperation)

    I don’t have any other suggestions, but if I had diabetes, I’d travel across the globe to see Dr. Vernon if need be. Your sister will be in good hands.

  12. Peggy Holloway says:

    Thanks! I’m hoping she will be able to get in to see Dr. Vernon. Another concern is that health insurance apparently isn’t valid across state lines (what’s up with that?). My sister has some money in her health savings account that needs to be used, so, hopefully, it won’t be too much of a financial hardship to make this trip. My thinking is that it would be worth it to go into debt to see a doctor who might be able to make sense of this whole thing.
    We have taken to calling our family inheritance the “evil gene.” Our insulin-resistance is really extreme and it seems to affect everyone. I just learned that my 33-year-old nephew, who is a high-school coach and very athletic, failed a physical to drive a school bus because of high blood pressure. It goes on.

    Given what diabetes can do to you, I’d just pay for the visit. We have a high deductible and end up paying for our very rare doctor visits out of pocket anyway.

  13. Helen says:

    http://biggestloserclub.com.au/food-fitness/sitting-pretty.html?utm_source=blcaunewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=s1124-non-members-newsletter-110613

    more bologna on red meat and bowel cancer and WOW they admit fibre isnt’ “necessarily” (meaning inconclusive and yet unproven) the magic bullet but then go on to say eat it lots of it anyway .

    On top of that, they have no clue what “raises your risk” means.

  14. C Wolf says:

    I thought you would like to read the attached article:
    A lowfat diet led to improvements in a putative biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease risk in patients with mild cognitive impairment, but it had the opposite effect in healthy older adults, a small, shortterm trial found.

    Click here for the full story: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Neurology/AlzheimersDisease/27040

    Sign up for your FREE, once-daily, Medical News Daily Headlines Email

    https://www.medpagetoday.com/register.cfm

    MedPage Today(R) provides physicians and ‘expert patients’ real-time coverage of breaking medical news and the top stories in health and medicine. Physicians, PAs, Nurses, and Pharmacists may also receive CME/CE credit as part of our news coverage.

    Our content is reviewed and accredited by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Office of Continuing Medical Education (OCME). OCME is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide CME for physicians. There is no cost to use the service. Visit MedPage Today http://www.medpagetoday.com/ now.

    At MedPage Today, we are Putting Breaking Medical News into Practice(R).

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    Interesting, but inconclusive.

  15. Lori says:

    Sorry but milk (or any dairy product) is not healthy for humans. Cow’s milk is for baby calves. Human milk is for baby humans and not needed past infancy. Why are we drinking another species milk? Then with all the crap put into it (hormones, antibiotics etc) just makes it even more unhealthy!
    Read Whitewash by Dr Joseph Keon.

  16. KittenKitten says:

    I lovelovelove this! I just spent most of today arguing with one of the “bad vegans”…you know, the kind who give the veggies a bad reputation by having a ‘holier than thou’ attitude against people who DO enjoy animal products. He actually had the audacity to tell me that I was unhealthy while proclaiming that he was a paragon of health and told me I needed to be a raw vegan who was gluten free. I -was- vegetarian for years and I was utterly miserable and I felt very unhealthy even though I ate a pretty balanced diet. I started eating meat again this May and I have never been or felt so healthy. Meat is AMAZING!

    I will forever extoll the virtues of eating meat so long as you try to make sure that it’s organic…which can’t always happen but you can do your best!

    Mmmmmeat. Dinner tonight is farmers market bought salmon which I am going to go eat…om nom nom.

  17. Random says:

    Here is a clinical study that shows the dangers of meat:

    http://news.cancerconnect.com/meat-linked-to-various-cancers/

    You were looking for a clinical study, right? Now you have it.

    The writer of the article doesn’t know the definition of a clinical study — neither do you, apparently. Read the description. It’s an observational study based on food questionnaires. Those are worthless for pinpointing cause and effect. They lumped processed meat and red meat together — as they usually do in these goofy studies. People who eat a lot of processed meat are the same people who eat a lot of pizza, burritos, deli sandwiches, etc. — in other words, junk food made with white flour. In similar studies, when more careful researchers separated red meat from processed meat, there was no association with red meat and cancer.

  18. Random says:

    Yeah, that’s what I thought. Just wanted to have it confirmed from you. So you’re positively sure that there hasn’t been a single clinical study done that shows that organic ground beef and organic eggs cause any type of ailments (cancer and whatnot)?

    Or maybe you know of such studies, but won’t tell us because you have some kind of a vested interest in this stuff?

    I love these foods and enjoy them. But friends and family keep telling me that I’m eating too much meat, or too many eggs :S

    It’s hard to know who to believe anymore :(

    My bad, I thought you were offering it up as a clinical study. No, there haven’t been any clinical studies of that sort, but they’re very difficult and very expensive to do. You’d have to ensure that diet was strictly controlled, make sure the people eating more meat weren’t also eating, say, fewer vegetables, etc., then follow the result over many years.

    In the observational studies on meat vs. cancer, the results are all over the place, which means meat is very unlikely to be the relevant variable.

  19. Nalliah Thayabharan says:

    For hundreds of thousand years we survived on fruits, nuts, seeds, tubers and vegetable until we discovered fire and start roasting animals and birds. True carnivores born with built in tools like speed, strength, claws, teeth and talons for capture, kill and devour but we do NOT have hands that are designed for tearing into bellies of animals, but our hands are perfectly designed for picking fruits from trees. The strongest tough powerful animals like elephants, horses, camels eat only plant foods. Gorillas are 3 times the size of a man but 30 times stronger and they eat only leaves and fruits to produce all the protein they need.

    Gorillas have huge, powerful jaws that enable them to spend most of their waking hours chewing fibrous plants — which is what’s required to live on a plant-based diet in the wild. Their digestive systems (which are much larger than ours) turn the fibers in those plants into fatty acids. So gorillas get most of their energy from fat. Since there’s a tradeoff between gut size and brain size, the gorilla diet won’t support a large brain.

    Humans began eating meat long before they began making fires for cooking. The dense protein and fat in the meat allowed the human gut to shrink, which in turn allowed the human brain to grow. That’s how we became humans. If we’d continued living on nothing but wild plants, we’d still be apes.

    We don’t need claws and talons because we have brains big enough to imagine and create weapons. In natural selection, traits that are no longer necessary for survival fade away over the generations.

    By the way, here’s a video of our nearest genetic relatives (chimps) engaging in an organized hunt. Seems rather likely early humans did likewise, doesn’t it? (Notice the chimps don’t make a fire before eating what they’ve killed.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZhsM9OzeEo

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