Healthy Eating: Processed Meat and Red Meat


Why is the subject of healthy eating appearing in a professional HR Practitioner’s web-site? The answer is health costs in terms of absenteeism due to medical reasons and health costs is a significant spending for every business. The worst case is to lose a key employee through disease. A lot of our company health programs focus on physical activities and health screening; very little goes into promoting heathy eating and community activism.

Red Meat and Processed Meat

The World Cancer Research Fund International has put out a notice on their website for consumer to limit the consumption of red meat (such as beef, pork and lamb)

‘Red meat’ refers to beef, pork, lamb, and goat from domesticated animals including that contained in processed foods

‘Processed meat’ refers to meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or addition of chemical preservatives, including that contained in processed meat.

You can the recommended maximum amount to consume on their website Here is their video “Red meat, processed meat and cancer”

What is Processed Meat?

The following information is an excerpt from Motley Health website. The culprits for processed meat are sugar, salt and nitrites. The web site mentioned:

“Nitrates and nitrites are often used to preserve meats. They kill bacteria and also give pork products the pink or red color. The use of sodium nitrite or potassium nitrate in meat processing is now regulated, as they produce nitrosamines to form in the meat which is a carcinogenic (cancer causing) compound which has been linked with liver and oesophageal cancer.”

“At its most basic level, processed meat is any meat product which has undergone some form of treatment prior to being cooked or eaten. This includes salting, curing, smoking and various modern factory processes to lengthen the shelf life of the meat. Here is a selection of processed meats (by no means a complete list):

  • Ham
  • Bacon
  • Salami
  • Sausages
  • Hotdogs
  • Raw fermented sausages
  • Pepperoni
  • Chorizo
  • Spam
  • Corned beef
  • Beef jerky
  • Paté

Also watch out for processed in the following:

  • Meats on frozen pizzas
  • Ravioli

The following table shows the various methods of meat processing and gives some examples of foods produced. See the link below for more details.”

Processed Meat


Here is an interesting video titled ” Are Humans Designed to Eat Meat?”