Before we discuss the World Health Organization’s declaration this week that bacon and other meats are carcinogens, let’s review some of the other things the WHO says might cause cancer.
There are almost 500 of them. They include taking oral contraceptives, being a hairdresser and eating pickled vegetables. They also include sitting by a cozy winter fire, work patterns that disrupt sleep, and if you live in a city the size of Charlotte, breathing outdoors.
Clearly, this is about more than meat. It’s about an alarmist organization that justifies its existence by mothering us and scaring us abou...
Wait a minute.
I think I’m a bacon science denier.
Oh, how the breakfast tables have turned. Will I now get the same smug disapproval from vegans that I have for climate deniers who point at snowstorms as evidence? Will I get the same shake of the head that I reserve for anti-vaxxers who believe the discredited research that vaccines can cause autism in children?
In defense of us meat people: While some items on the WHO’s blacklist, such as smoking, are backed up by decades of research, other items are the result of some questionable WHO dot-connecting between behavior and illness.
At least that’s what some scientists said this week about processed meats. So there’s not really a true consensus at this poin...
I’m doing it again, aren’t I?
Lord, I might be a sausage truther.
But a lot of us are deniers and truthers, at least a little. And it’s not a partisan thing. Show me Republicans who scoff at overwhelming evidence regarding global warming, and I’ll show you Democrats who – albeit to a lesser degree – sneer at overwhelming evidence about flu shots being safe.
It’s all part of the marriage of convenience we have with science. We’re all for research when it affirms things we want to believe. But when science conflicts with a bottom line or political stance – or when it tells us to ease up on the afternoon coffee – that’s when our talent for rationalization kicks in.
So here’s another rationalization for you: It’s different for us bacon science deniers.
When anti-vaxxers insist on sending their non-vaccinated children to school, they create a public health risk for everyone else’s children. Climate deniers – especially those who happen to be members of Congress – threaten the well-being of generations to come.
If bacon truthers decide to go ahead and have that BLT, we’re not threatening anyone else’s colon but ours.
That said, I’m not sure what happens this weekend, when the St. Onges decide what to have with Dad’s Saturday morning pancakes.
Maybe we bow to the reality that science offers us the most definitive snapshot we can have of things. This week, that snapshot affirmed that we should consider some different menu items on occasion.
Like maybe just a nice plate of eggs. Last we heard, scientists say those aren’t so bad for us anymore.