Process the risks of processed foods

October 10, 2017 — by Jeffrey Xu

If asked about carcinogens, many people would automatically think of cigarettes, nuclear waste and dangerous pollutants such as carbon emissions from vehicles.

However, carcinogens are much more prevalent than commonly believed — they lurk in our diets and are created by various chemicals embedded in our food.

In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that all processed meats contain dangerous levels of carcinogens in 2015, and yet, according to alltech.com, the U.S. still consumes more than 5 billion pounds of it annually.

Even more alarming is that even though multiple credible sources have exposed the food industry for manufacturing foods that are clearly hazardous for consumption, many people are either unaware of this pressing concern or just flat out ignore the evidence.

But those who choose to ignore these realities will not prevent consequences from arising. People must start making proactive choices when considering their options for food.

The best way to avoid health risks is to stay educated and heed the warnings of medical professionals and organizations like the WHO.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has also classified all forms of processed meat as carcinogens. According to cancer.org, more than 800 studies from 10 countries around the world found that eating 50 grams of processed meat every day increased the risk of colorectal cancer by more than 18 percent.

In addition, the high levels of salt, sugar and fat in processed food as well as the countless synthetic ingredients that are added to make food more appealing and extend its shelf life may lead to an array of potential health problems.

Even worse, some processed foods like canned soup and carbonated soda can lead to serious health problems, such as cancer, birth defects, obesity and more.

The evidence is clear. People must take their health seriously, starting from what they choose to put into their bodies. Teens like us also need to be more aware of how their eating habits can impact our futures.  

That’s not to say that everyone should go completely vegan or cut out all junk food. Instead, people should learn to eat processed food in moderation. They just have to recognize the hidden dangers in their food and exercise a little bit of self-control.