Processed Meats and School Cafeterias

“Sixty percent of breakfasts offered at the Houston Independent School District contain processed meats, according to the Cancer Project,” reports the Houston Press, and they want that changed.

“Just as tobacco causes lung cancer, processed meats are linked to colon cancer,” said Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the Cancer Project, in a release. “With 58 research studies examining the links between processed meats and colorectal cancer, serving these products to children is no longer defensible. The federal government should be encouraging schools to serve healthful foods.”

What kind of meats do they have in mind?

Processed meat products, including ham, bacon, pastrami, salami, bologna, liverwurst, bratwurst, sausages, frankfurters, hot dogs, luncheon meats and, depending on the processing, hamburgers and minced meats, represent a broad category of meat products that are often prepared and/or preserved by curing, smoking, salting or adding chemical preservatives, such as nitrites and nitrates. A review of 58 scientific studies concluded that consuming processed meat in strongly associated with the increased risks of colorectal cancer, the fourth most common cancer in men and women.


(Another story in the HP says the health department assures us that the cafeterias are clean: “the mystery meat loaf your kid eats every week might still taste like slop, but you can rest assured it’s clean slop.”)