Break up with bacon

Dear Editor:

I was invited to and attended a “Community Council Breakfast” on Monday, March 18, sponsored by and held at Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital. Its purpose was to update those attending on health care from a legislative angle, both state and federal. Being the health and nutrition-conscious person that I am, I was shocked to find bacon and eggs — both items known to be unhealthy — being served at this breakfast.

Just last week, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study that found the cholesterol in eggs raises the risk for heart disease and death.

And as sure as cigarettes cause lung cancer, it is now known through many double-blind, placebo controlled published studies that bacon is a cause of colorectal cancer. Further, in October 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared all processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs, sausage, bologna, pepperoni and ham to be Group 1 carcinogens; known cancer causers. Other items in that same Group 1 listing are formaldehyde, diesel exhaust, tobacco smoke and smokeless tobacco and plutonium, to name just a few. Red meat is a Group 2 carcinogen; probable cancer causing. Every 50-gram serving of these meats — approximately two of those bacon slices served at the Northern Light breakfast or one hot dog — increases the odds of developing cancer by 18 percent.

In Washington, D.C., plant-based physicians led by Dr. Neal Barnard have launched a campaign urging people to “Break Up With Bacon” to prevent colon cancer.

The initiative, which was sponsored by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a nonprofit with 12,000 doctor members nationwide, is the same type of initiative needed at Northern Light. After all, as Dr. Barnard said, “bacon can bite you back. It’s the new tobacco.”

Yet, with this information widely known and accepted, Northern Light Health continues to offer these foods in their cafeterias and patient rooms. That isn’t health care. It’s sick care.

If Northern Light Health is truly interested and vested in everyone’s health, they will omit these foods immediately.

Marc S. Blanchette


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