A new study from the British Journal of Cancer found that processed meats, including hot dogs (which, you could argue isn’t really meat at all) increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. And apparently the more you eat, the greater the risk.
I find this news terribly disappointing. For the most part, I’m a vegetarian. But my one exception (in addition to fish and shrimp) is hot dogs–especially the ones from Costco.
To put this into perspective, the risk increased by nearly 20 percent for every 50 grams of processed meat eaten per day–that’s roughly one hot dog. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that pancreatic cancer is very rare, so a “20 percent increase” might not mean much in absolute terms.
The culprit, actually, isn’t the meat at all–it’s the additives, including nitrites. Nitrites can be converted into cancer. But they aren’t all bad: nitrites increase shelf life and protect against botulism (and if we got rid of botulism, where would all those Hollywood stars get their botox?).