Processed meat and health link – a red herring?

TimLangNotwithstanding the intended pun, there is one aspect of this debate I had not thought about. So, last Thursday, we witnessed the publication of a Europe-wide survey highlighting the dangers of processed meat. In fact, we should not eat more than 20g per day, it seems. But Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University London, noted on The Today Programme on Radio Four (7 March), that processed food is a direct consequence of the production of fresh meat, or at least the over production of beef, lamb, pork and indeed, chicken. The industry is so ‘efficient’ that it processes the less prime pieces to maximise the value of any animal carcass. The consequence of this, however, is the ubiquity of processed food, and its relative cheapness.

The debate on the Today Programme can be heard here: Lang on Today

For anyone interested in the work of Tim Lang, The Guardian newspaper offers the following: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2007/mar/25/foodanddrink.features5; his university profile can be found here: http://www.city.ac.uk/arts-social-sciences/academic-staff-profiles/professor-tim-lang

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