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The meat industry has invested £13.5 million in an attempt to create healthier bacon.
According to The World Health Organisation [WHO], processed meats like bacon are as dangerous as asbestos and smoking in terms of being a carcinogen. The organization estimates that 34,000 bowel and colon cancer deaths annually can be linked directly to diets high in processed meat.
It is the nitrates – which are used to cure bacon – that make it so unhealthy.
The new product – called Naked Bacon – is said to be nitrate free.
It has been created by British meat manufacturers Finnebrogue working with Spanish chemists.
Professor Chris Elliott, Chair of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, said: “Many forms of processed foods have come under the spotlight over recent years for their unhealthy attributes. Processed red meat in particular has been a focal point.
“Nitro containing compounds, used in the manufacture of traditional bacons, are known to cause the formation of chemicals that have negative health impacts.
“To have a bacon produced naturally, that doesn’t require such chemicals to be added or formed during processing, is a very welcome development.”
The bacon is the first to be completely free from nitrites, preservatives, E numbers, and all allergens.”
For many consumers, welfare of animals is a key concern, which will not be addressed by the bacon being nitrate-free.
According to animal rights charity PETA: “If you think that conditions for animals are better in the United States or another country than in other places around the world, think again.
“Eyewitness video footage taken by PETA, our international affiliates, and whistleblowers around the globe has proved one truth to be universal: In the meat industry, animal welfare is of little concern.”