Bring ‘em on.
Surely you haven’t forgotten about the World Health Organization’s recent announcement that took the world by storm: the organization classified processed meats as group 1 carcinogens alongside tobacco and arsenic. The announcement has scared many people away from their beloved bacon, ham, and sausages, but scientists in Europe are trying to develop a tasty sausage alternative that could actually reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Since many scientists are still feverishly trying to find a cure for cancer, the scientists from Lund University in Sweden are aiming to develop new preventative measures that could help people avoid the disease altogether. By creating new cancer-preventing sausages, they could also calm our newfound fears about eating them.
How are they planning to do this? It sounds too simple to be true, but the key lies in plants and berries. Essentially, these antioxidants could combine the benefits of fruits and vegetables with meat, and thus make the meat safer to consume and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
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Antioxidants would be a beneficial addition to sausage because they remove damaging waste products from your body called oxy radicals. Oxy radicals are known to damage DNA and have the potential to cause cancerous mutations.
"If this hypothesis proves to be true, it will indicate that the risk of colon cancer can be reduced by eating a balanced diet — in other words, together with meat, eat lots of vegetables and other things that contain antioxidants," researcher Eva Tornberg from Lund University said in a press release.
The researchers, funded by the European Union, have been working with four other European research institutions to produce the meat. The project truly hits home for the researchers at Lund University because colon cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in Sweden, with about 5,000 new cases annually.
Basically, the whole idea is to keep meat on the dinner table without the current health risks. Meat does have a lot of nutritional value — high levels of protein, rich in necessary minerals, and vitamin B. If scientists can discover a way to replace the risky aspects of meat with antioxidants, people might benefit more than they thought possible.
"In short, the old 'model plate' diet could once again prove to be beneficial,” says Tornberg. “Sausages prepared with antioxidants could be an option to reduce the risk of those who, despite all the advice, still do not get enough antioxidants."
For now, the super-nutritious sausages are still in the early stages of development — they still have yet to be tested on animals. Then, they’ll need to undergo testing to make sure they’re safe and beneficial for humans. But if all goes according to plan, we can look forward to devouring sausages without guilt.