May 25, 2013
Written by Joe Pisani
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 00:00
A British study recently concluded that two slices of bacon can increase your risk of pancreatic cancer by 20%.
I didn’t check the commodities market, but I’m sure pork bellies didn’t do well that day, and a lot of hog farmers considered changing their careers and going into healthcare or opening package stores. Thank goodness they didn’t study the effect of pepperoni.
The bacon industry probably hired some high-powered, high-priced PR firm to put a positive spin on the news, not to mention a battalion of computer geeks to make sure stories about bacon and cancer never show up on Google searches. It’s a constant battle for the minds and hearts, souls and stomachs of Americans.
But it makes you wonder — and I’m not working for Hormel or Oscar Mayer — about the fallout from scientific studies that are discredited a few months later.
Vitamin E was going to help you stay young forever by making your skin as durable as rubber and as smooth as Teflon. And green tea was supposed to prevent cancer, wrinkles, Alzheimer’s and black toe, but now it’s just something you drink while you’re eating sushi and getting your daily dose of mercury.
To improve my memory, I started drinking green tea along with white tea, yellow tea and black tea, but I still can’t remember the name of the guy who rides the train with me whenever I run into him at the dump.
“Hey, Frank ... Paul? ... Mel? ... Stan! How about those Mets! I mean Yankees!”
Every time I read a new study, I change my habits — except my spending habits — but lately I’m skeptical of so-called scientific research.
Most Americans are reluctant to reform their ways even in the face of irrefutable evidence that something is bad. Hundreds of studies have concluded smoking causes cancer, and TV violence creates homicidal maniacs by the fourth grade. And yet nothing changes.
You have to wonder why researchers keep conducting the same studies, when we could be putting that grant money to better use, such as saving the Social Security System or lowering gas prices.
Just when I started to worry about life without a bacon double cheeseburger or a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, I read that some Canadian scientists are on the verge of creating the first lab-grown hamburgers. Hold the onions.
They will do this, I suspect, by scraping the tasty residue off the bottom of the office refrigerator and then putting it in a Petri dish, cultivated by some colon cleanser, and setting the dish in a cool, dark place like the coat closet, where it can multiply and grow vocal chords.
(I developed an appreciation for these scientific techniques in high school biology class while I was dissecting pigs, which, I imagine, later got sent to the local bacon factory.)
Even though I gave up smoking and television, I’m not ready to give up bacon bits or BLTs. I know one thing, though. I’ll never eat a hamburger that came from a Petri dish, with or without bacon.
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