What’s the truth behind the headlines? Can we eat bacon or not? Today the WHO issued a news release announcing ‘the consumption of red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A), based on limited evidence that the consumption of red meat causes [colorectal in the main] cancer in humans…’
When we talk about nitrate in terms of food, it’s the salt potassium nitrate (saltpetre or saltpeter) we are referring to; potassium nitrate is commonly used to cure ham, bacon, sausages and salami. This stops the highly toxic Clostridium botulinum (the bacterium that can cause the rare but deadly botulism) and other nasties from developing.