“If loving you is wrong, I don’t wanna be right”

Recent report citing cancer dangers of certain meats may bring school menu changes

Special

Tiana Deeds, Editor

If you take a look at the school’s breakfast and lunch menus you’re likely to see meals consisting of processed meat.

How would you feel if someone told you the processed meat you consume almost daily in your school’s cafeteria could be causing cancer? It’s frightening, right?

The World Health Organization has reported that eating processed meats can cause cancer, and unprocessed red meats are potentially carcinogenic.

Processed meats refer to any meats that have been treated in any way to preserve or flavor them.

The processing of meat can include salting, curing, fermenting, and smoking. Red meat includes beef, pork, lamb, and goat.

They are usually manufactured with a carcinogenic ingredient known as sodium nitrite.WHO reported that data from 10 studies estimated that every 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent.

With this being known, some may ask if healthier options should be provided for school meals?

Kelly Schlein, the director of  Richmond County’s School Nutrition Program, said that she is looking into the World Health Organization report and says that from what she has read it is only certain types of meats that contribute to the cancer risk.

WHO reported that data from 10 studies estimated that every 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent.”

She also included that the school system doesn’t use those particular types of meats.

Asked if the WHO report would lead to any changes in the school district’s menus, Schlein said, “Yes, depending on what I find.”

Schlein also mentioned some changes that are already being considered.

“We’re looking into going into more fresh meat cooking,” she said, adding that a redesigned breakfast menu may go into effect in the spring.

The school nutrition program directors and coordinators are also looking into vegetarian options, including installing salad bars at schools.