Australia is the meat-eating capital of the world: Cop that, WHO!
According to the WHO we must be dying like flies. Australians in fact have one of the world's highest life expectancies. So if diet has any effect on life-expectancy, the WHO is exactly wrong. They say that red meat will rot your bum and don't go anywhere near bacon. I quote:
After thoroughly reviewing the accumulated scientific literature, a Working Group of 22 experts from 10 countries convened by the IARC Monographs Programme classified the consumption of red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A), based on limited evidence that the consumption of red meat causes cancer in humans and strong mechanistic evidence supporting a carcinogenic effect.
This association was observed mainly for colorectal cancer, but associations were also seen for pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer.
Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer"
Iconoclastic though it may be, I don't think that there is ANYTHING in a normal diet that affects life-expectancy for good or ill. And I have spent YEARS reading flaky academic studies claiming otherwise. They are all inconclusive and reflect food snobbery most of all
As residents of the world's meat-eating capital, Australians would be wise to pay more attention than most to the World Health Organisation's findings linking processed meat consumption to cancer.
Australians have finally surpassed the US to claim the title of world's most voracious meat eaters – a distinction we last held more than 30 years ago, in 1982.
Australians devoured 90.21 kilograms of meat per person in 2014, 170 grams more per person than the Americans, according to the latest figures from the Organisation of Economic Development and Co-operation and UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Our return to the top ranking is mostly due to a decade-long decline in American meat consumption. By contrast, Australia's meat consumption has been creeping upwards over the past two decades, mostly driven by an increased appetite for chicken and pork.
While red meat has traditionally taken pride of place at the centre of the Aussie dinner table, we're now eating half as much lamb as in the 1980s and two-thirds the amount of beef, but nearly 2.5 times as much chicken and twice as much pork. (Our shifting preferences can be traced to a number of economic, cultural and environmental factors.)
Different patterns of meat consumption around the world tell a story of rich and poor. Meat consumption tends to rise as income rises, until it reaches a saturation point – where average incomes keep rising but people decide they just can't eat any more meat.
Cultural preferences produce some notable exceptions to the "mo money mo meat" pattern, such as India, where religious preferences mean up to 30-40 per cent of the population are vegetarians; and Malaysia and China, where meat consumption is far higher than would be expected from each country's income.
Worldwide, chicken is now the world's favourite meat by a slim margin, having surpassed pork in 2007 – a trend mostly driven by meat preferences among the wealthy OECD nations. Chicken has been the preferred meat among OECD countries since 2000. Worldwide consumption of chicken was 13.2kg per person in 2014; pork was 12.6kg.
China and Vietnam – two of the world's fastest-rising meat-eating nations – ate the most pork of any nation in 2014, with the Chinese surpassing the Europeans to claim the No. 1 ranking only recently, in 2013.
Pork is by far the most widely-consumed meat among the EU28 countries, with Europeans eating about 31kg of pork per person in 2014, compared with 22kg of chicken.
Pork is also the preferred meat among the major emerging BRICS economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, where 16kg of pork is eaten for every 10kg of chicken.
Not to be out-eaten in the pork stakes (or steaks), Australia ranked eighth out of 43 countries for pork consumption in 2014, at 20kg of pork per person.