According to Cancer Research UK – if no one ate processed or red meat in Britain there would be 8,800 fewer cases of cancer.
(That is four times the number of people killed annually on Britain’s roads.)
The news felt especially shocking because both ham and bacon are quintessentially British foods.
Nearly a quarter of the adult population in Britain eats a ham sandwich for lunch on any given day – according to data from 2012 gathered by researchers Luke Yates and Alan Warde.
To many consumers bacon is not just a food – it is a repository of childhood memories – a totem of home.
Surveys indicate that the smell of frying bacon is one of our favourite scents in the UK – along with cut grass and fresh bread.
To be told that bacon had given millions of people cancer was a bit like finding out your granny had been secretly sprinkling arsenic on your morning toast.