Faced with the risk of developing cancer, Europeans are not all equal. While the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which depends directly on the Health Organization (WHO), on Monday, October 26, classified red meat – of which pork is one, according to him – among foods “probably carcinogenic”the latest data available on the consumption habits of Europeans in this area reveal a profound disparity in situations.
The figures used here come from the National Establishment for Agricultural and Seafood Products (PDF document), which depends on the Ministry of Agriculture. They specify the average quantity of sheep, beef and pork consumed per capita in 2014, in kilogram carcass equivalent (kgec). This expression indicates that the measured weight takes into account inedible parts, such as bones or tendons. Processed meat, such as charcuterie, considered by the WHO to be “carcinogenic to humans”is also included in these data.
The Danes thus win the prize for the biggest consumers of meat considered to be at risk by the WHO. Last year, they consumed an average of 82.8 kgec of red meat, including a large proportion of pork (60.5 kgec). With 58.9 kgec consumed per capita last year, France is in the first third of the countries most fond of red meat, with a more balanced distribution between beef and pork (respectively 23.4 kgec and 32. 5 kgec).
In France, as in the rest of Europe, the trend is however downward. The peak was reached in 1998: each French person then consumed 94 kgec of meat (including poultry), against 86 kgec in 2014, reports The world. A decline which is explained by the price of food, but also by a concern for animal welfare and by food scandals such as that of horse meat, explains the evening daily.
This decline in meat consumption is reassuring, after the alarming report drawn up by the WHO. According to data from a dozen studies published on Monday, cConsuming 50 grams of processed meat a day increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. The daily consumption of 100 grams of red meat could increase this risk by 17%, but the causal link has not been established with certainty.