Is Supermarket Meat Killing You? Cancer and E250

How Fresh Is Fresh?

According to the Daily Mail: 

‘Fresh’ can be used to describe food that has been heat-treated, part frozen, industrially or chemically altered and stored for weeks on end…[Including} New Zealand lamb that’s been dead for nearly two months.

Pretty disgusting right?


Not only meat may be injected with chemicals.

Pretty in Pink?

That pretty pink colour of your fine slice of ham isn’t natural. It’s created by sodium nitrite (E250) which is injected into your processed meat. Supermarket meat is so old its natural colour is dull grey. Big chains have to add flavour and colouring to make your old meat ‘look’ edible again. After all, who wants to eat meat that looks like it’s well over a month old?

The only problem is that sodium nitrite is linked to Colorectal Cancer (CRC), or bowel cancer – the 2nd most deadly cancer in developed countries.

Nitrites are used to improve the flavour and aroma of the meat as well as give it the red-pinkish look of fresh meat we all look for. If it was not for E250 your meat would be the grey colour it should be. It is also claimed to prevent the risk of bacterial contamination of the cured meat including Botulism.

The UK Food Guide states the use of Nitrite (E250) as:

Sodium Nitrite (NaNO2) is a food additive that gives cured meats, such as ham, bacon, hot dogs, frankfurters, smoked fish and corned beef, their characteristic red colour and flavour, it inhibits the growth of bacterial spores that cause Botulism…


Convincing Associations With Cancer

Oncology News states that: “Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in men and the second in women worldwide. More than half of the cases occur in more developed countries. The consumption of red meat (beef, pork, lamb, veal, mutton) is high in developed countries and accumulated evidence until today demonstrated a convincing association between the intake of red meat and especially processed meat and CRC risk”. Source:

Call For EU Ban – Rejected

In January 2019 the UK government called on the EU to end the use of nitrogen salts (E249, E250, E251, E252) in processed meats (UECBV Ref: 14772) France also called for a ban due to the ‘known risks’ of this additive.

Although the preservative E250 is already banned in Norway, Sweden, Canada and, parts of Germany the European Commission shied away from an EU ban and colorectal cancer still retains its position as the 2nd most deadly cancer in ‘developed’ countries (coincidentally, the countries where the most processed foods are consumed).

One of the reasons for the continued use of Sodium Nitrite in the EU was that shoppers will not want to buy the more natural ‘greyish coloured meat’ – Or was it because of big company financing and money?

I’d like to buy naturally pink ‘fresh meat but that’s not going to happen any time soon. In the meantime, watch out for E249, E250, E251 and E252 and stop dying for your food.

Clever Warning

We suggest a ‘Clever notice’ should be added to processed meat similar to those on cigarette packets:

e250 warning

Warning: Consuming this meat will cause cancer!

More Cleverness

The Meaning of Life – How To Find Yours

Further reading:

Relief for organic meat industry as EC calls off nitrate ban

Daily Mail: Just how fresh is fresh food at the supermarket? Read this investigation (External Link)

19 Reasons Why You Might Want to Stop Buying Supermarket Meat (External Link)

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Posted in Life, Sale of goods.