In San Francisco's North Beach there is no shortage of cured meats. Earlier Monday, ABC7 News found lots of bacon lovers in Haight Ashbury. The good news for them is that doctors say the report doesn't mean you have to ban bacon from your diet.
From its sizzle to its smell, it seems many relationships have unfolded over bacon
"It's a versatile ingredient," said Bacon Bacon owner Jim Angelus. "It's breakfast, it's lunch, it's dinner."
And at Bacon Bacon, the star ingredient is in just about every dish, including the almost veggie sandwich.
"It's not quite vegetarian," said Angelus.
Now The World Health Organization is linking bacon and other processed meats like sausage to cancer. The group says processed meats are carcinogenic on the basis of evidence for colorectal cancer and higher instances of stomach cancer.
"So basically everything I love is pinged," said bacon eater Chris Boulanger.
Boulanger quit smoking, but says he's not ready to quit processed meats.
"I'm not quite sure I'm ready to give up the bacon sandwiches and breakfast burrito," he said.
He might not have to, according to ABC News Chief Health & Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser.
"It's not that you can't have any," he said. "But you want to reduce the amount of processed meat that you're taking in. Go with broiling, with baking, those things will not release some of the chemicals.
The World Health Organization has also come out and said red meat carries a slightly lower risk but is probably still carcinogenic.
"I think there's always going to be a report that finds something in our lifestyles that aren't healthy and then we just make our own decisions," said Angelus.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, the #cancer agency of WHO, classified processed meat as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1)— WHO (@WHO) October 26, 2015
The International Agency for Research on #Cancer also classified consumption of red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A)— WHO (@WHO) October 26, 2015
Association between red meat & #cancer was observed mainly for colorectal cancer, but assoc were also seen for pancreatic & prostate cancer— WHO (@WHO) October 26, 2015
Experts concluded that each 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal #cancer by 18%— WHO (@WHO) October 26, 2015
Red meat refers to all types of mammalian muscle meat, such as beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse & goat https://t.co/Cg72nm9elq— WHO (@WHO) October 26, 2015
Processed meat refers to meat that has been salted, cured, fermented, smoked, other processes to enhance flavour or improve preservation— WHO (@WHO) October 26, 2015
Examples of processed meat: hot dogs (frankfurters), ham, sausages, corned beef, biltong or beef jerky, canned meat https://t.co/Cg72nm9elq— WHO (@WHO) October 26, 2015
High-temperature meat cooking methods generate compounds that may contribute to carcinogenic risk - their role is not yet fully understood— WHO (@WHO) October 26, 2015
Q: Is eating raw meat safer? A: There were no data to address this question in relation to #cancer risk— WHO (@WHO) October 26, 2015