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Why red meat can cause cancer and how to stop it

You may have heard reports from diet and health organisations, all saying that red meat can lead to an increased risk of bowel and colon cancer. To clarify, ‘red meat’ includes beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse and goat – meat Australians consume on a daily basis.

As you can imagine, there were many emotional reactions to this startling news – and rightly so. An average Australian consumes 111kg of red meat per year. We don’t just love meat, it’s a part of our culture! We’re patriotic with a lamb chop on Australia day, we cook a brilliant roast pork for Christmas, and don’t forget the heart-warming Sunday roast every week. So it’s no wonder Australians were left in a panic at the news that any one of these favourite meals was doing us harm.

But what wasn’t discussed in these media reports was why. Why now, is red meat seen as the enemy? Why are we being told that our risk of bowel and colon cancer increases with the more red meat we consume?

Turns out the answer has been right under our nose for years.

It’s our continued, excessive use of chemical fertiliser.

Much like smoking’s transition from ‘trendy, popular habit’ to ‘deadly cancer sticks’ in the 60s, we are only now seeing the effects that  the prolonged use of chemical fertiliser is having on our environment and the people and animals living in it.

The change in smoking can be compared to our use of chemical fertilisers

Red meat causes cancer because we over-use chemical fertiliser.

We have contaminated our soil to such a degree that the plants have now absorbed these chemicals into their systems. Animals only need to eat grass, but when we start mucking around with that grass with chemicals, the residue shows up in the animal’s meat and milk.

This isn’t speculation.

We’re seeing instances globally of animals contaminated by improper use of chemical fertiliser. As mentioned in our article about the long and short term effects of fertiliser, the New Zealand farming industry is now under investigation for exporting milk to China containing an amount of heavy metals that exceeded the standard set by the World Health Organisation. How does this happen? Contamination of cow’s milk due to the over-fertilisation of the grass they eat.

The over-use of fertiliser can be harmfil

All this points to one thing. If we are ever going to be able to fearlessly eat red meat again, farmers need to adopt a more sustainable approach to improving the quality of their grass and crops.

Specifically, nutrient imbalances in soil need to be corrected, not flooded with chemicals.

The challenge is that many farmers have a number of misconceptions around sustainable farming, which are actively promoted by fertiliser salesmen. But with the billion dollar fertiliser industry at risk, you can be sure all they tell you isn’t true!

In my next article, I’ll review some of these common misconceptions and drill down into the truth of the matter.

In the meantime, the future and credibility of the agriculture industry rests on the shoulders of farmers, to make this important change as soon as possible. More importantly, the safety of you and your family depends on it.

We either help solve the problem, or contribute to it. Which side of the fence do you sit on?


Take the first step towards sustainable soil supplementation, with a free soil test to diagnose your soil health by calling Max on 0408 039 297 to organise your test now.

Max Hansford has over 30 years of practical experience helping agricultural and livestock farms revive their soil fertility. As the founder and director of TNN Industries, Max sources the highest quality inputs to build sustainable farm management programs, along with his trusted team of consultants.


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