Cancer-causing processed meats? No worries.

By Evan Ceretti

Nov. 2, 2015

A Charlottetown restaurant owner says he doesn’t think the World Health Organization’s recent classification of processed meats as carcinogens will affect business.

John Pritchard, owner of Terre Rouge, hadn’t even heard of the big news story at the time of the interview. What he did know, though, was that Oct. 29 was his strongest day of sales this year.

Pritchard said all his meat is purchased locally. He said he does all of his own curing right there at Terre Rouge.

“Historically… none of this is new. [Curing meats] is thousands of years old.”

Pritchard brought up a salmon scare that happened a few years ago. He said it came and then went away.

But, he said evidence that processed meats cause cancer cannot be ignored.

“You have to listen to it.”

He doesn’t deny the evidence, and agrees there are some connections, but he said there are other products that are widely consumed that have negative health consequences, such as pop.

Pritchard serves numerous kinds of processed meats at Terre Rouge, such as sausages, salamis and pancetta.

He said the servings of processed meats sold at the restaurant are rather small. About 30 grams would be served on one of their meal boards.

“All things in moderation.”

Pritchard said he hopes the news won’t affect business, but he doesn’t think it will. He thinks larger scale companies might be affected.

He said industrial processed meats are more dangerous, and often contain many dangerous chemicals, in large amounts. Industrial companies are over processing the food in order to create more, he said.

Sugar and salt, in small amounts, are mainly used for his meats, he said.

Pritchard feels no hesitation in providing his products to his customers, regardless of the recent news from WHO, putting processed meats in the same category as tobacco and asbestos.

“There’s no shortage of information. People can make their own choices.”

So far, he’s received no feedback, neither in support nor opposition, of the meats sold by Terre Rouge.