Mental Floss

Bacon is bad for you

Ransom Riggs

You schizophrenic scientists ... make up your minds! One week researchers are releasing thousand-hour studies to determine the perfect level of crunchy/crispiness in bacon -- for which there is a formula, blogged about here -- and the next week, a different batch of scientists (these ones from Columbia University) tell us that bacon is not just bad for your heart, your waistline and quite possibly your complexion -- we knew that -- but now your lungs, too.

That's right -- the nitrites used as preservatives, color-enhancers and anti-bacterial agents in bacon can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in people who eat it regularly. (What's regularly? About every other morning.) COPD, in turn, can morph into a host of nasty respiratory diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In an interesting and rare socio-economic aside, the researchers noted that while people who eat bacon every other morning may be more likely to smoke, drink and have lower intakes of important vitamins and minerals (in other words, be poor), a crappy diet alone would have little effect on lung function. So, sorry guys ... the crunch stops here. (Pictured above: a self-portrait by Francis Bacon, because we're getting tired of posting pictures of actual bacon.)