There is no direct link too eating red meat and getting cancer. Regardless of what you may hear on the news, eating bacon is not as bad for you as smoking.
Here are some very good references with more detailed information than I can provide on what is wrong with the current information being propagated by the media.
Chris Kresser breaks down the latest World Health Organization report and how messed up it is.
“The association between red meat and cancer is not strong (i.e. comparing bacon to cigarettes is absurd), and in fact is often not distinguishable from chance.” (ref. 6)
Mark Sisson breaks it down a little more and puts it into context with real life.
“There’s also the fact that red meat suffers from an “unhealthy user bias.” Most heavy red meat eaters aren’t sprinting, lifting weights, and going for walks every day. They’re eating their meat between buns, and with fries. They’re getting their red meat from Burger King or the 7-11. They can try to control for most of these associations, but it’s impossible to account for everything.” (ref. 7)
In this video, Nina Teicholz walks you through the report and talks about the science behind the “findings’ compared to facts.
There are some relationships that have been identified that have to do with the quality of the meat, its source, and how it’s cooked.
Rules of thumb:
- Processed meats are less healthy than plain old meat. (Duh?)
- Grass fed, pasture raised meats are better than grain fed, pen raised meats. (No surprise there.)
- The less you cook the meat the better. Most importantly, burnt meat may increase your risk.
Generally, there is no proof that I can find that red meat causes cancer. I personally will enjoy my daily steak, hamburger, and bacon without worrying about it.