Yesterday’s published study on the association between consumption of red and processed meat and an increased risk of death is timely, according to Barry M. Popkin, PhD, a nutrition professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC).

“There is a global tsunami brewing; namely, we are seeing the confluence of growing constraints on water, energy and food supplies combined with the rapid shift toward greater consumption of all animal source foods,” he wrote in an accompanying editorial in Monday’s issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

“Not only are components of the animal-source foods linked to cancer, as shown by Sinha et al, but many other researchers have linked saturated fat and these same foods to higher rates of cardiovascular disease,” writes Dr. Popkin, who also serves as director of the UNC Interdisciplinary Obesity Center. “What do we do?”

Because there are health benefits to eating some red and white—but not processed—meats, a complete shift to vegan or vegetarian diets is not required, he concludes.

“Rather, the need is for a major reduction in total meat intake, an even larger reduction in processed meat and other highly processed and salted animal source food products, and a reduction in total saturated fat,” he says.

Here at OrganicAuthority, we hope you shop for organic meat, poultry and other foods.