In the last year or so, the scientific community has come down pretty hard on meat. In October, the World Health Organization classified processed meats as carcinogens on the same order as cigarettes. Then, about a month later, a study in the journal cancer found that barbecued and pan-fried meats led to a higher risk of kidney cancer. Earlier in 2015, a study had found well-done steak can cause cancer, too. Other studies found that not eating meat would lead to a longer life.
In light of all the bad news, one might think people would at least moderate their intake of meats like bacon and sausage—the pan-fried and the processed—and in February, a report found that a third of Brits had indeed reduced their meat intake in the last year. But now, it seems like the British have had enough of the whole "healthy eating" thing when it comes to their morning meal, and are back to shoving bacon and sausage in their faces like crazy.
The traditional British fry up with eggs, beans, sausage, tomato, and bacon has actually seen a boost in popularity in the past year. According to The Telegraph, which cites data from Kantar Worldpanel, consumption of bacon for breakfast was up 14.3 percent, meaning that bacon was a part of 87 million more breakfasts than the year before. Sausage consumption at breakfast was up 6 percent, too, and morning egg consumption was up over 18 percent over the past two years.
But there's a caveat—overall, bacon and sausage sales are down by 2.1 percent and 2.9 percent respectively. The Telegraph reports that the breakfast bacon boom is in part due to an increase in the number of people going out for breakfast in general. One Kantar analyst told The Telegraph that this new brunch and breakfast culture has also led people to cook more elaborate breakfasts at home, going for the bacon with all the trimmings.
The bacon boom in part comes at the expense of breakfast cereals, which have taken a hit as consumers have shifted away from sugary foods with an impending sugar tax looming. Cereal sales are down by about 2.4 percent in the last year, though they are still the most popular breakfast option.
But if the Brits are avoiding cereal out of concerns over sugar intake, they're seemingly willing to overlook all of that cancer talk that the WHO and other scientists are so worked up about.
Early in the morning, who cares if you eat a bunch of bacon and sausage? You've got the rest of the day to make healthy eating decisions… or not.