End carcinogenic foods at Relay for Life cancer fundraisers
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The actionable letter that was written to the Canadian Cancer Society's head office, in Toronto, calling for the removal of carcinogenic foods from the provided dinners at Relay for Life fundraising events:
To whom it may concern,
(Introduction removed for personal safety). I am writing to you today, for a call to action against serving processed meat products at Relay for Life fundraising events.
Studies over the past decades have shown resounding evidence toward the correlation between red, and processed meats, and various forms of cancer. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer officially classified processed meat as Group 1- “carcinogenic to humans”, listing stomach, colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate as the top cancer sites. In fact, the Canadian Cancer Society’s “It’s My Life” interactive prevention tool lists a 17% and 18% increase in colorectal cancer in individuals with a diet high in red and processed meat respectively.
For the past 3 years that I have participated in Relay for Life, there has been an arrant lack of information, advocacy, and/or provision of healthy food. Foods such as antioxidant-rich, cancer-fighting fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, legumes, etc. Despite nutrition being arguably the most important factor in cancer growth and development, the Society’s annual Relay for Life fundraiser continues to provide these carcinogens, in the form of hamburgers and hotdogs, to cancer victims, survivors, and supporters.
What I hope for, in writing this letter, is a re-evaluation of the meals at the annual Relay for Life fundraising events, along with providing evidence-based information on the risks associated with red, and processed meat. I strongly believe that consumers should be informed about what they are eating, and by making a small change to provide healthy, cancer-fighting foods such as plant-based burgers, the impact on the participants, the Society, and the general message would be immense.
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