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Oct 2013 rewrite
I have undertaken a major rewrite of this article, to bring it in line with good articles on WP. All the information about local ham habits has gone (it isn't encyclopaedic), and information about individual hams and their process should be in their own article (with the exception of a few illustrative examples). I am still looking to expand the new sections on history and process, which really form the backbone of what an article on ham should be about.
Hopefully you can see that this article is now far more useful, and it makes the topic clearer to the reader. Part of that has been to treat this article as being solely about the processed meat, rather than the cut of meat - the information for which can now be seen at Gammon (meat) (seemed the easiest title to avoid ambiguity, following the BrE naming), as they are effectively two separate, but linked, topics, and 95%+ of the article was about the processed version.
My intention is to bring this to at least Good Article status in the near future (which would be great, because its eligible for a WP:MILLION) so any help gratefully received on expanding the content (especially with information and citations around the process for wet cure and smoking).
Under 'Dry curing' there is mention that increasing amounts of salt and NO2/NO3 reduces shrinkage, and there is a citation.
The citation doesn't support the claim: it says (inter alia) "It was shown that: (a) the curing ingredients NaNO2 NaNO3 sodium ascorbate and sodium erythorbate have little effect on meat shrinkage; (b) addition of 1 - 3% salt reduced the meat shrink from 34 to 14%, followed by a plateau at 3-5% salt additions and a continuous increase of the meat shrink with the increase of the salt addition from 5 to 10%". That is, nitrates and nitrites have no effect on shrinkage, and salt below 3% reduces shrinkage. Salt between 3% and 10% increases shrinkage. Accordingly I am deleting that particular claim (but leaving the cite). MrDemeanour (talk) 08:45, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
The link at footnote 29 is broken: http://www.dietandcancerreport.org/downloads/Second_Expert_Report.pdf
Wikipedia defines red meat as "meat which is red when raw". Does this definition include processed pork (which is white when raw)? I'm asking because the paragraph under the section Health Risks puzzles me. Is the health risk coming from eating red meat (beef, venison) or from eating processed pork or both?
I dug more into this. The report is now split into several documents. The main link is
The recommendations are in http://www.dietandcancerreport.org/cancer_resource_center/downloads/chapters/chapter_12.pdf
The report states that "the evidence that red meat, and particularly processed meat, is a cause of colorectal cancer is stronger now than it was in the mid-1990s" (p 382). While the "Panel emphasises that this overall recommendation is not for diets containing no meat", it recommends to eat "very little if any" of processed meat. This "includes ham, bacon, pastrami, and salami. Sausages, frankfurters, and ‘hot dogs’, to which nitrates/nitrites or other preservatives are added, are also processed meats."
Furthermore the panel recommends to limit red meat to 500 g (18 oz) per week. This is the cooked weight being equivalent to 700–750 g raw weight. Still, I can't figure out whether (unprocessed) pork is part of red meat or not. The report lists poultry and fish as alternatives.