It's been a bad week for living, apparently, as scientists the world over conspired to ruin more stuff for us by finding out how they might give us cancer.
Today, horror of horrors, Iranian scientists discovered that drinking hot tea gives you oesophageal cancer. After helpfully explaining that oesophageal means "food tube" (although in this case "drink tube" might be more appropriate as a lowest common denominator term), the article goes on to describe how drinking tea at temperatures of 70 degrees or higher can damage the lining of the throat and cause an eight fold increase in cancer risk.
Initially this seemed like horrifying news, given that the entire British way of life revolves around tea (receivership of Whittard's aside). However, there was s light at the end of the tunnel. The research also showed that putting milk in your tea lowered the temperature to below 60C, a temperature at which the life-threatening consumables pipe injuries did not occur.
Finally! Lovers of milky tea are vindicated! For years, herbal and fruit tea fanboys have chided us for our so-called unhealthy lifestyle choice. Well, now I don't care if your tea is decaffienated or doesn't have any measurable calories...my drink of choice doesn't give you cancer!
The article also quoted some handy health advice for the concerned:
Dr Whiteman advised tea-drinkers to simply wait a few minutes for their brew to cool from "scalding" to "tolerable".
The question that springs immediately to mind is who actually enjoys drinking "scalding" hot tea? Wikipedia defines a scald as: a type of burn injury caused by hot liquids or gases. So in theory the only people really at risk here are black tea drinkers with a penchant for autoerotic masochism. And they deserve everything they get, quite frankly.
The health scare news doesn't end there. On Tuesday, it was revealed that eating red meat makes you more likely to die. Dang, tea and red meat are two of my favourite things. Way to try to ruin my week, science.
Of course, this wasn't particularly new information, just glancing at the related news items shows they bring out the old chestnut of red meat danger at least once a year:
But this year, it wasn't just cancer. Oh, no. It was much, much worse. The second paragraph of this article of meaty horrors read:
They found big meat eaters had a raised risk of death from all causes over a 10-year period.
All causes? That's terrifying. There're some pretty nasty causes of death out there, ones that hurt...a lot. If there'd be an equal chance of any of them happening to me, I'm not sure I feel comfortable eating meat any more. But then again, it is really tasty.
I'm going to be watching my back everywhere I go now, just in case my love of red meat has made me some kind of runaway truck magnet, or there's a sociopathic vegan on a mission from the Goddess to punish all us carnivores. Now that would make a good movie.