Studies have shown that certain foods are influencing the development of cancer. Vegetarianism may be the safest route to take, but it might conflict with the commandment for individuals to eat the meat of the land.

Scientists have concluded that processed and red meats are leading to colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancer, according to the article, “World Health Organization Says Processed Meat Causes Cancer” on the American Cancer Society website.

Processed meat contains carcinogens, which force cells to divide at a faster rate than normal, causing mutations in DNA replication, according to the website.

“The American Cancer Society’s estimates for the number of colorectal cancer cases in the United States for 2016 are: 95, 270 new cases of colon cancer; 39, 220 new cases of rectal cancer,” according to American Cancer Society.

Dorothy Barnett, a freshman studying early childhood education, said it would be wise to cut back on processed foods and meat to prevent diseases.

“We should be limiting red and processed meat to help reduce colon cancer risk, and possibly, the risk of other cancers,” said Colleen Doyle, American Cancer Society managing director of nutrition and physical activity, according to the website. “The occasional hot dog or hamburger is okay.”

Barnett said individuals need to respect their bodies.

“I think the main concept here is that there should be moderation in the things we put into our bodies,” Barnett said.

Andrea Ashford, a sophomore studying horticulture, said it pleases God for His children to be cautious of their eating habits.

“Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly,” according to the Doctrine and Covenants section 89  verse 12.

Ashford said the Word of Wisdom is in harmony with vegetarianism.

“God is telling us in these verses that the flesh of animals have been ordained for our use, but only when they are used sparingly, which means seldomly, frugally, or not abundantly,” Ashford said.

There are disadvantages and advantages to maintaining a vegetarian diet or a regular diet, according to World Health Organization website. They claim meat has its health benefits.

“That type of comparison is difficult because these groups can be different in other ways besides their consumption of meat,” according to the website.

Maddie Hill, a student studying psychology, said she does her best to find supplements so that she does not have to ingest dangerous toxins as part of her daily diet. Hill said she does her best not to eat processed food.

“We don’t think about where our food comes from very often, but I think that’s super important,” Hill said.

Barnett said processed foods often act as an illusion making people think they are healthy.

“Processed foods are very unhealthy,” Barnett said. “These types of food are making a lot of Americans unhealthy, sick and fat. It can cause many diseases like coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer–four of the top ten chronic diseases that kill most of us.”

Hill said people should make diet choices through personal study and prayer to find the best fit for each individual.

“I think that first and foremost, we take care of our bodies with the spirit of the law in mind,” Hill said. “It is very rare that doing that will conflict with following the commandments.”

Barnett said the Word of Wisdom is there to help individuals maintain a balanced lifestyle.

“I listen to my body and keep my individual health in mind,” Hill said. “In doing so, I keep the spirit of the Word of Wisdom in mind, and my health is good and my mind is clear.”

Hill said people should follow the Word of Wisdom in order to have clarity of thought and good health.

“We are so blessed to have the Word of Wisdom,” Ashford said.