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article imageVideo: Pearl Cantrell, 105, says bacon is the key to longevity

By JohnThomas Didymus     May 8, 2013 in Odd News
A 105-year-old Texas woman, Pearl Cantrell, says the secret to longevity is bacon. Her 81-year-old son Billy Allen shares his mother's secret: She begins her day with a cup of "coffee pudding," that is, coffee with milk, sugar, biscuit and bacon.
Cantrell, a resident of Richland Springs, Texas, shared the secret to longevity with NBC affiliate KRBC. She said: "I love bacon. I could eat it for every meal, and I do!... "I don't feel as old as I am, that's all I can say."
According to her son Bill: "Every day she gets up... she said Bill ‘I’m ready for my bacon... she eats two pieces nearly every morning."
The old lady recommends the same health regimen for all who wish to match her feat of longevity.
Bill also reveals other secrets of his mother's long life. She worked in the fields for many years.
Her husband died in the 1940s leaving her to raise her children on her won. Allen is one of Cantrell's four surviving children who take care of their mother, now a great-grandmother.
Bill explains that his mother picked cotton in the fields when she was younger. She also loves dancing. Cantrell recently celebrated her 105th birthday with a three-day party with over 200 guests. She waltzed on her birthday. reports that when the famous meat company Oscar Meyer learned of Cantrell's confession of love for bacon, it sent free packages of bacon and hot dogs on her birthday and let her ride the Wienermobile through town.
An Oscar Meyer spokesperson said: "We've seen a lot of stories on the road, but nothing quite like this one, so we're excited to be here. We know she's an inspiration. Pearl is an inspiration for the community, and her friends and family. So we had to make a special stop here for her today."
Cantrell was delighted to receive the gift. She said: "I will never, ever forget this, for the rest of my life."
Bill said his mother enjoyed the ride: "She went all through town and up by the school house."
ABC News notes that although Cantrell swears that a daily dose of bacon promotes healthy living, doctors think otherwise. A recent study by the Harvard School of Public health found that people who ate a daily serving of processed meat had a 20 percent increased risk of death.
According to Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public health and co-autor of the study “It’s not really surprising because red meat consumption has been linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. What is surprising is the magnitude of risk associated with very moderate red meat consumption.”
The Huffington Post also reports a University of Zurich study published in BMC Medicine that found that eating too much bacon increases the risk of bowel cancer.
Dr. Hu and his academic colleagues should try convincing Cantrell after a century and five years of life.
Bill said: "She’s slowed down a bit... but she’s getting to be a handful."
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