The Dangers of Processed Meats
Are we slowly killing the next generation with Sodium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrite?
Do you know about the dangers of these cancer causing ingredients?
Did you know that hot dogs have been scientifically linked to childhood brain tumors and leukemia?
When you purchase cured meat, do you read the ingredients on the package? Have you ever noticed Sodium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrite in the list? These dangerous chemicals are found in most processed meats and are usually added to to improve color and flavor. They are also added to prevent botulism, which by the way can be prevented with proper refrigeration and cooking! So, it’s easier and more profitable for the manufacturers to add these chemicals than to properly handle them! I don’t know about you, but I would rather purchase meats in their natural state and with an earlier expiration date. Unfortunately, I have little on control the meat market, so I have learned to adjust my diet to avoid the foods where you might find added sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite. Check your fridge or freezer now to see if you have anything with these harmful ingredients! They are most commonly found in hot dogs, cured meats such as turkey, ham, bologna, bacon, salami, pepperoni, sausages and even jerky.
There has been a lot of research, studies, and numerous articles written showing evidence of the toxic and carcinogenic effects of sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite found in foods. Despite all these studies, sodium nitrite is found in literally thousands of different menu items at fast food restaurants, school lunch programs and most dining establishments, including hospital cafeterias. The use of this ingredient is widespread and could be the reason we are seeing increasing rates of cancer in every society that consumes large quantities of processed meats. Studies show that once in the body, nitrates and nitrites promote the growth of cancers in the brain, stomach, pancreas and colon.
Sodium nitrite is especially dangerous to fetuses, infants and children. Children seem to be more affected by these chemicals which leads to numerous health and behavioral issues. These little bodies are much less capable of handling these chemicals than we adults are. Unfortunately we are seeing more and more products with food dyes, nitrates, nitrites, BHA, BHT, and pesticides.
There is substantial evidence on the risks of childhood cancer from the consumption of meats containing nitrites. In 1995, a petition was brought before the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting the FDA to require a cancer risk warning on packages of hot dogs that contain nitrites. The grounds for this petition is alarming – scientific information on excess risks of childhood brain tumors and leukemia have been linked to the consumption of hot dogs-specifically hot dogs containing nitrite preservatives.
These dangerous ingredients is something our ancestors never had to think about! Unfortunately in today’s world of processed foods, we need to watch out for dangerous ingredients that are making us and our children sick! It’s time to get back to the basics and make healthier choices! Look for meats that have a label stating it is nitrate free or nitrate-free. Do what our ancestors did – cook your own chicken or turkey and slicing or shredding for lunch meat. Instead of pepperoni on pizza, add grilled chicken, ground turkey or make your own sausage. It’s not only healthier, it’s cheaper!
Here are a few tips and tools to help make healthier choices easier!
Purchase a large turkey or chicken breast and roast it. Let it cool. Slice using a meat slicer or electric knife. Just remember — it won’t have the preservatives (chemicals) that store bought meats have so keep it frozen, or use it within a few days.
Purchase ham and have the deli or butcher thinly slice it — most deli’s will do it for FREE. Divide into quart size freezer bags and freeze.
For a nice roast beef, purchase top sirloin and ask the butcher to tie it—this makes it easier to slice once it’s done. Season the roast with salt and pepper, then sear in a skillet. Place it on a rack in a roasting pan in the oven and cook until a thermometer inserted in the center reads 130°. This method is the key to achieving a uniform pink color from center to edge. Once the roast beef is cooked, chill it in the refrigerator and then slice thin.
1/4 cup black peppercorns
1/4 cup coriander seeds
1 gallon cold water
1 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 cup whole cane sugar
3 tablespoons pickling spice
2 bay leaves
1 (5-pound) beef brisket, trimmed
Grind the peppercorns and coriander seeds and grind until coarsely chopped. In a large stock pot add all the brine ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and let cool. Add the brisket to the brine and refrigerate overnight. Remove the brisket from the brine and pat dry. Cover liberally with the spice mixture. Place on a rack with roasting pan and cook at 300 degrees for about 4 hours, or until fork tender. Cool and slice.
Homemade Healthy Sausage
8 oz lean ground chicken or turkey
2 Tbsp. organic chicken broth
1/2 tsp. thyme, dried
1/4 tsp. sage, dried
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. sea salt
For a little bite add 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or chopped jalapeño)
Mix together and brown in coconut or MCT oil until cooked through.
Real Homemade Bologna
3 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons sugar-based curing mixture (such as Morton® Tender Quick®)
1 cup water
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring
In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, curing salt, water, garlic powder, onion powder and liquid smoke using your hands. Divide in half, and form each half into a roll. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Unwrap the beef rolls, and place them on a greased baking sheet or roasting pan.
Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, turning the meat over after 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled. Slice, and eat on sandwiches.
MIU France Stainless Steel Lunch Meat Slicer ($12.20)