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  • bacon questions

    Bacon seems to be a staple around here - and I'm still a little confused every time I go to buy it. Every single package I've come across has nitrates in the ingredient list. I don't know what those are; they don't sound good.

    I've found one package - from Whole Foods - that's only meat and sea salt - and it's not even called bacon (lean side of pork or something), although it's the tastiest bacon ever. It's also over $1 a slice.

    Sooo, what bacons do you buy? I'm confused by the nitrates, and not sure what to do.

  • #2
    It is my understanding that nitrates are safe. Based on that, I buy the cheapest bacon I can find as long as it has no added sugar or ingredients other than the nitrates.

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    • #3
      ive read that nitrates are VERY bad, especially when the meat is heated up and cooked until crispy.........

      so I buy nitrate free/organic/local/no antibiotics etc etc. are you near a whole foods ???? They should have plenty of nitrate free brands.

      I just cant accept the fact that something called a nitrate is safe for me when I fry up meat.......

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      • #4
        There's about 100 times more nitrates in spinach than cured bacon. Many of the most popular vegetables are loaded with nitrates. This doesn't necessarily get processed meats off the hook, it just suggests that the conclusion that nitrates were the unhealthy bad guy were wrong.

        Good read

        I'm choosing my processed meats wisely, but I am not fearing nitrates.

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        • #5
          whole foods, 365 brand nitrate free uncured bacon. $4

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Grol View Post
            There's about 100 times more nitrates in spinach than cured bacon. Many of the most popular vegetables are loaded with nitrates. This doesn't necessarily get processed meats off the hook, it just suggests that the conclusion that nitrates were the unhealthy bad guy were wrong.

            Good read

            I'm choosing my processed meats wisely, but I am not fearing nitrates.
            interesting.........I think Ill stick with my brand though. Its local and tasty

            I ate a ton of conventional bacon this past weekend at my folks and I was worrying about the nitrates.......this makes me feel better about it for sure.

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            • #7
              Every "nitrate-free" line of bacon I've ever seen just uses celery juice instead, which is a naturally occurring form of nitrate.
              http://www.theprimalprepper.com - preparing for life's worst while living for the best

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              • #8
                Right Tamo. In Stephan's piece that I linked to he suggests that the negative health issue of processed meats is the high level of AGEs.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tamo42 View Post
                  Every "nitrate-free" line of bacon I've ever seen just uses celery juice instead, which is a naturally occurring form of nitrate.
                  yup, bacon by definition is cured, which means it has to either have a naturally occurring nitrate (like celery juice) or nitrites added. Bacon labelled as uncured just means it was cured using a natural nitrate source.

                  If it was actually uncured it would just be pork belly.

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                  • #10
                    Agreed. Or possibly arachidonic acid. Either way, I have always been on the fence about nitrates. You can take something that is "carcinogenic" under certain circumstances in certain large concentrations, but it's a leap to try to extrapolate that to a normal diet. AGEs and eicosanoids are a million times better an explanation for cancer than something that is dozens of times more prevelent in celery, which doesn't appear to be cancer-causing. But then again I'm skeptical that a lot of things a cancer-causing in the absence of the usual host of SAD-borne diseases.

                    Or how about this: people already think that bacon is the devil because of the fat. People who would avoid processed meats would also be avoiding potato chips, french fries and possibly getting good nutrition. Those who eat tons of junk food and indulge in everything would also be eating bacon, because bacon is freaking awesome and these people don't deny themselves anything.
                    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                    Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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                    • #11
                      i recently posted a similar question. trader joe's and whole foods are the best places to find nitrate free bacon. we buy ours through an amish farmer for $4/lb. kick ass! try to find a local farmer who treats their animals good. STAY FAR FROM NITRATES!
                      Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that's bad for you! ~Tommy Smothers

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                      • #12
                        haha. okay, so there's clearly no consensus.

                        Yes, I am near a whole foods, and yes they have nitrate-free bacon (except it's not labelled as bacon, it's labelled lean side of pork or something similar). It's also brutally expensive, and very tasty.

                        so it seems like the best thing to do is to find a local farmer - i already do this for beef. barring that - buy the whole foods stuff at mega expense, or just ignore the nitrates in the other stuff since I don't know what they are anyways.... i'll keep working this out....

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                        • #13
                          Shannon, If you're going to stay far from nitrates, you better give up vegetables. A small serving of arugula has 500 times more nitrate than a hot dog or a slice of bacon. Celery and most very healthy leafy greens like kale, spinach and collards have far far more nitrates than bacon. My link on page 1 has good evidence that nitrates are protective. The fear was more failed CW. Processed meats may or may not be unhealthy, but nitrates are not the reason. There's probably as much or more nitrates in "nitrate free" bacon than the regular stuff.

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                          • #14
                            thanks grol. i know that veggies contain nitrates. i just didn't want to consume something that wasn't naturally occuring. are the nitrates they add to conventional bacon from veggies or another nasty source?
                            Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that's bad for you! ~Tommy Smothers

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Grol View Post
                              Shannon, If you're going to stay far from nitrates, you better give up vegetables. A small serving of arugula has 500 times more nitrate than a hot dog or a slice of bacon. Celery and most very healthy leafy greens like kale, spinach and collards have far far more nitrates than bacon. My link on page 1 has good evidence that nitrates are protective. The fear was more failed CW. Processed meats may or may not be unhealthy, but nitrates are not the reason. There's probably as much or more nitrates in "nitrate free" bacon than the regular stuff.
                              i just checked out that link. not giving up my greens anytime soon. i guess i just feel better knowing that the nitrates are naturally occurring in the 'nitrate-free' bacon. i mean it says right on the label that celery juice contains nitrates. thanks again for the info!
                              Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that's bad for you! ~Tommy Smothers

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