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To Eat Bacon Or Not To Eat?

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  • #31
    1



    I'm not kidding. I'm not aware of any study that has actually demonstrated the harm of the amounts of nitrites that are ingested in cured meats.


    Also, it is my understanding that many vegetables naturally contain much more nitrate than cured meats.


    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090820175859.htm


    In most diets, however, between 70 percent and 80 percent of the nitrates comes from vegetables, government and research sources say.

    “People consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables may be ingesting much more nitrate and nitrite than recommended -- more than 1,000 milligrams -- with no adverse health effects. We’re calling for a systematic reevaluation of the literature to highlight the potential beneficial contributions that nitrates and nitrites from vegetables and fruits make to cardiovascular health.”


    In an accompanying editorial, Nitrate in Foods: Harmful or Healthy?, Martjin Katan from the Institute of Health Sciences at VU University in Amsterdam said it is undisputed that nitrates benefit arteries, and he called for a trial to investigate whether consuming a food pattern rich in nitrate-containing vegetables is effective in lowering blood pressure.

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    • #32
      1



      http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutrition/Nitrates-and-nitrites-may-be-nutritious-Study


      Nitrites and nitrates, much maligned additives in processed and cured meats, may help cardiovascular health, suggests a study from the US.

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      • #33
        1



        Furthermore, although scientists speculate that nitrates and nitrites can form nitrosamines, I've never heard any evidence that they actually do this in your body.


        They do, however, form nitric oxide, which has beneficial effects.

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        • #34
          1



          That sounds like a healthy dose of CW to me.


          Just as you've not seen anything compelling to the contrary, I see nothing compelling in the report you posted that posits that these additives MAY be beneficial. There's no certainty there.


          Here's a fact: "Nitrate is converted in the gut to nitrite, which then combines with hemoglobin to form methemoglobin, thus decreasing the ability of the blood to carry oxygen."

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          • #35
            1



            Most of the packaged bacons won't say "nitrate free" because of labeling laws. They'll often use (concentrated) celery juice because it's high in nitrates, which turn to nitrites over time. So while mass manufacturers use chemical forms of sodium nitrite or potassium nitrite (Chile saltpeter and saltpeter), the ones that say "No Added Nitrates" will often have an asterisk that leads you to read, "all nitrites and nitrates are naturally occurring." Without nitrites or nitrates, it isn't bacon, it's pork belly.


            Saltpeter is also what makes corned beef pink.


            I see it like this: I'm eating worlds better than I ever have... Screw it. I like bacon. And corned beef.

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            • #36
              1



              Plus, the ONLY reason to stay away from cured meats, a la bacon? Pastured, fresh, uncured bacon! If you've never had it, it's the difference between eating a salty piece of cardboard and a delicious thin strip of steak. NO comparison.


              That alone will make me never buy cured bacon. The taste is so much better uncured.


              Not that I'm any less leery of food additives of any kind, so nitrates/nitrites are still a major concern I have.

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              • #37
                1



                Mmm bacon. I've been buying the Whole Foods brand uncured applewood stuff. Nice, thick slices that don't get crispy fast so they're delicious and soft. My boyfriend prefers crispy bacon but I could never figure out the attraction to it.

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                • #38
                  1



                  @Allbeef Patty OK, then. That settles it. There are two camps here: Bacon Lovers and Fresh Pork Belly Lovers.


                  If I can get something that is free of preservatives, I'm going to do it. Even if a jury is still out on nitrates/nitrites (and I don't believe it is, there's pretty strong evidence leading to it being harmful), the fewer things that have been added to my food, the better.

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                  • #39
                    1



                    Emmcubed, I wasn't saying that you shouldn't do that, I was just letting you know that what they say is "uncured" often just means that it's cured with more "natural" ingredients. Look at the ingredients. I know that's hard to do with farmer's market stuff, but if you ask how they make it, they're usually happy to tell you. Celery juice has a ton of nitrates, that's why they use it to cure. And I'm pretty sure that even smoking ads nitrates (or nitrites) to the meat.

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                    • #40
                      1



                      Mmm, yummy bacon. Delish. Devour it. I've opted to go with the regular store bought stuff since the only place I can find bacon cured with celery juice (nothing nitrate free available in town) charges about $8 for half a pound. Plus it's thick cut and gets overcooked in the process of trying to make it crispy. Love the crispy.

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                      • #41
                        1



                        @Allbeef Patty Oh, I know! I was just making a joke. Hahaha!


                        I was burned by a farmer's market seller who was marketing his stuff as "all-natural" and this was before I knew better than to look at his label. With all the research into the dangers of nitrites in the human body, I was shocked to discover that his bacon contained them. All other local pastured pork ranchers sell fresh and uncured. I won't lie: the taste was great, but it isn't worth the "not knowing".

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                        • #42
                          1



                          @musajen I could eat bacon only forever and call it a good life. The End.

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                          • #43
                            1



                            I knew bacon would rouse some lively, Primal debate.


                            Like mentioned before, don't nitrates naturally occur in vegetables and even in our bodies? It's actually CW that vilifies nitrates, so the smart thing to do is go againt that :P

                            I'd fear the sugar in it, even though it's miniscule cravings have been known to arise.


                            Legerityy, I'd love to go :] be my Meat guide! You can teach me proper Farmer's Market French etiquette. And the names of the vegetables! ooooh...

                            "The penis is the male animal-flower, a soft-firm dildo, a warm dream."
                            -Raymond Peat, PhD

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                            • #44
                              1



                              The Nitrate-free bacon seems to digest better, while the cheaper typical bacon gives my belly a really greasy feeling for awhile. So that is enough for me.

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                              • #45
                                1



                                NSWM: How about next weekend? Can I contact you by e-mail or Facebook to make things simpler?

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