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Sodium Nitrate Sausage....

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  • Sodium Nitrate Sausage....

    Every year there is a local mennonite sale that sells a fresh nitrate-free, organic farmers sausage. The stuff is brilliant and delicious.

    This year, I wasn't able to attend and I asked my father-in-law to pick up me up some. Bless his soul and I'm not complaining, but he bought me $50 bucks worth of sausage.

    When I got home I took one look and knew it wasn't the old good stuff. It had the color of a cured sausage as opposed to the greyish and delicious look of the nitrate free stuff.

    It was shrink wrapped and on the ingredients was good old sodium nitrate. Fat content is pretty high as well as sodium.

    Not sure who or why made the decision but they got the sausage from another supplier instead of the mennonite farmers who'd been providing it for years.

    Is the stuff even worth eating? Anything I can do with it.

    My wife is pregnant and I'm not letting her eat any.

    Any ideas? Just pass on it?

  • #2
    Do what makes you comfortable. My take is controversial and risky, but I don't really care.

    I think the nitrate nitrite thing is a bit of a food scare and would eat it. Preservatives aren't primal, but some may turn out to be beneficial. There I said it.

    The same CW that vilified saturated fats may be in play here. My 85 year old uncle is playing tennis this morning, just like every morning, and he's eaten bacon, sausage, cured Italian cold cuts -- every day of his life since he got off mother's milk. He is so ridiculously healthy for his age, I expect him to live to 100, and Mark Sisson won't be as cut at 85. Dude's built like an NFL running back.


    • #3
      There's also a link to a junkfoodscience article floating around that seems to say nitrates/nitrites may not be as bad as we think. Even a lot of "uncured" bacon and such is just cured with celery salt which has nitrates. I don't worry too much about it personally.


      • #4
        I would eat it, but I wouldn't buy any more of it. Organic, nitrite-free sausage with celery salt/seed/etc. in it has a natural source of nitrite. (I wouldn't buy that either.)

        Here's what Mark says:


        • #5
          I would not worry about it. My grandfather is 70 years old, smokes like a chimney and drinks like a fish, but he's still in pretty darn good shape for an old, rather sedentary man (I think he may have high blood pressure. But seriously, he's been a heavy smoker for probably 50 years, so I guess it's even more amazing he hasn't died from lung cancer yet). I expect him to make it over 80, and I can definitely tell you that he doesn't give two hoots if his sausage has nitrites in them. :P He's definitely one of the funnest, liveliest old men you will ever meet. He can go out and party and have fun, and does.

          Also, nitrites is just a food scare thing, in my opinion. I ate 7 slices of delicious nitrite filled bacon yesterday, and in fact, I'm probably going to go eat some more right now

          Remember, you are unique just like everybody else.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Desert View Post
            I would eat it, but I wouldn't buy any more of it. Organic, nitrite-free sausage with celery salt/seed/etc. in it has a natural source of nitrite. (I wouldn't buy that either.)

            Here's what Mark says:
            From what this says it seems like vegetables in general have them. Am I interpreting it wrong or should we avoid leafy green veggies as well?...

   Looks like Mark has modified his thoughts on this for whatever reason as well if you look at the "Now for Nitrites" part.
            Last edited by leonardotmnt; 06-07-2010, 05:03 PM.


            • #7
              funny this, as in the weekend I was doing some research (if you can call my half hearted attempts to look things up on the net as research) about nitrates. Go figure, nitrates are in our vegetables. Also sodium nitrate protects your food from giving you botulism.. Personally since reading what I did I've decided I'm not too worried about nitrates. I'll probably just try to not have too much though, i guess its the old adage, everything in moderation blah blah.


              • #8
                I would eat it but I wouldn't buy it again.
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                • #9
                  I live in Italy - land of cured meats! I have found that prosciutto di Parma and San Daniele brands ( also the most $$, but best tasting) are strictly controlled and only use salt as a preservative. I know you can find those in the US. I have asked at almost every local, home made salami shop in town, and all of them use nitrites/nitrates. You can find salami/sausage made without gluten ( because alot of them have some sort of gluten-based thickener or sometihng in the recipe) and that's a big deal here b/c 1/3 of italian children are gluten intolerant ( the greatest irony). So, I am not sure, I have eschewed the nitrite salami.....but would love ot know if they really dont do harm. Furthermore, all the studies that show people who eat cured/smoked meats having higher rates of stomach cancer - I woul dlike to see the REST of their diet too!? I am imagining they were living not only on salami.