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Thread: bacon questions page

  1. #1
    cemdev's Avatar
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    bacon questions

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    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. #2
    john_e_turner_ii's Avatar
    john_e_turner_ii is offline Senior Member
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    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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    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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    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.

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

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    Quote 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.

  7. #7
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    Every "nitrate-free" line of bacon I've ever seen just uses celery juice instead, which is a naturally occurring form of nitrate.

  8. #8
    Grol's Avatar
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    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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    Quote 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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    Stabby's Avatar
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    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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