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Thread: Nitrates... not so bad after all?

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Quantity needs to be taken into consideration. If you take a huge amount of a "carcinogen" and cause some cancer, the same can't be said about a miniscule amount. Everything is nutrition is linear, there is no black and white and quantity usually determines severity. Otherwise i would be shying away from the cabbage because it is goitrogenic. There are more nitrates in many vegetables than in the grossest of the gross packaged bacon but I'm not afraid of vegetables.
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

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  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Nantucket, MA
    Has anyone actually seen/used the nitrates used for conventional bacon and even some I've come across at my farmer's market? It is dyed bring pink so as to reduce confusion with actual salt when making various charcuterie items such as bacon, sausage, etc- natural anyone? I have actually made sausages and other cured items with nitrate and you have to be extremely careful to measure the quantities you are putting in for each #. So while I would agree that yes, if consumed in moderation, you would have less of a risk of developing diseases like cancer but then again we're talking 1-2 x a week moderation and how many of us want to limit our bacon consumption that much?
    I posted on another thread about nitrate-free bacon that smoking and brining are completely natural ways of curing. Smoking in fact was most likely exactly what Grok and his crew did when they took down a large game animal and needed a way to preserve the leftover meat until they could get more. No, it does not last as long as ones cured with that lovely artificially created pink powder or look "normal" pink but then again who here is letting a perfectly good # of bacon sit in their fridge for more than 1.5 weeks?
    As for taste, I am not sure about the "funky" smell when cooking as the brined/cold-smoked bacon I get from my farmer's market smells delicious when cooking and I think it tastes better and more like pork than a salt explosion in my mouth like conventional bacon.
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  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Sodium nitrate is a known migraine trigger (and my personal experience concurs). It dilates your blood vessels. Maybe not a problem for everyone, but possibly more people than are aware of it. I just bought the new Oscar Mayer hot dogs ("No Added Nitrates or Nitrites") and almost instantly came down with a 3-day migraine. Turns out (maybe I'm overly sensitive) that the "natural" celery juice had the same inpact as the chemical version of the sodium nitrite.

    Lesson learned: Research, research, research. Then research some more.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Some people might be sensitive to nitrates. Lots of things dilate blood vessels (coffee, alcohol, hot peppers etc.) but that generally isn't a problem for most people.

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