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Thread: What kind of 'processing' is bad for meat? page

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    Hilary's Avatar
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    What kind of 'processing' is bad for meat?

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    You know 'processed meat' is bad for you?
    OK, so what counts as 'processed'?

    Salami?
    Chorizo?
    Jerky?
    Bacon?
    Sausage?

    What's the magic process (dark magic, obviously) that turns good wholesome meat into something nasty?

  2. #2
    RECONFit's Avatar
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    nitrates and nitrites is the main issue i believe. not too mention high levels of sodium that may be too much for some people.

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    Digby's Avatar
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    Nitrates, grain fillers, msg, and lots of add sugar, usually HFCS, found in most deli meats is what's bad about "processed" meats. Processing, as in making sausage, doesn't have to be bad, but just so often is if you find it in an ordinary market. Traditional processing is a way to preserve meat, and to make the bits and pieces/offal more palatable. There are lots of great types sausages/bratwurst/franks still made the old fashioned way, but you have to read the ingredients to be sure.
    This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism

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    which would be worse? deli meats like ham with added ingredients or bacon with nitrates? if you were in a position where there was no other choice...

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    i'd go for the bacon with nitrates. but most supermarket bacon seems to have other ingredients in it too, besides the nitrates. is it possible to eat minimally processed meat? for example, you could buy whole turkey breasts, marinade, and then roast them. slice thinly and freeze in small portions until you're ready to use. would that work?

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    mayness's Avatar
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    I think "really bad processing" is adding sugar or grain products (or MSG if you're sensitive to it).
    "Probably bad processing" would be curing with nitrates/nitrites, since they turn into carcinogenic compounds when heated. It's debated HOW MUCH you'd have to eat for it to really be bad.

    I've got no problem with grinding, salt-curing without nitrates, drying, adding spices and/or moderate amounts of salt, or stuffing it in casings. You could call any of those "processed" but it doesn't really affect how nutritious the meat is.
    "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

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    Apparently smoking meat makes it a cancer bomb of sorts.

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    If I had to choose between two overprocessed or mystery meats, I'd IF.
    "If man made it, don't eat it." ..Jack LaLanne
    "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are.
    If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." ..Richard Feynman

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    Hilary's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone. So, some combination of excessive cooking and nitrates creating carcinogens?

    I was looking for a snack in the supermarket the other day, reading through ingredients lists on cooked meats. Can someone please tell me why there's a need to add sugar to roast chicken? What did the chicken ever do to them??

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    Digby's Avatar
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    Bacon! The hfcs worry me a lot more.
    This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
    Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism

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