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  1. #1
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    Jun 2012
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    bacon buying

    Where do you people get your bacon? My understanding is that if you want nitrate free (which I believe we do) we are going to have to go straight to a butcher? This is for all cured/sandwich meats, even if they are "all natural" like the schnieders line of "natural" stuff.

  2. #2
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    You can get nitrate and nitrite free bacon at almost any major supermarket, at least where I live. Hormel does a version that's not bad and pretty cheap.

  3. #3
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    I don't worry about it.

    'It may surprise you to learn that the vast majority of nitrate/nitrite exposure comes not from food, but from endogenous sources within the body. In fact, nitrites are produced by your own body in greater amounts than can be obtained from food, and salivary nitrite accounts for 70-90% of our total nitrite exposure. In other words, your spit contains far more nitrites than anything you could ever eat.

    It’s important to understand that neither nitrate nor nitrite accumulate in body. Ingested nitrate from food is converted into nitrite when it contacts our saliva, and of the nitrate we eat, 25% is converted into salivary nitrite, 20% converted into nitrite, and the rest is excreted in the urine within 5 hours of ingestion. Any nitrate that is absorbed has a very short half-life, disappearing from our blood in under five minutes.

    And if you think you can avoid nitrates and nitrites by eating so-called “nitrite- and nitrate-free” hot dogs and bacon, don’t be fooled. These products use “natural” sources of the same chemical like celery and beet juice and sea salt, and are no more free from nitrates and nitrites than standard cured meats. In fact, they may even contain more nitrates and nitrites when cured using “natural” preservatives." '

    The Nitrate and Nitrite Myth: Another Reason not to Fear Bacon

    If you want to know exactly what goes into your bacon, you could always buy pork belly and do a simple wet cure in the fridge, then you'll know exactly how much salt, sugar, other flavourings etc.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by upupandaway View Post
    In other words, your spit contains far more nitrites than anything you could ever eat.
    I'm sorry, but I can't agree with this. I've seen it a number of times, and even if there were a thousand studies saying it was absolutly true beyond a shadow of a doubt, the fact remains that I can swallow my own spit all day long with no bad effects, but if I ingest any food containing sodium nitirite, I will have a 3-day migraine within the hour. I'm not saying everyone has this problem (though it is fairly common), just that there's obviously more in the bacon/bologna/pepperoni/hot dogs than in my spit. It doesn't happen with anything other than sodium nitrite or sulfites (none in the vast majority of processed meats),

    Quote Originally Posted by upupandaway View Post
    It’s important to understand that neither nitrate nor nitrite accumulate in body. Ingested nitrate from food is converted into nitrite when it contacts our saliva, and of the nitrate we eat, 25% is converted into salivary nitrite, 20% converted into nitrite, and the rest is excreted in the urine within 5 hours of ingestion. Any nitrate that is absorbed has a very short half-life, disappearing from our blood in under five minutes.
    Could be. For me, I think it's the initial impact that causes a problem, maybe before it converts. I honestly don't think bacon is an issue for most people, though I haven't done the research since it's literally painful for me, but if it wasn't I would probably have a few slices every day.

    Quote Originally Posted by upupandaway View Post
    And if you think you can avoid nitrates and nitrites by eating so-called “nitrite- and nitrate-free” hot dogs and bacon, don’t be fooled. These products use “natural” sources of the same chemical like celery and beet juice and sea salt, and are no more free from nitrates and nitrites than standard cured meats. In fact, they may even contain more nitrates and nitrites when cured using “natural” preservatives."
    This is absolutely true. America's Test Kitchen did a test where they tried both standard commercially cured bacon meat and meat cured with celery salt. The celery salt cured meat actually did worse. I'd link to it, but you have to pay for that article.

    I know from personal experience when I didn't read the package of Hormel hot dogs. The package said "No added nitrates or nitrates!", then, in very tiny letters said "other than those naturally occuring in celery salt" or something like that. It's actually worse, but I had no clue and happilly consumed a couple of hot dogs. BAM! Migraine, and I couldn't figure out why until I read the package again and did some research. I called them the next day, in full migraine mode, and apparently they're pretty familiar with calls like mine. Thy don't care becaus it sells to others who don't get the migraine and think they're eating something healthier.
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  5. #5
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    I buy all my meat from local farmers, all of whom offer smoked, uncured bacon. No sugar, no nitrates or nitrites. No worries.

  6. #6
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    I second upupandaway that nitrates should not be a huge concern. I am more concerned with what the pig was fed and how it was raised. The feed has a dramatic effect on the pig's fatty acid composition: Dear Mark: Bacon Fat Stability, Noise Machines, and Pig Feed | Mark's Daily Apple

  7. #7
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    If you do get it from the butcher, you're better off buying pork belly (what bacon slices are cut from) and making it yourself. Then you can control exactly what goes on it!
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  8. #8
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    If you're just eating a few slices a day and your body doesn't react very negatively to nitrates, I don't see a problem with normal bacon.
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  9. #9
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    I like the hormel uncured stuff
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  10. #10
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    Whole Foods doesn't sell any bacon with Nitrites/ates. Trader Joe's also has their own brand that is preservative-free.

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