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Thread: Bacon - sodium nitrate

  1. #1

    Bacon - sodium nitrate

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    Does all bacon contain sodium nitrate? I always buy my meat from a farm shop or butcher!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    San Francisco
    Uncured bacon does not contain synthetic nitrates (that's what "uncured" means).

    Nitrates aren't really that big an issue, anyway - studies showing negative effects involve isolated and unrealistic quantities of nitrates. Heck, I remember Robb Wolf mentioned in one of his podcasts that there's more nitrates in a spinach salad than 300 hotdogs.

    I'm more concerned with the quality of the pork than whether or not it contains nitrates. Usually, uncured bacon is going to be higher quality, because it's catered to a higher-end clientele that is more health conscious than the minions shopping at Walmart. If you're getting your bacon at a farm shop or butcher, I wouldn't worry about it - the quality of the pork is most likely fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Lanark, Scotland
    I've just finished making my own bacon for the first time. It started off as an attempt at cost saving as currently myself and both my children are wanting bacon for breakfast and it was getting really expensive. The whole process has taken just under 2 weeks starting with a 2kg piece of pork. I bought really good quality pork (proper free range) and the end result is what the kids describe as the best bacon they have ever tasted (what a compliment!), it did not however work out as a cost saving (it wasn't any more expensive than ordinary dry cure bacon, I just didn't save money - I would save money if I used slightly cheaper pork in the first place). The curing salt I used did contain sodium nitrate, but as Dean had mentioned, I had also been reading that the nitrates aren't really a problem. The whole process was very easy and not labour intensive at all - the only thing I would say if you were going to try it yourself that you have a big fridge that you can keep a piece of meat in for a week and also a cellar or other dark cool spot with circulating air that you can hang the meat for a week after you rinse off the cure (you can also do that stage in a fridge if necessary).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    The uncured version doesn't contain sodium nitrate, although I personally don't stress over this small detail
    I am not a bodybuilding/fat loss/strength training "guru" BUT I achieved a lean state with ease after learning the correct way to train and eat and I want to HELP YOU achieve the same.

    Getting fit is also about managing your mindset:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Hope Mills, NC
    The nitrates used in bacon are really insignificant compared to if the pigs are fed a non gmo diet and are pastured raised. Your saliva has more nitrates and nitrites in it then bacon ever would. The Nitrate and Nitrite Myth: Another Reason not to Fear Bacon.
    My book Fix Your Gut is available on Amazon The book price is $7.99.

    I also offer coaching:
    Twitter: @fixyourgutjb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Hudson Valley
    Thanks for the great nitrate info guys. I miss bacon.

  7. #7
    Timthetaco's Avatar
    Timthetaco Guest
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    Fear not the nitrates and nitrites.

    Food sources of nitrates and nitrites: the physiologic context for potential health benefits

    We quantified nitrate and nitrite concentrations by HPLC in a convenience sample of foods. Incorporating these values into 2 hypothetical dietary patterns that emphasize high-nitrate or low-nitrate vegetable and fruit choices based on the DASH diet, we found that nitrate concentrations in these 2 patterns vary from 174 to 1222 mg. The hypothetical high-nitrate DASH diet pattern exceeds the World Health Organization's Acceptable Daily Intake for nitrate by 550% for a 60-kg adult. These data call into question the rationale for recommendations to limit nitrate and nitrite consumption from plant foods; a comprehensive reevaluation of the health effects of food sources of nitrates and nitrites is appropriate. The strength of the evidence linking the consumption of nitrate- and nitrite-containing plant foods to beneficial health effects supports the consideration of these compounds as nutrients.

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