Monday, July 7, 2008

healthy hot dog or not??

I thought I was doing something really healthy and good for my family by purchasing nitrate free hot dogs. I mean I know a hot dog is a hot dog, but I hated depriving my kids of a summer time classic, but also wanted to make it as healthy as possible.

I just stumbled upon this article from seriouseats.com and now I am second guessing myself. You can read the whole article for yourself, and you should because it really has challenged my thinking, but I will summarize what it says. Basically she says that no nitrates added does not mean that it is nitrate free. That most "no nitrate added" hot dogs have celery juice in them which has nitrates in it, so while they aren't straight nitrates added to them, they still have nitrates in them. I am going to have to look into that information some more and figure out exactly what it all means because if she is right, hotdogs like the ones pictured above actually do have nitrates in them even though the label says they don't.

Bottom line, the article made me more aware of the fact that I can't believe something is healthy for my family just because it's labeled organic or bought at a store like Whole Foods. I need to be better about reading labels and learning exactly what it is I am putting in my body and the bodies of my family.


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4 comments:

Carrie at NaturalMomstalkRadio said...

Good point - everything sold in a health food store isn't healthy. Vegan/veg fake meats full of MSG come to mind.

But nitrates are naturally occurring in some veggies so I wonder if celery juice is actually a bad thing?

Paul's Mom said...

Hmmm, I just bought a package of these because I read an article about the different types of hot dogs available in Kiwi Magazine (I think) and they rated these as a good choice! Going to hunt for that magazine and see if it mentions nitrates . . . . . .

Anonymous said...

I've read that nitrites are naturally occurring in celery and sea salts, and that Applegates Organic hot dogs spell this out on their label. Instinct seems like these wouldn't be too bad.

jhorbinski said...

I've read that while celery does contain nitrates, it also contains high levels of vitamins A and C which inhibit the production of the compound that produces carcinogens in synthetic nitrates.