Hot Diggity Dogs. Would You Still Eat One?
I couldn't resist doing a quick blog on the hot dog, the ultimate processed meat product, because really if anyone is still eating them, or is allowing their children to eat them at the random birthday parties they are still served at, I think it is time to really know how they are made and what is actually in them. In the US hot dogs are big business, with $1.7 billion per year spent on hot dogs in grocery stores alone. They may not be as popular here in Australia, but they are still often served at large get-togethers and sporting functions but would they still be eaten if we got to watch them being made? I am guessing not.
Hot dogs are made from pork trimmings; pieces left over after chops, bacon and ham has been cut away — along with chicken or turkey carcasses that are squeezed through metal grates and blasted with water creating a pink slurry. All this mushed up recovered meat is ground into a paste in vast metal vats and mixed with more water, artificial flavourings, red colouring (E120; crushed up beetles), milk and soy proteins, high amounts of sodium, sugars or corn syrup, some sort of starch product or a mix of many and a host of preservatives that are shown to produce negative side-effects including
- E451 ; gives the firm texture (also used in flame retardants)
- E452 poly phosphate; used to retain water
- Sodium nitrate; preserves them and stops them turning grey
They are squeezed into casings, either artificial casings, such as collagen, cellulose, plastic or "natural casings" meaning the intestine of an animal that have been cleaned and processed. They are cooked and blasted with water and packaged.
I get that we are not all going to be vegetarian, but you can be a meat eater and still avoid consuming processed meat products- like hot dogs- for the benefit of your health. The World Cancer Research Fund recommends people avoid all processed meats. They carried out a global study on the dangers of processed meats and found that people who regularly consume 50g of processed meat a day — equivalent to one-and-a-half hot dogs, increase their chances of getting bowel cancer by 20%.
I urge you to check out the video below or share it with your friends, if you are still thinking of hoeing into one at the next footy game.