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Multiple Brands Included In Massive Hot Dog Recall

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs accomplished the improbable feat of making a hot dog eating contest even more repulsive. According to CNBC, the manufacturer of Nathan’s hot dogs is recalling over 200,000 pounds of hot dogs after metal shavings were found in the packaging.

It is unclear if this recall will put a damper on their grotesque Memorial Day tradition: Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. The drawbacks to participating in such an activity hardly need to be outlined, but it is worth reiterating why hot dogs, an American cookout staple, are a terrible nutritional choice.

It is a mystery why the unhealthy and repellent hot dog remains popular. The average person consumes 50 of them per year. They are extruded from a slurry of animal carcass, including fatty tissues and skins, animal feet, heads and other “edible” slaughter by-products. To make hot dogs safe and palatable, assorted binders, fillers, flavorings and preservatives are added, including corn syrup, nitrates, MSG and other synthetic chemicals.

Eating just one hot dog a day raises your risk for colorectal cancer by 21 percent, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. When heated, nitrates and nitrites in processed meats combine with amines to form nitrosamines, proven to be carcinogenic.

Natural or organic hot dogs may not be much lower in nitrite — and some may even be higher than conventional hot dogs. Companies that label their products natural or organic must use natural sources of the preservatives, which usually come in the form of celery powder or celery juice, as celery is naturally high in nitrate.

A 2011 study published in The Journal of Food Protection found that natural hot dogs had anywhere from one-half to 10 times the amount of nitrite of conventional hot dogs. A similar scenario exists for bacon. So, buying organic hot dogs is not necessarily going to reduce your nitrate exposure — although it will likely result in a higher quality food product in many other respects.

Hot dogs are little more than reconstituted slaughterhouse remnants, but real meat is a different story altogether. Just make sure the meat you consume is grass fed, organically and humanely raised, preferably from a local farmer you know and trust. Grass fed beef tends to be leaner and have higher levels of vitamins, minerals and cancer-fighting CLA. It also has a healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats. Organic farms tend to provide far more sanitary conditions, so the animals are less likely to harbor dangerous pathogens.


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