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~* About This Blog*~

This Blog was created by me and for me. I dont take suggestions and I dont really care what you have to say in regards to content or design of this Blog. As far as individual posts go, I would love to hear your opinions in the comment section (especially if your opinion is radically different then mine). I try to post often, but sometimes a week will go by where I am to busy to post anything.


Tuesday, April 20, 2004
  What IS in a hot-dog?

After scaring my oldest niece yesterday about the dangers of eating hot dogs, I decided to do a little research.

One of the more popular hot dog rumors today is that “hot dogs are made up of random left-over cow parts like ears, colon, feat, and liver”. While this statement is exaggerated, it certainly is partially true. The FSIS or Food Safety and Inspection Service a division of the United States Department of Agriculture states the following:

"Frankfurter, Hot Dog, Wiener, or Bologna With Byproducts" or "With Variety Meats" are made according to the specifications for cooked and/or smoked sausages (see above), except they consist of not less than 15% of one or more kinds of raw skeletal muscle meat with raw meat byproducts. The byproducts (heart, kidney, or liver, for example) must be named with the derived species and be individually named in the ingredients statement.

So, yes. Your hot dog contains no less than 15% of one or more kinds of raw skeletal muscle meat with raw meat byproducts. Yes people that’s right you are eating some sick ass shit. But the worst part for your body is not the random diseased cow organs, but the Sodium, monosodium glutamate, and sodium nitrate that is added to the “Meat”.

When hot dogs are being produced, there is a large amount of added sodium. Just like any other cured meat, hot dogs need to be preserved and salt is the most traditional and effective way to do so. Using copious quantities of salt in hot dogs allows the salt to infuse into the tissue of the meat, thus eliminating the microorganisms, which cause spoilage and food poisoning. However, in 1980, major brands of hot dogs frequently exceeded 2.8 percent average salt content (“Examination of…”). But because of changing consumer tastes and dietary concerns, that level has decreased to some degree.
The amount of sodium put in hot dogs could still pose as a health risk for many consumers. Sodium can have a large impact on those with high blood pressure.
Most individuals do not realize they have high blood pressure because there are no symptoms. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure or kidney failure (“High Blood…”). Individuals vary widely in their response to sodium. Blood pressure in some people is strongly influenced by the amount of sodium they eat, while, in others, sodium seems to have little or no effect. Despite the variability in blood pressure response to sodium intake, many experts recommend that all people should limit the sodium in their diet.
However, there is another ingredient found in hot dogs that is a high-sodium food in itself. It is called monosodium glutamate. As mentioned before, hot dog producers have reduced the amount of “salt-sodium chloride”. Ironic as it may seem, they technically are just adding another salt: Monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG, also known as free glutamic acid, is mainly used to intensify flavors in food. In other words, MSG is used to trick the public into thinking that the food tastes better than what is really does.
The last ingredient in hot dogs to be concerned with is sodium nitrate. Sodium nitrate is a preservative found in a large quantity of processed meats, especially hot dogs. The two main reasons for adding this chemical are to preserve the color and to inhibit botulism to some degree (Logan). In Putting Food Back, nitrates are changed into nitrites by metabolism when we eat them, or by the action with the protein of raw meat being cured. Such is the case with hot dogs. The nitrites, in turn, help to make nitrosamines—and these latter substances have been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals (Hertzberg). It is the fear of carcinogens in human beings that have caused a continuing controversy about the use of nitrates in preservation of food. In all actuality, food scientists tolerate it only because it helps reduce the possibility of botulism poisoning.

So after explaining some hot dog facts to my wonderful 9 year old niece, she asked me: "Should I just finish this hot-dog and never eat them again?"
- posted by Prodly @ Tuesday, April 20, 2004

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