Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Q & A

Q: My question is...

Grimm's naturally smoked-fully cooked Turkey pepperoni
-extra lean
-No MSG added
-Gluten free

turkey, water, spices, canola oil,salt, garlic,sodium phosphate,sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite, smoke.

Is it ok to eat???

Jenn <><

A: Great question Jenn. Thanks for asking.

At first it looked good as I read down the list and saw extra lean, no MSG added, and gluten free that is until I hit canola oil and sodium nitrite.

Since canola oil is a polyunsaturate fat (comes from rape seeds) and is therefore very delicate with heat, air, and light. Most, if not all, canola oil available on the market (whether in packaged foods or not) is refined, heated, and deodorized thus the fragile, delicate oil has been damaged and altered forming free radicals and trans-fat. Structurally, trans-fats (found in vegetable oils and hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats such as margarine and shortenings) are closer to plastic than fat!

A little tidbit of information that might be of interest to you. The process of hydrogenation began in 1912, a time when heart disease was rare. However, today heart disease causes some 40% of all deaths. Is there a connection? If heart disease resulted from saturated fat consumption as they tell us then shouldn’t we find an increase in saturated fat consumption since 1912? However the opposite is true. Animal fats (saturated) declined from 83% to 62% and butter (also saturated) declined from 18 lbs. per person per year to 4 and cholesterol has only increased 1%. The real shocker is the consumption of margarine, shortening, and refined oils (conventional sesame, safflower, sunflower, canola oils) has increased about 400% and sugar and processed foods has increased about 60%!

I would stay away from sodium nitrite, nitrates or any other preservatives for that matter (which sodium phosphate sodium erythorbate may be). These potent carcinogens have been linked to cancer of the esophagus, stomach, large intestine, bladder, and lungs. Nitrites and nitrates are colour fixatives, in that they give meats a blood red colour, convey a tangy effect to the palate, and prohibit the development of clostridium botulinum spores. Both have been found to cause cancer and tumors in test animals. According to The Safe Shopper’s Bible, children who eat hot dogs cured with nitrite, a dozen or more times per month, are ten times more likely to develop leukemia. Also, children born to mother’s who consumed hot dogs once or more weekly are twice as likely to have childhood brain tumors. Funnily enough traditionally sausage was a healthy, high-fat product containing nutrient dense organ meats and preserved through lacto-fermentation, which increases nutrients, while bacon was preserved through salt curing and smoking.

There are may safe, healthy forms of jerky-like meats out there, just look for the ones that have NO nitrites, nitrates, preservatives, or MSG in them.


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