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Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - M

Locale: Western Washington
salami on the trail without nitrites/trates on 05/13/2012 08:07:33 MDT Print View

I was wondering, does anyone know how long salami would be stable on the trail if it does not have nitrites or nitrates in it? I prefer to have no preservatives in my meat, but that's the whole point of the chemicals--to make food last longer. Recent studies correlated excessive consumption of preservative laden meat products with increased rates of stomach cancer--a good reason to avoid them!

Alan henson
(355spider) - F

Locale: DFW
Nitrates on 05/13/2012 15:39:45 MDT Print View

Yes nitrates and nitrites are wicked bad for you.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: salami on the trail without nitrites/trates on 05/16/2012 14:21:15 MDT Print View

I don't think the nitrates play a significant role in preserving the meat. I think they preserve the color mostly. This place says their nitrate free stuff lasts for month's unrefrigerated: http://www.fortunasausage.com/category_s/36.htm

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Re: salami on the trail without nitrites/trates on 05/16/2012 16:25:33 MDT Print View

I recommend anyone interested to read a few articles pro and con on Nitrates and Nitrites, and form your own opinions, as we all know, credible statistics and research often conflict with each other.

Having said that, here is my biased bacon-lover take on it, from my readings:

Nitrates and Nitrites are used as preservatives to prevent botulism (rotten food bacteria)

They are a variety of salt, read the wiki for the chemistry stuff.

they are used in preserving wines, in getting the bubbles out of liquid glass, in industrial chem, and in cured hams and pastrami.

10% of human intake comes from preserved meats (it varies per person, per culture, per region, etc)

you get 90% of nitrates/nitrites from just about any natural vegetable and fruit has sodium, as well as most canned food in salt.

for it to be toxic, "a 154-lb. adult would have to consume 18.57 pounds of cured meats"

Basically eating this salami is not going to kill you or give you cancer. However, if you have a family history of stomach cancer, you should go easy on heavy salty foods, to improve your odds by an insignificant percentage.

naturally occurring nitrates and nitrites are used to fertilize natural organic plants and veg. So they are present in large numbers in the expensive organic health foods.

Please note that you should do your own readings and make up your own conclusion.

My conclusion is around moderation. everything dies eventually. so enjoy that salami and bacon if it makes you happy, but don't go all Elvis on it as a lifestyle.

If I was that worried about cancer in Southern California, where the smog air pollution is 10x the maximum limit for lung cancer, I'd move out to Montana.

However, given a choice, and no need for long term food preservation, without sacrificing flavor, opt for fresh food.

some people get headaches and migraines after eating a hotdog. its the salts and nitrates. but can also be dehydration.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Re: Re: salami on the trail without nitrites/trates on 05/17/2012 10:42:48 MDT Print View

Can you provide any credible studies that have shown eating nitrates/nitrites in cured meat is not bad for you? My understanding is that there is a wide body of evidence that eating cured meats with nitrates/nitrites leads to increased risk of several forms of cancer:

http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/additive-and-natural-chemical-factsheets/249-252-nitrates-nitrites-and-nitrosamines

I am all for moderation in life (and occasionally indulge in a nitrate-sicle), but I would never suggest the science is conflicting. Nitrates are bad for you, and according to the link I provided above, you can still pack preserved meats without them.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Re: Re: Re: salami on the trail without nitrites/trates on 05/17/2012 14:58:30 MDT Print View

Ben,

If we were able to experiment with people's life and death (unlikely)
feed 1000 people food full of N&N for an extended period of time, then get an actual result that matches the forecast of over 99% death from stomach cancer, then I will agree that it is a direct cause.

The reality is some people who eat N&N will get cancer, some will not. Other people will get the same cancer without eating any cured meat. Vegans are not immune to cancer, and have suspiciously high cancer percentages too.

Too many variables to isolate a specific food ingredient or preservative as the main culprit, when just about everything "may" causes cancer. In California, there is a sign everywhere walking into a grocery store, or office building or parking structure, or mall that "it has been known to the state of Calif to cause cancer and birth defect"

The complexity is that the food we eat, was farmed using suspicious ingredients. A corn-fed cow, may be have eaten corn feed that was grown with N&N.

The generalization that eating N&N increases a risk of cancer, might just be a correlation. because many people that enjoy eating cured meats also enjoy many beers with their hotdogs. why not blame beers? or mustard?

Like I said, given a choice, I'd try to opt for fresh food that is not cured with N&N when it is available, but N&N are really just another complex chemical form of salts and preservatives.

The conflicting science I mention is chronological 180.

Fluoride is good for you, we all had it in drinking water and toothpaste for 50 years, then a few months ago, it's the demon of the day. everything is fluoride-free now.

grains are organic, natural and healthy - then the war on carbs that demonized with Atkins-type science.

Have you seen a whole group of sardines swim? They all go this way --->
then all of a sudden they all go that way <---

I call it Sardine Swim Science.

The main constant is that everyone will die. Aside from bodily injury, the top three causes of death are stroke, cancers and heart defects.

If there are any immortals on this forum, please tell us how you avoided those three.

It's not my intent to debate diets or science, I concede that many know more about science that I do. I did my readings, and I see a lot of science hype. I encourage others to research and make their individual conclusions.

Edited by RogerDodger on 05/17/2012 15:00:33 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: salami on the trail without nitrites/trates on 05/17/2012 15:12:28 MDT Print View

> the top three causes of death are stroke, cancers and heart defects.
> If there are any immortals on this forum, please tell us how you avoided those three.

Avoiding those three is not that hard, but try avoiding taxes and politicians ...

Cheers
PS: sardines - I like it.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: salami on the trail without nitrites/trates on 05/17/2012 15:15:27 MDT Print View

"Avoiding those three is not that hard, but try avoiding taxes and politicians ..."

How about if we feed the nitrites and nitrates to the politicians?

--B.G.--

Jeremy B.
(requiem) - F - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: salami on the trail without nitrites/trates on 05/17/2012 19:23:54 MDT Print View

It's mostly a matter of perspective. This might help:

As Rodger says, feed 1000 people food full of N&N for an extended period of time, then get an actual result that matches the forecast of over 99% death from stomach cancer, then I will agree that it is a direct cause.

Most of the studies used to support the cancer link are talking about stomach cancer rates of along the lines of "7/1000 people versus 8.4/1000 people". That then makes it into the news as "ZOMG 20% more likely to get stomach cancer!!one1!" So yes, there is a wide body of evidence, but it's not that clear cut; other unhealthy behaviors could easily be responsible for that difference. (As is noted in the studies referenced in your link.)

BTW, you can be assured that all those packages of bacon that say "uncured/no added nitrates/nitrites" are both 1. cured and 2. full of sodium nitrite. The label is allowed because it's coming from celery powder or some other "natural" source. Chemically? No difference. Great for making people feel comfortable while they hand over a few extra dollars, and you still don't have to worry about botulism!

Edit: I shouldn't say "full of sodium nitrate" because these days the nitrate/nitrate content of processed meats is quite low, and also balanced by ascorbic acid or other agents to prevent nitrosamine formation. As I think someone else noted, 90% of your dietary nitrates are coming from your vegetables anyway.

Edited by requiem on 05/17/2012 19:26:59 MDT.

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
lasts well on 05/26/2012 10:02:52 MDT Print View

I'm happy to report that the no-added-nitrates-or-nitrite salami I've brought into the backcountry has kept very well. I believe I've taken it out for up to 5-7 days (haven't tried longer than that).

I keep the salami and cheese right next to my water bladder, so it all stays cooler.

The stuff with added nitrates and nitrites gives me headaches; that is enough reason to avoid it.

- Elizabeth

Alan henson
(355spider) - F

Locale: DFW
Bad for you on 06/08/2012 20:11:47 MDT Print View

I have a doctorate in nutrition and I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that nitrates are really bad for you. Peer reviewed research clearly supports it. The world cancer research fund came out last year and said processed meats(bacon, lunch meat, hot dogs, etc) in America are unfit for human consumption. The journal of pediatrics recommended putting warning labels on hot dogs because studies have shown children that eat more than 10 per month have a significantly increased risk of cancer.