The Health & Healthcare Blog  

Saturday, January 25, 2014

What's Really In Your Lunchmeat??


Lunchmeat and other processed meats may seem like a safe ingredient for sandwiches. In fact, many of us grew up on eating bologna sandwiches for lunch. Little did we know that lunchmeat, along with hot dogs, spaghetti out of a can, and fast food hamburgers contain a substance called sodium nitrite that makes it unfit for human consumption.

What is sodium nitrite?

Sodium nitrite is a chemical preservative that is found in lunch meats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, frozen foods with meat, and the meat that is sold in sandwiches at restaurants. But, sodium nitrite is a carcinogen, which means it can cause cancer. Check out these statistics:

  • Processed meats increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67 percent, according to a study by the University of Hawaii.
  • For every 50 grams of processed meat eaten daily, you increase the risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent, according to another study.
  • Processed meat has been linked to 4,000 cases of bowel cancer in the UK.

Why is sodium nitrite allowed?

The FDA states in their Code of Federal Regulations, Sec. 172.170 regarding Sodium nitrate that it can be used as long as "the level of sodium nitrate does not exceed 500 parts per million and the level of sodium nitrite does not exceed 200 parts per million in the finished product." The other stipulation by the FDA is that labels of food containing sodium nitrite must state the name of the additive and its concentration. In other words, how much sodium nitrite or other chemical additives are in the food. But sodium nitrite is a chemical and a carcinogen, regardless.

How can protect yourself?

The safest way to protect yourself is to read labels at the store and avoid anything that contains sodium nitrite. Another way to protect yourself and your children is to limit fast food consumption. And if you don't know what's in the school meat, it might be better to pack your child a healthy lunch to carry.
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practictioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.
SHARE THIS PAGE: