Hot dogs are an American favorite, staple at sports games and according to many people, a very delicious pleasure. However, if you knew the way hot dogs are prepared, you would probably never eat it again.
Despite the fact that hot dogs often spark debate and provoke anxiety about what they are made of, Americans still continue to consume them. Nevertheless, the anxieties are warranted since the results of an analysis which was conducted by Clear Food, which is a company that analyzes food at its molecular levels, were very upsetting.
According to the study 14.4% of the analyzed hot dogs contained either hygienic or substitution issues. Namely, there was an absence of ingredients that were included on the label, but inclusion of meats that weren’t written on it.
This is especially troublesome if pork is involved, because a number of people do not consume pork for religious reasons. Moreover, traces of meat were found in 10% of the vegetarian products.
And this is just the beginning.
The issues with the hygiene are next. Traces of human DNA were found in 2 % of all hot dogs. It doesn’t matter that the percent is small, it is still human DNA.
What is the Problem with Hot Dogs?
They contain nitrite additives that form carcinogens. Consuming hot dogs increases the risk of cancer in children, and this is proven by three studies.
Consuming over 12 hot dogs a month increases the risk of developing leukemia by 9%.
Savitz and Sarusia studied cancer cases as well and they found out that those children whose mothers ate 1 or more hot dogs during pregnancy have two times bigger risk of developing brain tumors.
Moreover, according to Bunin et al, the link between childhood brain tumors and maternal consumption of hot dogs throughout pregnancy is strongly related.
In What Way Do They Cause Cancer?
The nitrites that are present in hot dogs are utilized as preservatives against botulism. During the cooking process, they combine with amines, which are compounds present in meat. They form the N-nitriso compounds, which are carcinogenic. It is also thought that amines combine with nitrites in the stomach and form N-nitriso compounds.
These compounds have been related to esophagus, stomach, urinary bladder, brain and cancer of the oral cavity.
There Are Nitrites in Some Vegetables. Do they Cause Cancer As Well?
Many vegetables like celery, green lettuce and spinach contain nitrites, but not only these foods are safe for consumption, they also reduce the risk of cancer. These vegetables are rich in vitamins C and D, and both these vitamins prevent the N-nitroso compounds formation.
Are There Nitrites in Other Foods?
Yes, nitrites are present in all cured meats, including bacon and fish.
Are All Hot Dogs Risky?
No. There are hot dogs which do not contain nitrite. They have the same taste as those that do contain them, but differ in color. The nitrite-free hot dogs have brownish color.
You Can Do These 4 Things
- Avoid hot dogs that contain nitrite. Do not consume 12 or more hot dogs in a month.
- Always buy nitrite-free hot dogs.
- Make sure that your children always eat nitrite-free hot dogs.
- Write to the FDA and reveal your concern about the connection between childhood cancer risk and nitrite in hot dogs.