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Guidelines for good quality sausages

Sausages can have health benefits IF you choose them carefully. Go to a butcher you trust, buy organic, and check labels to insure they contain real ground meat rather than mechanically reconstituted meat (MRM), and are not packed with fillers.

Many sausages will have wheat added which is a real no-no for those eating gluten-free. Also beware of these ingredients:

Sodium Nitrite helps prevent the growth of Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism in humans and is also used alone or in conjunction with sodium nitrate as a color fixative in cured meat and poultry products (bologna, hot dogs, bacon). During the cooking process, nitrites combine with amines naturally present in meat to form carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds. It is also suspected that nitrites can combine with amines in the human stomach to form N-nitroso compounds. These compounds are known carcinogens and have been associated with cancer of the oral cavity, urinary bladder, esophagus, stomach and brain.

BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), TOCOPHEROLS (VITAMIN E) - antioxidants that help maintain the appeal and wholesome qualities of food by retarding rancidity in fats, sausages, and dried meats, as well as helping to protect some of the natural nutrients in foods, such as vitamin A.

BROMELIN - an enzyme that can dissolve or degrade the proteins collagen and elastin to soften meat and poultry tissue. It is derived from pineapple fruit and leaves, and is used as a meat tenderizer.

CARRAGEENAN - seaweed is the source of this additive. It may be used in products as binder.