I am admittedly an omnivore. I admire vegetarians and wish I had the self-discipline to follow a vegetarian diet. But while I do eat meat, I’m concerned that it should be healthier meat. One of the unhealthy ingredients in processed meats like sausage and lunchmeat is sodium nitrate or nitrites. These preservatives are found in commercially cured meats. Nitrites are used to prevent botchelism growth. Nitrate and nitrites are carcinogens. I’ve been searching for years for lunchmeats and sausage, available in the local grocery store that does not contain nitrates or nitrites.
I’ve tried the Hebrew National brand that passes Jewish purity law and is kosher. These are beef hot dogs. Alas, they also contain nitrites. Fresh sausage does not contain nitrites or nitrates, but it does contain BHA, another preservative.
Last year I discovered a pre-cooked sausage that is nitrite free. Al Fresco makes a chicken sausage that is nitrate, nitrite and gluten free. These sausages are delicious. There are several flavors: tomato basil and apple spice are my favorites. When we grill sausage these Al Fresco sausages grill up very nicely.
There is also a nitrite free lunch meat available. Hormel makes a naturally cured line of ham, turkey and other deli meats. These lunchmeats, labeled Hormel Natural Choice, come in brown paper packaging and are available in the packaged deli section of the store.
Price comparison reveals that both the nitrate free Al Fresco chicken sausage and the nitrate-free Hormel Natural Choice are not noticeably more expensive than other higher end brands of sausage and lunchmeat. With summer grilling season upon us, you may be looking for a happy medium between a hot dog or a asparagus spear to throw on your grill. If you are an omnivore with a taste for fresh quality sausages and lunchmeats, try these healthy, nitrate and nitrite free products today!