Most of us are aware that many food companies use additives or preservatives to extend the shelf life of their products. But how many of us know what these preservatives are and, more importantly, what they do to our bodies?
Sodium nitrate is a kind of salt that is commonly used to preserve foods and extend shelf life. It’s especially common in the preparation of meat snacks and cured meat products such as bacon, beef jerky, ham, hot dogs, lunch meat, salami, and smoked fish. It creates a distinct flavour, controls lipid (fat) oxidation, and acts as an antimicrobial.
Nitrates are a natural part of any normal diet. In fact, nitrates are found in many root vegetables and plants. However, emerging research links high levels of the compound to many cancers, especially those of the digestive tract.
The levels associated with these diseases are almost impossible to obtain via natural foods. So it leaves the question, are these hazardous levels due in part to the overconsumption of processed foods containing sodium nitrate?
At Roam Food, we encourage people to look at the whole picture, take everything with a pinch of salt, and use common sense where necessary. It’s important to remember that any disease is extremely complex and multifactorial. Most disease processes happen because certain genetic and lifestyle elements line up to create a “perfect storm” over a prolonged period of time.
Sometimes we have no clue why disease happens, it just does and it sucks.
So, we’ve established what sodium nitrate is, where and why it’s commonly used and the fact that overconsumption of this compound could potentially have hazardous effects on our health. The latter is why we decided to never use sodium nitrate in any of our products. We believe meat poultry and fish are some of the most nutrient-packed, nourishing and satisfying foods we have available to us. We feel to go and coat these sources of optimal nutrition with something like sodium nitrate taints that.
So why do most other meat snacks brands opt for sodium nitrate? It’s pretty simple really, cost. We’re not going to sit here and tell you that we don’t want to make a profit. We want to run a sustainable business, plus make awesome products for people that are truly healthy.