I know I’m not the only one that loves hot dogs and bacon, but there is a group out there that is trying to get warning labels placed on hot dogs claiming that there are ingredients in them that are known to cause cancer. Yes, this group actually wants to put “surgeon general” type labels on hot dogs similar to what they do on cigarettes.
The cancer causing ingredient is known as sodium nitrate and it’s a preservative found in a lot of cured meats, not just hot dogs. Meats like bacon, pepperoni, and ham also contain the preservative which helps the meat retain it’s pinkish/red color and helps it last longer. Apparently if the meat did not have this preservative, after a couple days it would look gray and eating a gray hot dog definitely does not sound appetizing to me. You can buy hot dogs that don’t contain sodium nitrate, so there is an alternative out there, but seriously, this is what it’s come to?
It’s not secret that hot dogs aren’t the greatest food in the world. They are full of salt and fat as well as a decent amount of protein, and apparently cancer. So seeing as how I don’t think I would want to live my life if I could not eat hot dogs and bacon whenever I wanted, I decided to do a little more research into this sodium nitrate and cancer link. The latest test records that I could find (here) came from a study done in 2000 which subjected mice and rats to sodium nitrate, there were no instances of cancer in the male mice or rats, or the female rats. There was “equivocal evidence” found in the forestomachs of the female mice, but since humans do not have a forestomach the scientists said this isn’t a concern. Plus the amount of sodium nitrate used in cured meats these days is quite low and has been determined to be safe for human consumption.
Now obviously eating hot dogs and bacon for every meal is not a good way to lead a healthy life, but I think you’d probably die from a heart attack before you developed terminal cancer. But what I don’t understand is why this group, Cancer Project, is only going after these foods that contain sodium nitrate. Within the last 2 weeks a lawsuit was filed in New Jersey that wants to force hot dog makers to put warning labels on the food (as I mentioned earlier, or here). But what about all the other foods out there that contain all sorts of chemicals that weren’t prevalent in food 30 years ago? Cows are pumped so full of random shit these days that it carries into the beef and the milk that kids these days are eating and drinking. Even from the time I was in elementary school to today kids look so much older than they ever did. I could walk down the street and check out some girl on the corner not realizing she is like 13… No wonder there are so many people being arrested for pedophilia these days, you can’t tell how old these kids are because of all the hormones and junk that is in the food they eat today. I’m 27 years old and my little cousin has friends that look older than me and they are only 17.
I could probably argue that pretty much everything in our society today can lead to one form of cancer or another. Think about it, you walk out in the sun for too long, cancer. You smoke a cigarette, cancer. Talk on your cell phone, that’s cancer. Have wireless internet in your house, hello cancer. Eat the tiniest bit of processed food, delicious delicious cancer. Eat fast food, get fat and get cancer (although I have yet to get fat and I have normal cholesterol). Smoke marijuana….. no cancer, but it leads to eating processed foods so I guess indirectly you could develop cancer. It seems like every day there is a new study that says something else in the world causes cancer, then the next day it doesn’t cause cancer, then a week later it does. I think if you just come to terms that your chances of getting cancer just because you’re living and enjoying life are pretty good, you will live a much happier life. If this group gets their way and a warning label is put on hot dogs and bacon, I think it’s only right that every other food in the world gets a label put on it as well. I think hot dogs and bacon are getting a bad rap because of todays health obsessed culture. Everything has to be organic this and organic that, but guess what, while organic food may not have certain pesticides on it, it’s still not any better for you nutrition wise. I’m sure there’s some test out there that shows organic foods cause cancer as well I’m just too lazy to look for it because frankly I don’t care.
I will continue to live my life the way I want to and the way that I enjoy because really, what’s the point of living life if you’re going to be worried about everything you eat and do? I think I’d shoot myself if I could never eat bacon, hot dogs or pepperoni again. Shit, I was just told that I’m lactose intolerant and I love cheese, but guess what, I’m still going to eat it even if it does make my stomach upset and is probably ripping apart my insides (which is what it feels like). I know it’s a little bit different since lactose intolerance supposedly doesn’t cause cancer, but it sure makes me uncomfortable, where as eating a hot dog wrapped in bacon only makes me happy.
So in conclusion, everything causes cancer it’s just something you’ll probably have to deal with at some point in your life, whether it’s you that suffers from it or a family member, there’s a pretty good chance it’s going to happen. But to single out one ingredient as being worse than all the other crap that’s put in food these days is ridiculous. If there were any significant fool-proof research done that proved that sodium nitrate will always cause cancer, or causes cancer in most applications, then the FDA would never approve it for use in food.
And with that I want to leave you with a delicious recipe for the Francheezie, a delicious combination of hot dog, bacon and cheese that is sure to cause cancer as well as clog your arteries and cure that sudden hunger urge you get from indulging in certain non-cancer causing recreational plants. First get yourself a jumbo hot dog, cut that sucker down the middle (but not all the way in half), take your american cheese (or whatever cheese you fancy, it doesn’t matter since they all cause cancer I’m sure), and fill that hot dog until it starts spilling over, next take a few raw strips of bacon, mmmmm cancer, and wrap it around the hot dog until you can no longer see it, for extra deliciousness wrap one piece around to seal in the cheese. Next you need to fry up some oil, which I’m sure causes cancer so it fits right in with this dish. Now deep fry the hell out of the bacon wrapped, cheese filled, cancer stick for a few minutes. Remove it from the oil, place onto a bun and bask in the glory that is the Francheezie. It tastes great by itself, but ketchup and whatever condiments you can fill it with can only add to the flavor.