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snowman51's Profile

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cured bacon, uncured bacon

whatever you are allergic to, its not nitrites. Your body produces them naturally. Without them in your gut you would die of food poisoning no matter what you eat. If you can eat cherries and celery which contain HUGE quantities of nitrates you are not allergic to that part of the processed food.

I understand allergies very well as I am allergic to Onions, Garlic, and Cloves. Anaphylaxis reaction no less. Many Er visits, 25 years, and many Doctors to narrow down the list to those items, meaning I couldn't eat anything with them in them, e.g. pizza, hotdogs, ketchup, some pickles, many processed meats, hamburgers and steak if cooked with a sauce or spices, spaghetti as it usually has a sauce on it, most jerky and Col. Sanders when they fked up their chicken about 30 years ago. If you haven't had your mouth and throat swell shut within minutes, you don't know what a serious allergy is.

Also your Dr. may be wrong as food allergies are very difficult to test for accurately. There are a lot of spices in some processed foods. Food intolerance, although not technically an allergy, is also very hard to live with. Food intolerance and food allergies are not well understood and the science is not even close to being there yet. Black magic and food fanatics, that mostly have no clue, represent the bulk of the non scientific literature available. The FACT is that everyone is living longer than ever before, and none of the food nuts are living longer or better than the rest of us.

Feb 05, 2013
snowman51 in General Topics

cured bacon, uncured bacon

Your are absolutely wrong about lifespan, it is increasing.

Jan 15, 2013
snowman51 in General Topics

cured bacon, uncured bacon

spelling (actually mistyped) corrected post

Unless you are immediately smoke cooking the salted pork it is unsafe to cold smoke it without a curing agent. Smoked bacon is held at approx. 90 degrees to 127 degrees F for many hours or even days. In any case it isn't bacon without being cured with a nitrate or nitrite. The nitrates from celery or cherry powder are the EXACT same thing as the chemical nitrate. Commercial bacon bans the use of nitrates and requires the use of nitrites. So called natural uncured bacon contains BANNED nitrates but because it is "natural", it is however just as unsafe as the chemical nitrate if to much remains after the cure. Since the quantity is not regulated in celery it is a crapshoot as to how much nitrate remains and also if there was enough to safely cure the bacon. Vacuum packing actually helps botulin grow.
Arsenic is considered a natural substance when used on organic crops! Organic and natural foods represent, in my opinion, a danger to our health as well as ability to feed everyone. Modern methods are far superior and more sustainable than organic methods of farming and processing food and meats. Sometimes organic may taste better to some people but taste is not the same as quality and safety and yields. World wide food production is more economical than local food production, not to mention sustainable as well as more secure from local disasters.

Dec 21, 2011
snowman51 in General Topics

cured bacon, uncured bacon

Where do you get bacon that has been "cured" with only salt and smoked?

Unless you are immediately smoke cooking the salted pork it is unsafe to cold smoke it without a curing agent. Smoked bacon is held at approx 90 degrees to 127 degrees F for many hours or even days. In any case it isn't bacon without being cured with a nitrate or nitrite. The nitrates from celery or cherry powder are the EXACT same thing as the chemical nitrate. Commercial bacon bans the use of nitrates and requires the use of nitrites. So called natural iuncured bacon contains BANNED nitrates but because it is "natural", it is however just as unsafe as the chemical nitrate if to much remains after the cure. Since the quantity is not regulated in celery it is a crapshoot as to how much nitrate remains and also if there was enough to safely cure the bacon. Vacuum packing acutally helps botulim grow.

Arsnic is considered a natural substance when used on organic crops! Organic and natural foods represent, in my opinion, a danger to our health as well as ability to feed everyone. Modern methods are far superior and more sustainable than organic methods of farming and processing food and meats. Sometimes organic may taste better to some people but taste is not the same as quality and safety and yields. World wide food production is more echonomical than local food production, not to mention sustainable as well as more secure from local disasters.

Dec 20, 2011
snowman51 in General Topics

cured bacon, uncured bacon

Nitrates go to Nitrites not vise versa. See previous extensive explanations of the entie process.

If processed food is so bad why are people living longer than ever, explain that!
I got food poisioning once. It was from "Natural" un pasteurized orange juice.

Nov 28, 2011
snowman51 in General Topics

curing bacon spices

Home curing bacon is great, you can match your favorite flavor. I am looking for what additional spices are used for a normal kind of bacon, eg Oscar Myey, or any one of the common bacons.

What I know:

Salt

Maple

Brown Suger

Honey

Smokes-hickery, apple, mahogany, ... plus double smoked

Suger

dextrose

What else is added to common bacon as a spice? Please do not include garlic or othe strong spices not commonly found in bacon.

My personal guesses so far are:

vanilla, sage, red pepper, apple juice, lemon juice, cider and other spices,

Please give your best guess or if you know of what the commercial people use, just give the spice or flavor so as not to give away any proprietary info.

Nov 22, 2011
snowman51 in General Topics

Dry curing Bacon

What is your take on what makes bacon "dry cured"?

I know the start for certain. Rub the pork belly with pleanty of cure mixed with spices.

What comes next is unclear.

One book states that the belly ends up curing in its own brine, brine added if natural brine is insufficient.

Another states that all bine is drained off as the belly cures and several additional rubs are required.

Another states that the belly is hung in a cold room and left to dry for a month. while curing.

What is your take on what consists of dry curing bacon?

Nov 22, 2011
snowman51 in General Topics

cured bacon, uncured bacon

I will state my information from a historical perspective. My family was in the farming business for over the last 400 years, most recently dairy. My father started to leave the business and I was never in it. I did learn some important information about meat curing. Farmers often raised their own pigs, chickens, and cattle as well as crops as did my family. In fact I helped raise a few pigs and chickens myself. My family used salt peter for at least the last 400 years to cure meats such as bacon, sausage and various jerky’s. Only a teaspoon for 100 lbs of meat plus lots of salt. I suspect that the people who consumed these products only tasted the salt, consequently the lore about salt curing. Salt had nothing to do with the cure, it was that little teaspoon of saltpeter that did the magic.

Saltpeter is now banned. The reason is the nitrate of saltpeter is potentially harmful if left after the curing process. The nitrites are completely safe. Science has learned that the nitrite is the chemical that does the trick and consequently banned nitrates. Uncured bacon uses celery powder (containing an unknown quantity of the banned nitrate ) to cure bacon. If all the nitrate is converted to nitrite, all is well, if not, nitrates remain. Nitrates are banned from normal cured bacon and no residual amount is allowed. In simple English, the so called natural un-uncured bacon contains all of the stuff people are trying to avoid when buying bacon than the cured does.. If there is a danger from a small amount of nitrates you will get it in un-cured bacon. Buying cured bacon will avoid this problem!!!

Hams use a mix of nitrates and nitrites, e.g. instacure #2, however the cure time is long enough for all the nitrates to convert to nitrites and all is well.

Is there really a problem with nitrates or nitrites? Not likely as they have both been consumed for far to long to be a problem.

No one is living long enough, regardless of their diet, to merit any big time changes. Most with their magic diets only live to 40 to 95, just like the rest of us. My grandmothers and gggg grandfathers, mothers lived to late 80's and to about 95. They ate pig knuckles, bacon cured with saltpeter, and a lot of really discusting stuff, yet they lived, long healthy lives. It was the same for my mothes family (farmers) and most of my immediate family back to the 1500's. Some back much further.\

So relax and just buy ther best tasting bacon you can find, eg Oscar Myer, Mahogony meats Bishop, CA, several WI made bacons eg Newsky (sp), Celbritys and from anyone with the last name of Yoder in IN.

Nov 22, 2011
snowman51 in General Topics

cured bacon, uncured bacon

Check your frig temp. Usually 40 deg F unless you have a special meat drawer which may be at 31-32 deg F.

No O2 and botulism grows, check it out in Wiki.

Nov 11, 2011
snowman51 in General Topics

Why is deli meat unhealthy?

My opinion is that, if you have any gene that makes you susceptible to some disease, you will run across a trigger for it, no matter what you do. I had friends that knew they were susceptible to certain cancers. Their only choice was to be screened more often than the general population in hopes of detecting the cancer early. For example colon cancer can be detected using a colonoscopy and if done often, pre cancer plops, removed. Unfortunately some cancers are so aggressive that even an annual screening is not enough. In the case of colon cancer the general public needs screening once every 5 years. With a strong family history, every year. Screening more often is impractical.

My personal observations are that we are not designed to live much past 35 years. Starting at age 28 we start to lose muscle strength, the rate dependent upon fitness. We start seeing people we know dying at age 35 of heart disease, age 40 of various ailments, at age 50 even more, and by age 60 the obit states natural causes. If you do make it to 60 your chances of living to 80 actually improve a bit.
Put another way it is probably more beneficial to have an annual physical, taylored to your family history, than picking what kind of deli meats you eat. Moderation in diet is very important. Nitrates or Nitrites are so far down the list that they are insignificant.

Remember these are my personal opinions.

Mar 30, 2011
snowman51 in General Topics

cured bacon, uncured bacon

very informative and well done (pardon the pun). You should submit a long version to the NY times or WSJ food sections.
Thank you for your time

Mar 12, 2011
snowman51 in General Topics

Why must all restaurant entrees have meat in them?

why do almost all reastaurents add garlic to evevrything? Meat, veggies, whatever. One good sniff or bite of garlic and I am on the way to the hospital. I guess its what sells, bad for me but good for the profit margin. Must be the same for meat additives.

Mar 10, 2011
snowman51 in General Topics

Why is deli meat unhealthy?

Its all (almost all anyway) in your genes. Bad genes, your screwed, no matter what you eat. Good genes, eat anything you want and live to be 95.

I am lucky enough to have family history for a continuous period of about 500 years. One line of my family all lives to about mid 90's and I know for a fact that the last couple of generations ate pickled pig knuckles for snacks 5 times a day (may be an exageration but not much). A more recent branch married into a family in 1880. That family also has a long geneology and everyone in it died about age 50 from colon cancer. The offspring in my family line started dying at age 50 something from colon cancer. They were Harvard grads and MDs so they knew what they were dying from. The brothers that did not marry into that family continued to live into their 90's and still do. They eat bacon, a lot of bacon and they used salt peter to cure it untill lately. Salt peter is no longer used as it is considered to unsafe.

What does my familys experience prove? Actually nothing much, but it points to a strong correlation to genes and cancer. 6 straight generations of the same kind of cancer. 12 generations of no cancer on an unrelated branch.

Thats more proof than many of the food nuts that don't eat anything that is not "natural" can provide. We are also learning that the dose is the poison. Even french fries don't appear to have enough bad stuff to kill us, but genes, we will soon know which of us are doomed from the start. Good genes, and moderation, the common traits of my long lived ancestors.

Mar 10, 2011
snowman51 in General Topics

Why is deli meat unhealthy?

"the concern with sodium nitrite is that when it reacts with stomach acid, it produce nitrosamines"

I beleive that this is incorrect, nitrosamines are formed when nitrites are heated to high temperature, eg frying bacon. Nitrites are natural and in most veggies in great abundance, 100's to 1000's of times more than any processed meat can have by law. Don't even think of eating celery if you worry about nitrites.

Feb 27, 2011
snowman51 in General Topics

cured bacon, uncured bacon

Pollo,
Your facts are Wrong. The FDA insists on use of nitrites because its the ONLY way to make certain meats safe to eat.

Feb 27, 2011
snowman51 in General Topics

cured bacon, uncured bacon

What you are doing is uinsafe. You may not get sick this time or the next 50 times, but with the bug you are dealing with will not only make you sick but quite possibly die. The botulism poision has not taste and the meat will not appear to be spoiled and yes no matter how clean things are now, its still out there. It grows between 40 deg F and 140 deg F the temp in your frig. It is my understanding that once it grows to a certain level that even cooking will not make it safe to eat.

My bottom line is that if you are wrong and unlucky it kills and thats just to sick for me to risk.

Feb 27, 2011
snowman51 in General Topics