18 December 2007 @ 10:46 am
nitrate/nitrite - free deli turkey?  
My parents scared me with a whole 'stay away from nitrates/nitrites' conversation which apparently is found in the deli turkey I typically buy for lunches. I checked the Hormel 100% natural turkey and it says 'no nitrates/nitrites added - but can be found naturally occurring in the flavorings we use.'  Not sure what's up with that but does anyone know of any easy-to-find brands that I can look for in the store? Would organic turkey = safe?

 I'm in upstate NY so I am near Wegmans, Tops, a few organic stores but no Whole Foods or Trader Joes :(  Also.. I know that other cold cuts like roast beef are supposed to have less nitrates but I really only eat turkey, maybe some chicken.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Erinsukidee on December 18th, 2007 03:55 pm (UTC)
I think Hormel Natural Choice is free of nitrates... you can buy it in the pre-packaged deli meat section.
boundwingsboundwings on December 18th, 2007 04:04 pm (UTC)
At the deli counter where the meat is sliced see if they have Boar's Head meats. The whole line of meats from them is healthier and much of it is approved by the American Heart Association for not having too much salt. The whole line is designed to be as real as possible and they stay away from fillers and nitrates and so on.
Angieaiela on December 18th, 2007 04:07 pm (UTC)
That's what I was going to suggest, too. The deli in my building only serves Boar's Head and it's great.
mesolimbicjoymesolimbicjoy on December 18th, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
I'm jealous. Boar's Head makes the best tasting cold cuts hands down, all health concerns aside.
pinkcdcasepinkcdcase on December 18th, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC)
thanks for the suggestion! I'm pretty sure my store carries that :) Now I just gotta get there when the deli counter is actually open.
meaghanxsingmeanything on December 18th, 2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
where is boar's head? i'm in buffalo and i can't find it (and seriously, wegmans can do no wrong but idk about their cold cuts)
stemware on December 18th, 2007 04:08 pm (UTC)
Are you in Ithaca? I can help you out there.
pinkcdcasepinkcdcase on December 18th, 2007 04:12 pm (UTC)
I'm in Rochester :) so Ithaca's a bit of a drive away for turkey. I went to the Ithaca deli last weekend though.. soooo delicious!!
stemware on December 18th, 2007 04:16 pm (UTC)
I'd say talk to the deli guy at Wegmans. They're usually pretty knowledgeable :-)
vwilliams: Busted Teesvwilliams on December 18th, 2007 07:14 pm (UTC)
I Miss Wegmans!!
There were two in the Allentown, PA area, where I went to school. I loved to cook, even in college on a limited budget. The food was amazing, they stocked interesting and exotic items (imported truffles), and their employees were pleasant and well-versed in their respective departments.
Niamhniamh1 on December 18th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that the Wegman's "Just" roast beef, turkey, etc are nitrite free. They are at the deli counter.

Another brand to look for is Applegate Farms. Abundance Co-op near downtown carries it. You might also find it at some of the bigger Wegman's and Lori's Natural Foods. Applegate also makes really good nitrite free hot dogs and bacon.
My Own Doppelgängercoflower on December 18th, 2007 04:19 pm (UTC)
I don't know how accurate this is but:

What are the sources of nitrite and nitrate?

Green leafy and root vegetables, such as spinach and carrots, provide more than 85 percent of dietary nitrate, which may be converted to nitrite by the human body during digestion. Though the majority of ingested nitrate is cleared rapidly from the body via excretion, some of it is transported to the salivary glands and secreted in the mouth. There it may be reduced by existing bacteria to nitrite and carried to the stomach upon swallowing.

Dietary nitrate may also come from drinking water. Most national drinking water authorities have set a maximum limit for nitrate in drinking water to prevent high intake. The levels of nitrate in water vary greatly and may be quite high in some localities. Nitrate content in both drinking water and vegetables can be influenced by the use of nitrate fertilisers.

Foods to which nitrite is added include bacon, fermented sausage, hot dogs, bologna, salami, corned beef, ham, and other products such as smoked or cured meat, fish, and poultry. On the whole, however, the dietary intake of nitrite from cured meats is only a minute fraction of the body's total exposure. A significant amount of nitrite in the body is produced endogenously (internally), rather than introduced from dietary sources.

Are foods containing nitrite or nitrate safe?

Yes, scientific evidence indicates that foods with added nitrite and naturally containing nitrate are safe for human consumption. No restrictions of these foods are supported by science.

Although vegetables are a major source of dietary nitrate, scientists have concluded that the benefits of eating them far outweigh any potential risk of their contribution to nitrite levels in the body. In fact, the conversion of dietary nitrate to nitrite has antimicrobial benefits in the mouth and stomach. Some epidemiological studies show a reduced rate of gastric and intestinal cancer in groups with a high vegetable-based nitrate intake.


I think like everything else, in moderation. If you eat any one type of thing every day you will have problems and there's a lot of salt (outside of nitrates) in cured meats so your sodium levels go up... We've become obsessed with this, that and the other and every new day seems there's a new study to say something is bad for us only to have another story pop up to state it's good for us - take alcohol and coffee for example.

I could think of a lot of other things to worry about.

But that's just me. :-)
Ann: black morning glorieskaiann on December 24th, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC)
Some of us have to avoid nitrates/nitrites in all forms in order to avoid migraines. I am highly sensitive to these chemicals, and it's a very serious problem for me. While they may be safe for most people, they can make me extremely sick.

It's the same with MSG (which is in most everything) and sodium phosphates. Preservatives in generally are just horrible. I miss the days when food was meant to be sold and eaten immediately, instead of sitting on store shelves for months.
Carrieitsjustsomegirl on December 18th, 2007 04:34 pm (UTC)
I sometimes buy this brand of turkey called "Applegate Farms" that is all natural/nitrite & nitrate-free. They have other kinds of meat, too, of course. I've found it at places like Whole Foods, but also at local grocery stores that are non-health food stores (King Soopers, but I'm in Colorado and it's the local form of Kroger basically). I like it!
Erin: ithaca is gorgesscarletgestalt on December 18th, 2007 04:40 pm (UTC)
Applegate Farms! Wegmans sells it.
argyle skullargyle_skull on December 18th, 2007 05:16 pm (UTC)
Applegate Farms and Diestel are both nitrate free.
pinkcdcasepinkcdcase on December 18th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
thanks for the help everyone! I really appreciate it :)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )