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What are nitrates and what kinds of foods are they in? How are they bad for you?

My 16-month old dd loves deli meats -- she's loves salty stuff, but I don't eat them much since I'm leaning toward vegetarianism. I suspect they have nitrates in them, but I don't know what those are or what kinds of health problems they cause! And where can I find nitrate-free stuff? It's about 100 miles to the closest Whole Foods or Trader Joes, and I don't have a health food store close by (but there may be an independent one 40 miles away).

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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Hi mama~

Ok, I'm no expert, but this is what I know...

Nitrates are used in most packaged deli meats, hot dogs, bacon...
even at Trader Joe's, there are only a couple that don't have it. I believe it is required to say on the package somewhere if it contains nitrates. From what I understand, and have been taught (I work at TJ's) is that nitrates cause cancer, the FDA is aware of that, but there is no known substitute so they are letting it still be sold. I think it basically is used as a preservative and helps maintain color, etc. I found this article, I didn't read it all but it talks about some new studies in nitrates:

http://www.organicconsumers.org/food...meat050305.cfm

Hope the link works!

I'm not sure where to get nitrate free meat?? Maybe if there is a butcher or fresh deli around, you can ask them if they can thinly slice fresh cooked meat and ask them if they use nitrates?? Also maybe kosher certified meat?? Its worth checking?

Good luck~

*erin*
#1 edd 10/29/05
 
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