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Nitrate-Free, Homemade bacon? Is it paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 26, 2012 at 5:25 PM

I've been making my own homemade bacon from locally raised pigs. As of now, they are grain fed. Bummer, I know. As a side-note, there are people up here that raise pigs off of apples and hazelnuts. So aside from the diet of the pigs, is it the nitrates in the bacon that puts it on the "avoid" list or the very fact that it's near impossible to get non-grain fed pork?

My bacon is an herb cure with not much salt (1/4 cup per 10 lbs) and it's smoked with apple wood. I've heard that there's formaldehyde in the smoke so is that it? I can't believe it would be considering our ancestors have been smoking meats for thousands of years.

What makes bacon something to avoid?!

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on December 19, 2012
at 01:40 PM

Really? They couldn't have just buried it under the fire or... wait on it... positioned farther from the fire?

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on December 19, 2012
at 01:38 PM

Nobody here is advising to eschew necessary medical treatment.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 27, 2012
at 10:51 AM

Nitrates definitely aren't the bad guys here. Nitrates get reduced to nitrites, nitrites then form nitrous acid in your gut, subsequently forming nitrosonium ions, which react with animes (proteins) to form N-nitroso compounds. Under laboratory conditions, this requires much harsher conditions than you see in the human body. If you get gas from nitrates, that would suggest that you have a significant anaerobic microbal colony that can reduce nitrates to nitrogen gas.

2d58c4968798bf56fe7509f254c68ce3

(169)

on April 27, 2012
at 04:19 AM

Interesting take. Nitrates screw me up bad. Nasty gas is the acute symptom. But I've heard about huge amounts of free radicals. In live seafood systems, you have to immediately neutralize nitrates to nitrites and then to ammonia or you kill everything in the system. I'll stay the hell away from them.

7eba3d743671649c1e06cacce0ba4e77

(1423)

on April 26, 2012
at 08:56 PM

Are you serious? I buy the bacon with cultured celery extract and know that it is a source of nitrates, but is there really more nitrates in that than regular bacon with pure sodium nitrate added?

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4 Answers

3
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 26, 2012
at 07:13 PM

Pigs don't graze in pastures, they forage. They eat all sorts of things other than grass, they are pretty happy on a grain-supplemented diet (then again, so are cows). That's why their meat is less rich in omega-3s. Pork is definitely paleo, definitely best raised not in confinement.

I think folks are getting way too bent out of shape over nitrate in bacon. The point of the cure (traditionally) is to make the meat both safe and able to be stored for longer periods of time. If you have to worry about the cure used on the meat, you're probably eating too much bacon anyway!

2d58c4968798bf56fe7509f254c68ce3

(169)

on April 27, 2012
at 04:19 AM

Interesting take. Nitrates screw me up bad. Nasty gas is the acute symptom. But I've heard about huge amounts of free radicals. In live seafood systems, you have to immediately neutralize nitrates to nitrites and then to ammonia or you kill everything in the system. I'll stay the hell away from them.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 27, 2012
at 10:51 AM

Nitrates definitely aren't the bad guys here. Nitrates get reduced to nitrites, nitrites then form nitrous acid in your gut, subsequently forming nitrosonium ions, which react with animes (proteins) to form N-nitroso compounds. Under laboratory conditions, this requires much harsher conditions than you see in the human body. If you get gas from nitrates, that would suggest that you have a significant anaerobic microbal colony that can reduce nitrates to nitrogen gas.

0
Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

I've heard that there's formaldehyde in the smoke so is that it? I can't believe it would be considering our ancestors have been smoking meats for thousands of years.

That confuses me too! They could not have slow cooked food, unless they dried it in the sun.. although it was mostly saturated fats most likely. I was watching the food network and some tribe was cooking an ostrich egg on ashes. Where are the carcinogens there?

Bacon has a higher omega-6 content than say grass-fed beef and that can vary depending on the diet of the pig of course. Don't cook it until it's black and you'll be fine.

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on December 19, 2012
at 01:40 PM

Really? They couldn't have just buried it under the fire or... wait on it... positioned farther from the fire?

0
E800af4cd7339216c3997040fef5229a

on December 19, 2012
at 10:13 AM

Surely the fact they human life span has changed from 30ish years to 70ish tells you that they didn't always eat right or live long enough to develop some of the problems we see now. How many people die from smoking before they're 30?

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on December 19, 2012
at 01:38 PM

Nobody here is advising to eschew necessary medical treatment.

0
1ce9661622ba354c61669ffe900a01ab

on April 26, 2012
at 07:39 PM

Nitrate/Nitrites, blah, blah. There's more nitrate/nitrite content in celery juice/powder and other preservatives companies put in these so called "Nitrate/Nitrite Free" or "No Added Nitrate/Nitrite" foods (in particular bacon). I just make sure the ingredient list isn't too long on the bacon I eat (no crazy preservatives and/or MSG or gobs of sugar) and that's good to go for me ;)

7eba3d743671649c1e06cacce0ba4e77

(1423)

on April 26, 2012
at 08:56 PM

Are you serious? I buy the bacon with cultured celery extract and know that it is a source of nitrates, but is there really more nitrates in that than regular bacon with pure sodium nitrate added?

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