Many companies add nitrates/nitrites to prolong shelf life and give color. We think our meat looks perfect just the way it is, and as for shelf life, we don’t worry too much about that. Country Archer meat snacks fly off the shelf!
So then, what are nitrates and nitrites, and how can they affect health? Let’s just count the ways…
1. Links to cancer.
While nitrites and nitrates naturally occur in many foods we eat from fruits to vegetables, the harmful effects are curbed in those cases by naturally occurring vitamin C which prevents nitrosamines from forming. When nitrates are ingested the natural enzymes in the body convert them into nitrites, which eventually form nitrosamines.
Unfortunately, nitrosamines may be where cancer-causing cells occur in your body. The World Health Organization states “meat processing such as curing, by adding nitrates or nitrites can lead to potentially cancer-causing (carcinogenic) chemicals”. So while the science isn’t 100% clear, we think it’s best to steer clear.
2. Links to Alzheimer’s and diabetes.
Additional studies suggest nitrosamines may affect brain health and contribute to Alzheimer’s.
Experiments were conducted showing that nitrosamines may cause diabetes as well as fatty liver disease and obesity. These studies indicate that deficits in motor function, spatial learning and the development of insulin resistance were evident. The study concluded that environmental and food contaminant exposures to nitrosamines may result in degenerative brain function and insulin resistance, suggesting that by better detecting human exposure to nitrosamines, it’s possible to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and diabetes.
3. Links to heart disease.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “It’s thought that sodium nitrate may damage your blood vessels, making your arteries more likely to harden and narrow, leading to heart disease.”
While there are other studies that suggest additional negative affects from the consumption of nitrates and nitrites, the big three above should be enough reason to steer clear. By sticking with all natural real food ingredients, we’ve committed to clean snacking. More meat. Less bull. No junk. That’s our winning recipe.