Bacon is a beloved breakfast staple for many, but with concerns over nitrates and nitrites, more and more people are seeking out nitrate-free options.
Wright Bacon is a popular brand that many bacon lovers turn to, but is it truly nitrate-free?
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the ingredients in Wright Bacon and explore the truth behind its labeling.
Whether you’re a health-conscious consumer or just curious about what’s in your food, read on to learn more about Wright Bacon and its nitrate content.
Is Wright Bacon Nitrate Free?
Wright Bacon is not technically nitrate-free, despite what its labeling may suggest. Like many other bacon manufacturers, Wright Bacon uses celery powder as a curing agent to achieve the same effect as nitrates and nitrites. However, celery powder is naturally high in nitrates, which means that labeling the bacon as “uncured” or with “no nitrates or nitrites added” is misleading.
The reason why the World Health Organization (WHO) hasn’t called out celery powder as a potential health risk is because nitrate-rich vegetables like celery and radishes contain antioxidants like vitamin C that prevent nitrosamine formation. These vegetables put up natural barriers to keep nitrosamines from forming. However, the problem with celery powder is that it concentrates the nitrites and removes the antioxidants, so you don’t get the same benefits you would from eating a fresh stick of celery.
Lab tests have shown that using celery powder on bacon creates more nitrites in the meat than curing with sodium nitrite itself. This makes uncured bacon a not-so-clean option after all. Nitrate-free bacon is just as dangerous as conventional bacon because both types of bacon have high protein content, which means they contain amines that can become nitrosamines in your body.
What Are Nitrates And Why Are They A Concern In Bacon?
Nitrates are chemical compounds that contain nitrogen and oxygen. They are commonly used in processed meats like bacon, ham, and salami as preservatives to prevent harmful bacteria from growing. Nitrates are also responsible for giving these meats their characteristic pink color. However, nitrates can be converted into nitrites, which can react with other compounds in the meat to form nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are potentially cancer-causing compounds that have been linked to various types of cancer, including stomach, colon, and pancreatic cancer.
The concern with nitrates in bacon is that when it is cooked at high temperatures, nitrosamines can form. This is because the high heat causes the nitrites in the bacon to react with amino acids, which are present in high amounts in meat. Nitrosamines are particularly dangerous because they can damage DNA and increase the risk of cancer.
To address this issue, manufacturers have been required by law to limit the amount of nitrites they use in processed meats. They also add vitamin C, which inhibits nitrosamine formation. However, some manufacturers have turned to using celery powder as a natural alternative to nitrates and nitrites. While celery powder does contain antioxidants that prevent nitrosamine formation, it also concentrates the nitrites and removes the antioxidants. As a result, using celery powder on bacon can actually create more nitrites than curing with sodium nitrite itself.
Understanding Wright Bacon’s Ingredients
Wright Bacon uses a blend of real wood chips to smoke their hand-trimmed, thick-cut meat, resulting in a rich and hearty flavor. However, despite the labeling suggesting otherwise, Wright Bacon is not nitrate-free. Like many other bacon manufacturers, Wright Bacon uses celery powder as a curing agent to achieve the same effect as nitrates and nitrites. Celery powder is naturally high in nitrates, which means that labeling the bacon as “uncured” or with “no nitrates or nitrites added” is misleading. Using celery powder on bacon creates more nitrites in the meat than curing with sodium nitrite itself, making uncured bacon just as dangerous as conventional bacon due to its high protein content containing amines that can become nitrosamines in your body.
The Truth About Wright Bacon’s Nitrate Content
If you’re a fan of Wright Bacon and are wondering about its nitrate content, the truth is that it’s not nitrate-free. Despite the labeling on the packaging, Wright Bacon uses celery powder as a curing agent, which is naturally high in nitrates. This means that the bacon is not truly “uncured” or “no nitrates or nitrites added,” as the nitrites are formed during production.
Lab tests have shown that using celery powder on bacon creates even more nitrites in the meat than curing with sodium nitrite itself. This makes Wright Bacon and other uncured bacons just as dangerous as conventional bacon, as they both contain high levels of protein that can form nitrosamines in your body.
It’s important to note that while nitrate-rich vegetables like celery and radishes are not considered a health risk by the WHO, using concentrated forms like celery powder can be problematic. The antioxidants in these vegetables prevent the formation of nitrosamines, but when they’re removed during processing, the risk of cancer-causing compounds increases.
If you’re looking for a healthier option, consider getting high-quality pastured bacon from your local farmer and cooking it at a low temperature. Alternatively, you can cure your own bacon using natural ingredients like sea salt, maple syrup, and herbs. Just be sure to do your research and follow safe food handling practices.
Nitrate-free Alternatives To Wright Bacon
If you’re looking for a nitrate-free alternative to Wright Bacon, there are a few options available. One option is to look for bacon that is cured with natural ingredients like sea salt, honey, or maple syrup instead of celery powder. These types of bacon may be labeled as “all-natural” or “organic,” and they are often available at specialty stores or farmers markets.
Another option is to try making your own bacon at home using a nitrate-free curing method. This can be done using ingredients like sea salt, brown sugar, and spices, and it allows you to control the quality of the meat and the ingredients used in the curing process.
Finally, you can also consider switching to other types of breakfast meats that are naturally nitrate-free, such as turkey bacon or chicken sausage. These options may not have the same flavor as traditional bacon, but they can still be a tasty and healthy addition to your breakfast routine.