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MEAT

It came as a shock to me that raw meat at the grocery store almost always has added preservatives (and often also has added MSG).  Ingredients are almost never listed, and even if they are, the list may not be complete. It's not surprising that cold-cuts and processed meats are often full of additives, but even raw meat often has preservatives added (see here for more information). The best way to avoid these additives is to purchase raw meat from a reputable local butcher or farm, where they can tell you exactly what goes into their products. Not only will you be avoiding preservatives but you'll be getting better quality meat (which tastes way better), and you'll be supporting local business and reducing your carbon footprint.

Note: if you want to reduce your carbon footprint and improve your health even further, a plant-based diet is definitely something to consider! Check out the Food Choices documentary if you are debating this transition or are interested in more information. If you do choose to eat meat though, the following products are some of the rare exceptions that do not contain any nitrates, sugar or preservatives (other than salt)!

Palacios Dry Chorizo

Ingredients: PORK, PAPRIKA, SALT AND GARLIC

Delicious, rich, hard Spanish chorizo sausage.  I especially love having it with crackers and cheddar cheese.

 

Canadian Craft Prosciutto

Ingredients: PORK, SALT.

Delicious and versatile prosciutto.  There are a few brands of prosciutto available that do not contain additives but this is our favorite so far!

Hayter's Turkey Sausage - Original

Ingredients: TURKEY, SALT, PEPPER

Delicious turkey sausage with no added salt, free glutamate or other additives.  I'm not sure what is in the sausage casing but we haven't had a problem with it.

Brady's Sugar-Free, Nitrate-Free Bacon

Ingredients: PORK CURED WITH WATER, SALT, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, SODIUM ERYTHORBATE, SPICE EXTRACTS, NATURALLY SMOKED.

Hands down the best bacon. It unfortunately is not entirely additive free although it is nitrate-free, sugar-free and contains no processed free glutamate (we trust Brady's and they were able to reassure us that "spice extracts" actually means spice extracts, and we haven't had a problem with it).  It does contain sodium phosphate and sodium erythorbate.  Sodium phosphate has been well-studied and is considered safe (although it could be a problem for you if you are trying to limit your phosphate intake, if you have renal failure for example). Sodium erythorbate is an antioxidant structurally related to Vitamin C.  Normally we would avoid anything with any additives (even ones that are thought to be safe) but we make an occasional exception for Brady's bacon.

McLean Turkey Bacon (Breakfast Strips)

Ingredients: TURKEY, WATER, HONEY, SEA SALT, NATURAL SMOKE

Delicious turkey breakfast strips.  Not exactly bacon but very tasty nonetheless, and easier to find than bacon without additives or hidden MSG.  Note: unlike the turkey bacon, the McLean applewood smoked and hickory smoked bacon (pork breakfast strips) unfortunately both contain brown sugar (which is not only a source of added refined sugar, but can also be a source of hidden MSG).

McLean Sliced Cooked Roast Beef

Ingredients: ROAST BEEF RUBBED WITH SEA SALT AND BLACK PEPPER.

These roast beef slices are additive-free and perfect for sandwiches. McLean also has hickory smoked turkey breast and oven roasted chicken which also appear to be Before Natural (although I haven't personally tried them).

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