Is Lunch Meat Bad for You?

Many families are aware that conventional deli meats may not be the healthiest choice. Despite its price, it isn’t the only food culprit that either doesn’t provide much vitality, or may contain questionable ingredients or properties.

Processed meat is a great place to begin investigating. When meat is packed for commercial purposes, it’s given nitrates to prolong shelf life during refrigeration. For those wary of sodium and looking for alternatives, this article will shed some light.

Non processed lunch meat may also potentially be unhealthy for you. Beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb and fish that’s grown with the use of antibiotics, genetically modified feed and other contaminants may present serious, long-term health risks. Bovine growth hormone is a common example in the cattle industry.

What is the healthiest lunch meat that you can buy?

Using unprocessed lunch meat is a good idea. You can cure and smoke meat at home for flavor and long-term storage. This is a great way to avoid high fructose corn syrup, MSG and many other chemicals that have proven health risks.

Pork is an excellent example of meat that’s high in both protein and fat. You can avoid an enormous amount of trans fat, when you consider the  oils that are added to deli meats for appearance and flavor.

Opting for organic lunch meat is also a good idea. Purchasing in bulk is one strategy that many families use to save money and enjoy healthier foods.  Remember that you can cure, smoke, cut and preserve your meat at home using simple processes.

Deli meat can be healthy, but you have to be vigilant. Even brands that appear to be healthy, which are labeled as organic or free range, may contain chemicals such as aspartame and many of the ingredients we’ve mentioned.

A processed meat list for discerning families

Much more useful than listing all of the kinds of meats that are processed, would be a list of strategies to overcome the potential hazards of meat processing.

Bacon is an example of processed meat. You take pork belly and cure it in salt and other ingredients to draw out the moisture for a longer shelf life in your refrigerator. As you know, this can be done at home as a way to save money and avoid unwanted ingredients.

As an alternative to conventional uses of sodium nitrate in deli meat, you could use the following strategy. When curing meat at home, replace conventional or chemical sodium with a vegetable nitrate concentrate.

You could also use a meat dehydrator and replace the need for curing your meat, and using sodium nitrate, altogether. You can dry your meat in bulk, allowing it to last many times longer than raw or normally cooked meat. This is a perfect replacement for conventional deli meats, and provides for a world of new recipes, such as South African biltong or teriyaki beef jerky.

These processes allow you to purchase the healthiest, organically-grown, unprocessed deli meat. Whether you’re interested in turkey, ham, salami, veal, corned  beef or any other type of meat, you can save money by purchasing in bulk and processing them yourself.

Using a jerky dehydrator is just one method of providing the healthiest deli meat for your family!

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