I suggest all of you who love bacon, give this bacon a try. It is sold at Heritage Meats, Save-On-Foods and goes for a little over $10.00 a pack. This is a very healthy, uncured bacon as it contains no nitrates, no phosphates, or MSG.
It is called Hertel’s bacon and from a local Vancouver Island supplier. This bacon does not look like the nice pink bacon you find at your local supermarkets. The reason being it contains NO PHOSHPATE, NO MSG, and most importantly NO NITRATES! Nitrates (NO3-) are responsible for preserving the meat, giving it that salty taste, and preventing the growth of harmful bacteria. The more pink the meat, the more nitrates have been added. People have been using nitrates for centuries to preserve meat.
So why is there such a hype around no nitrates? Well there have been claims that too much nitrate in the body under certain conditions has lead to damaged links and been linked to cancer. However, this has been carried out in rats and the dosage for their tiny bodies compared to a human body vary significantly! So the legal limit for humans is many factors of 10 greater. There have even been studies showing nitrate may in fact widen the arteries and decrease blood pressure!
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has a good article titled Nitrates: Harmful or Healthy that discusses the pros and cons of nitrates.
Another article that discusses nitrates and nitrites: Food sources of nitrates and nitrites: the physiological context for potential health benefits.