Nitrates are salts used to keep your meats fresh and bacteria free. I was buying uncured bacon for years (for my husband the bacon fanatic) but I just read this article that slapped me across the face. Nitrate free doesn’t mean free of nitrates and in fact might contain more nitrates than cured meats. Celery juice and powdered extract are used to supplement the need for the salts. Although celery has naturally occurring nitrates the body processes them the same as it would with those in cured meat.
I feel guilty because I thought I was doing my husband a favor by sneaking him uncured bacon. Nitrates are believed to cause stomach cancer hence the guilt at possibly feeding him more than if I had just cooked the real bacon he wanted. I can’t live in fear about what I purchase off the shelf being mislabeled. I am trying to buy more from the source in order to avoid food additives. Local farmers markets really are the best way to purchase foods. Just wanted to tip you all off on the ‘not so’ nitrate free labeling.