Given recent food industry news releases, it appears that Tyson is hoping to increase their profit margins by positioning their new nitrate-/nitrite-free hotdogs as “clean”.* While we applaud their commitment to remove nitrites and added nitrates, their version of this processed meat product is not even remotely close to “clean”. Nitrate/Nitrite-free? Excellent. But even after nitrates/nitrites are removed this is NOT a product that is free of troubling additives. True, they do state their processed meat product contains no artificial colors, flavors, by-products or fillers (again, excellent), but there is still a ways to go. Now, they need to work on removing other chemicals of concern that have been linked in scientific research to adverse health reactions, not the least of which includes sodium phosphate, a food chemical that has been linked to kidney and heart failure even among young, healthy people.
We assume there is a lot of R&D required in replacing harmful additives with safer food chemicals and that this removal of nitrates/nitrites is yet just another step in that process. We look forward to the next press release announcing that the other chemicals of concern in Tyson hotdogs (sodium phosphate, [unknown/mystery] flavorings, sodium diacetate, and sodium erythorbate) have been removed and that their processed meat product has finally come close to actually being “clean”.
*Consumer interest in clean label meat has caused sales growth for those products to outpace that of conventional meat, according to recent Nielsen data. Source
For more on this topic see:
Tyson hopes to score in ‘cleaning up’ Ball Park hot dogs
Tyson cleans up Ball Park brand