I’ve heard all nitrites are bad for you, no matter where they come from.
When nitrites combine with amines in meat at high temperatures they can form nitrosamines. About 40 years ago, some studies found nitrosamines to be carcinogenic. Since then, we have discovered that only 5% of nitrites consumed by humans are found in meat – we get 93% from plants and water. The average person only consumes microscopic amounts of nitrosamines, not the large amount the study found to cause cancer.
At Applegate, we maintain a commonsense approach to food. Our philosophy is: “Eat Less Meat, But Better Meat.” Naturally cured meats enjoyed in moderation can be part of a healthy diet.
The Bottom Line: Will eating foods cured with synthetic nitrates harm you? No. Are we proud to use natural, plant-based curing agents that don’t come from factories and aren’t ingredients in rocket fuel? Definitely.