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What are hot dogs really made out of?

Dear Auntie, what are hot dogs really made out of? – Thanks dawg, Chibi, Zuni Pueblo

Thanks for the question Chibi. Although, I wasn’t really sure I wanted to find out the answer, so thanks for that. If you look at the ingredient list of say the Original Ball Park frank. Here’s what you’ll read:

  • Ingredients: MECHANICALLY SEPARATED TURKEY, PORK, WATER, CORN SYRUP, BEEF, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, POTASSIUM LACTATE, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, FLAVORINGS,BEEF STOCK, SODIUM DIACETATE, SODIUM ERYTHORBATE, MALTODEXTRIN, SODIUM NITRITE, EXTRACTIVES OF PAPRIKA.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

If you break that ingredient list down you find the USDA defines mechanically separated poultry (MSP) as “a paste-like and batter-like poultry product produced by forcing bones, with attached edible tissue, through a sieve or similar device under high pressure to separate bone from the edible tissue.” The USDA guidelines also say, “The standard also requires that they be comminuted (reduced to minute particles), semisolid products made from one or more kinds of raw skeletal-muscle from livestock (like beef or pork), and may contain poultry meat.” Yum.

You’re kind of in luck with the “beef’ part, since Mad Cow Disease came on the scene, you can’t Mechanically Separate Beef anymore. Then there’s justa ton of chemicals used to preserve the meat, color it and for flavor it. Some of which have reports of side effects, such as dizziness, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, trigger migraines and on occasion, kidney stones. Getting hungry?

Regardless on these disgusting facts, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates that Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs annually. Most of which is done in “hot dog season” during the summer months between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Chibi you asked and I told. Use this information as you choose. I might start looking into all-natural meat makers though…now I think a chili dog sounds good.

Happy Eating! Auntie Manda

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