When it comes to some processed American food favorites, ignorance is truly bliss. Because if consumers really knew what went into their foods, they may actually be motivated to eating healthier. There is no greater example of this than the great American hot dog.
Recently profiled on Discovery Channel’s How It’s Made program, a hot dog factory let viewers in on the nauseating secrets to their success.
We’ve all heard that hot dogs are made of lips and other disgusting meat leftovers, not suitable for the “finer” cuts. And it’s true—these meat tubes are filled with the bits and pieces of pork, chicken, and beef not good enough to be packaged as-is. Instead, they are ground together, resembling hamburger meat.
Then, starches, flavors, and no doubt some MSG for good measure, are added. Water is added to the mix and the result slightly resembles a meat soft-serve. Corn syrup is added to sweeten the pot and, well, because it wouldn’t be an American processed food if it didn’t contain corn.
Finally, it is packaged in casings and receives a “smoke shower” before baking and being soaked with a salt water solution.
The images accompanying the profile are nothing short of sickening and prove that the truth about hot dogs is even worse than you likely imagined.
Next time you decide to fire up the grill, consider grilled vegetables or at the very least, meat that didn’t have to be processed beyond recognition before reaching the supermarket.