Organic hot dogs!

Happy day! Hot dogs from animals not only raised organically, but in pasture — health grass-fed animals instead of the grain-fed, feel lot, antibiotic-filled animals that most people still eat.

For Natural Dogs, a Growing Appetite
New York Times
July 5, 2006

In the past four years sales of packaged organic hot dogs have increased sharply. Although organic dogs have been around for at least a decade, the new models on the market taste better, have healthier fat profiles and are made from animals that spend their lives eating nothing but pasture.

The key is that the curing code has recently been cracked. Instead of relying on sodium nitrates or the more common sodium nitrites for color, texture and shelf life, hot dog makers have found a magic solution of celery juice, lactic acid and sea salt that rescues the organic dog from its tough brown reputation and rockets it to pink juiciness. It also addresses the concern among some consumers and scientists that nitrites and nitrates might contribute to cancer.

No nitrites or nitrates either? Those are the main reason I avoid hot dogs nowadays, because nitrites & nitrates have also been implicated in diabetes & other health issues.

Where can I get ’em? I miss hot dogs sooooooo much.

Stephen McDonnell, who founded the natural meat company Applegate Farms in 1987 and remains its chief executive, argues that the hot dog revolution should center on beef from animals that eat only pasture rather than the standard diet of grain. Beef from cattle raised on grass is leaner and has a healthier dose of omega-3 fatty acids, the kind found in fish like salmon and mackerel. As a result, he said, the dogs are healthier.

Exactly. Grass-fed is better — better for the animal, in terms of it having a better & more healthy life before slaughter, & better for the humans who consume its meat.

I might add at this point that I have no ethical issues with the web of life that leads different species to eat each other (whether plant or animal): this is how life & death are set up in this universe. But I have plenty of ethical issues with the feedlot methods of animal “production,” in which animals are kept in miserable, unhealthy conditions, are fed diets unnatural to them, & must be continually dosed with antibiotics because of the diseases they’re prone to as a result of the unhealth of their conditions. I will, & do, pay extra for eggs from free range chickens (not just “cage-free” but “free range,” & I’m willing to do so for organic, free-range beef & bison too.

After working for a decade on the formula, Mr. McDonnell this month introduced low-priced nitrate-free hot dogs made with grass-fed beef from Uruguay.

It’s just too bad that it has to come all the way from Uruguay. As the article later goes on to discuss, locally grown food, whether from plant or animal sources, is preferable because it doesn’t use up so many resources, especially petroleum products, just to get it to market. From what the article says, there’s a lot of that kind of hot dog available in New York City & environs, but hey, I live in Alaska… & already most of my food supply comes from elsewhere. But when I can, I do eat locally produced food.

Sold under the name the Great Organic Hot Dog, they look just like those plump, salty, chemically pink dogs served on buns at sporting events and from street carts….

….The new dogs will be the first completely grass-fed wienies in the country to be sold at mainstream markets like Publix and Safeway.

Wow… does that mean we might get them here, at Carrs? (Which is just Safeway by another name.)

There are also organic hot dogs from Organic Valley that come from Midwestern cattle whose diet is at least 85 percent grass.

I’m gonna be on the lookout for these. I really really really miss hot dogs.

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