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Published on February 25th, 2013 | by No Artificial

The Harmful Effects of Eating Processed Meat

Toxins in processed meat can cause serious health problems.

For decades, meat has been preserved with salt. Today, all packaged and processed meats have been put through devitalizing chemical processes and are infused with additives, chemicals and preservatives that can have a devastating effect on our health. Even their organic alternatives may be equally contaminated throughout processing.
Most highly processed meats are treated to stop the growth of molds and to prevent spoilage. These products often include sodium nitrite, a color fixer that makes processed meats look fresher and more appetizing and has been linked to cancer.

Processed meats include sliced deli meats, sausage, jerky, pepperoni, bacon, lunch meats, hot dogs, and meats used on pizzas, in canned foods, and in packaged products.

Toxins in Processed Meat

Nitrates and Nitrites
Potassium nitrate and sodium nitrite are used as preservatives in processed meats and are well-known artificial additives that may cause headaches, vomiting, breathing problems and other allergic reactions. According to the American Meat Institute, these curing agents are harmful to humans. Adding too much of either chemical to processed meats can cause illness and death. Furthermore, the use of nitrates and nitrites in processed meats has been linked to cancer.

Sulfites, or sulfur dioxide is used as a preservative to prevent spoilage. Sulfur dioxide bleaches rotten parts of meat, hiding it from view and destroying vitamins.

Artificial Sweeteners
Many processed meats are sweetened with aspartame, saccharin and other chemical substances. These have been related to various allergies, headaches, behavioral disorders and neurological issues. Moreover, saccharin is linked to cancer.

Emulsifiers and thickeners are used to modify the structure of processed meats and prevent ingredients from separating. One common emulsifier, propylene glycol, is a synthetic solvent. It damages the skin and it also leads to neurological side effects.

The most common flavor booster in processed meat is MSG, whose unwanted side effects are many. They include headaches, dizziness, allergic reactions, cognitive dysfunction, neurological changes, depression, chest pains, confusion and mood swings.

American Meat Institute

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