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Vegetarians in Paradise

Vegetarianism in the News


August, 2009 -- Vegparadise News Bureau

Frankly, My Dear….
It's a Dog-gone Shame


Let's be frank, hot dogs are a real killer. The nonprofit Cancer Project has filed a lawsuit in Essex County Superior Court in New Jersey asking that hot dog purveyors be required to place labels on hot dog packages warning buyers that weenie chomping can cause colon cancer.

This lawsuit is no baloney. Why not a black-box warning on these fat, salty torpedoes that could sink any gut in America. They're not loaded with nitroglycerin that could cause one to explode, but they're packed with stuff that can create a good case of cancer--preservatives like nitrites that become nitrosamines in the digestive process. Nitrosamines are carcinogens (a fancy way of saying they cause cancer)! The black-box warning could be similar to the one on cigarette packages: SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, and May Complicate Pregnancy.

Hot Dog Dog makers don't relish black box warning
The lawsuit says that hot dogs need this type of warning, but the dog-gone manufacturers don't relish the idea that they should be required to package these missiles with black boxes that shout their lack of health merits. Of course, warnings are often ignored, witness the number of young people lighting up cigarettes because these kids think they're immortal until they cough up emphysema and/or lung cancer.

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council reports that 730 million packages of frankfurters were devoured in 2008 with people spending $3.4 billion for this offal stuff. That means the average American gets credit for wolfing down 2 1/2 packages of wieners (about 25) during the year. Since vegetarians and vegans walk away from this food lab creation, most Americans are eating more than that at sporting events, theaters, and fast food stands.

These carnivores may not want to know about a report issued by the American Institute for Cancer Research in November 2007. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective emerged from a 5-year process involving nine independent teams of scientists from around the world, hundreds of peer reviewers, and 21 international experts who reviewed and analyzed over 7,000 large-scale studies. After reading the report, any intelligent person would never again chow down a bun filled with this red menace or any other processed meat.

The report states: "Based on convincing evidence, the panel recommends avoiding processed meats such as bacon, ham, sausage and lunchmeat. After carefully examining all of the evidence, the panel was not able to find a level at which consumption of processed meat could be reliably considered completely safe. Every 1.7 ounces of processed meat consumed per day increases risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent.

"That's why we recommend that if people eat processed meat at all, they save it for special occasions like ham at Christmas or the occasional hot dog at a baseball game," said Dr. W. Phillip T. James, a spokesperson for the panel.

Red meat just as bad
The case against plain old red meat is not as damning but almost as bad. This report was a ten-year follow up to one issued by AICR in 1997 when they examined the relationship between diet and cancer. According to AICR, "The new assessment finds the evidence linking red meat (beef, pork and lamb) to colorectal cancer is more convincing than it was a decade ago. Accordingly, AICR's expert panel recommends limiting consumption of red meat to 18 ounces (cooked) per week. Beyond this amount, the evidence indicates, every 1.7 ounces of red meat consumed per day increases cancer risk by 15 percent."

The lawsuit will draw snickers and laughs and complaints that the food police are trying to take away a great American food that pops up at all kinds of quick lunches, barbecues, and celebrations. Even the Los Angeles Times couldn't play it straight when they made hot dogs the lead story on their Business Section, July 23, 2009. The punderful headlines read:

    They want warning in the wurst way
    Vegans would relish a warning about hot dogs

The prize-winner in hot dog obscenity goes to Hebrew National Mr. Family Man Quarter Pound Beef Franks. Each of these ballistic bombs boasts 1070mg of sodium, about a half-day's worth. It delivers 360 calories with 300 calories from fat. That's 33g of fat, 13g saturated with 60mg of cholesterol.

Those puppies even contain soy
Hot Dog Hold the mustard, omnivores. Don't kid vegetarians about soy dogs because these Hebrew National puppies even contain soy in the form of hydrolyzed soy protein (msg in disguise). They also feature four powerhouse additives that make them last and last and look so bright pink. There's sodium nitrite, that cancer-causing preservative. They also contain sodium acetate that's added to foods as a seasoning, and to alcoholic beverages to decrease the risk of a hangover. Then there's sodium erythorbate used in processed meat such as hot dogs and beef sticks to reduce the rate at which nitrate becomes nitric oxide, thus retaining the pink coloring. Sodium lactate is commonly used in meat and poultry products to extend shelf life by inhibiting most spoilage and pathogenic bacteria.

The Cancer Project will most likely lose the New Jersey lawsuit, but will not lose the health battle. By filing the lawsuit, the organization has made the public conscious of the dangerous health consequences of consuming too much processed meat. Other cases will likely follow to persuade large food companies to stop offering foods that are not only unhealthful but also promote disease. Instead of being the wurst thing to happen, these lawsuits may turn out to be the best.

Put that in your bun and digest it!

*****************************************************

Nutrition information on the hot dogs mentioned in the lawsuit.

Hebrew National (now owned by ConAgra Foods Inc.)
The Classic: Beef Franks

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Frank (49g)
Servings Per Container 7
Amount Per Serving
Calories 150 Calories from Fat 130

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Trans Fat 0.5g 0%
Cholesterol 25mg 8%
Sodium 460mg 19%
Potassium 80mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 0g 0%
Protein 6g 10%
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0%
Iron 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

INGREDIENTS: BEEF, WATER, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, SODIUM LACTATE, SPICE, HYDROLYZED SOY PROTEIN, PAPRIKA, SODIUM DIACETATE, GARLIC POWDER, SODIUM ERYTHORBATE, SODIUM NITRITE, FLAVORINGS. CONTAINS: SOY

Hebrew National
The Quencher: Jumbo Beef Franks

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Frank (85g)
Servings Per Container 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 270 Calories from Fat 230
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 25g 38%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 45mg 15%
Sodium 810mg 34%
Potassium 135mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 0g 0%
Protein 10g 18%
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0%
Iron 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

INGREDIENTS: BEEF, WATER, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, SODIUM LACTATE, SPICE, HYDROLYZED SOY PROTEIN, PAPRIKA, SODIUM DIACETATE, GARLIC POWDER, SODIUM ERYTHORBATE, FLAVORINGS, SODIUM NITRITE. CONTAINS: SOY

Hebrew National
Mr. Family Man: Quarter Pound Beef Franks

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Frank (113g)
Servings Per Container 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 360 Calories from Fat 300

% Daily Value *
Total Fat 33g 51%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 60mg 20%
Sodium 1,070mg 45%
Potassium 180mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 0g 0%
Protein 13g 24%
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0%
Iron 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

INGREDIENTS: BEEF, WATER, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, SODIUM LACTATE, SPICE, HYDROLYZED SOY PROTEIN, PAPRIKA, SODIUM DIACETATE, GARLIC POWDER, SODIUM ERYTHORBATE, FlLAVORINGS, SODIUM NITRITE. CONTAINS: SOY


Nathan's Famous Hot Dog

Nutritional Information

Measurement Unit 1 hotdog (100g)
Calories 309 Calories from Fat 181
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20.1g 31%
Saturated Fat 7.8g 39%
Trans Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 684mg 29%
Total Carb. 22.7g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1.3g 5%
Sugars 0g 0%
Protein 10.6g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 5%
Iron 12%

INGREDIENTS: BEEF, WATER, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF SALT, SORBITOL, SODIUM LACTATE, HYDROLYZED SOY, CORN AND WHEAT GLUTEN PROTEIN, PAPRIKA, NATURAL FLAVORING, SODIUM DIACETATE, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, SODIUM ERYTHORBATE, SODIUM NITRITE, PACKED IN NATURAL SHEEP CASING TO HELP SEAL IN FLAVOR.


Oscar Mayer Franks (owned by Kraft Foods)

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 45g
Servings per Container about 10
Serving Size 1 serving (45.0 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 130 Calories from Fat 110


% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12.0g 18%
Saturated Fat 4.0g 20%
Trans Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 540mg 23%
Total Carbohydrates 1.0g 0%
Protein 5.0g
Vitamin A 15%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 4%
Iron 4%
*Based on a 2000 calorie diet

INGREDIENTS: MECHANICALLY SEPARATED TURKEY, PORK, MECHANICALLY SEPARATED CHICKEN, WATER, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF SALT, FLAVOR, SODIUM LACTATE, CORN SYRUP, DEXTROSE, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, SODIUM DIACETATE, SODIUM ASCORBATE, SODIUM NITRITE.


Ball Park Franks (owned by Sara Lee)
Made with Beef & Pork, Turkey

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 frank 57g
Servings Per Container 8
Calories 180 Calories from Fat 140

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 24%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Trans Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 45mg 14%
Sodium 550mg 23%
Potassium 310mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 2g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 6%
Calcium 4%
Iron 2%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

INGREDIENTS: MECHANICALLY SEPARATED TURKEY, PORK, WATER, BEEF, CORN SYRUP, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, POTASSIUM LACTATE, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, FLAVORINGS, PARTIALLY HYDROLYZED BEEF STOCK, SODIUM DIACETATE, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), SODIUM NITRITE, EXTRACTIVES OF PAPRIKA.

Ball Park Beef Franks

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 frank 57g
Servings Per Container 8
Calories 190 Calories from Fat 150
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 25%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 35mg 11%
Sodium 550mg 23%
Potassium 300mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 1g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 6%
Calcium 0%
Iron 4%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

INGREDIENTS: BEEF, WATER, CORN SYRUP, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, POTASSIUM LACTATE, PARTIALLY HYDROLYZED BEEF STOCK, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, FLAVORINGS, SODIUM DIACETATE, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), SODIUM NITRITE, EXTRACTIVES OF PAPRIKA.


Sabrett Beef Frankfurters (owned by Marathon Enterprises)

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1frank (46g)
Value Equivalent to 10 to lb. frank
Amount Per Serving
Calories 140 Calories from Fat 110


% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 19%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol. 30mg 10%
Sodium 410mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 0g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 2%
Iron 4%

*Percent Daily Value (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

INGREDIENTS: BEEF, WATER, SALT, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2%= SORBITOL, FLAVORINGS, PAPRIKA,GARLIC POWDER, HICKORY SMOKE FLAVOR, SODIUM ERYTHORBATE, SODIUM NITRITE, NISIN PREPARATION.


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