The poor old sausage ain’t half getting a sizzling in in the press over the last few weeks.
In many blogs, articles and TV news stories it’s been slung in the same old group as processed meats which have been criticised as being just as bad for us to consume as cigarettes.
We begged to differ on that in a previous blog and here at Macbeth’s, we are now also jumping to the defence of our succulent sausages too .
We simply don’t believe that sausages should be categorised as “processed”
One definition we found was that processed meat is meat that “‘ is not sold fresh, but instead has been cured, salted, smoked, or otherwise preserved in some way (so things like bacon, sausages, hot dogs, ham, salami, and pepperoni). But this doesn’t include fresh burgers or mince.”
This to us, where we make all our own sausages from scratch is in fact, in our opinion, contradictory. A sausage in essence is the same as a burger but in a skin – natural ones in our case.
That brings us on to nitrates which are contained in processed foods such as continental sausages and salamis. They are used as a curing agent. These nitrates were cited by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer agency of the World Health Organization as being the concern where cancer is concerned.
But hold on a minute – our humble banger which you tuck into with your mash or on a Sunday morning with your fried eggs and bacon don’t contain any of these chemicals.
In fact, Douglas Scott chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association to which we are a member has backed us up and has written to us all with advice for our customers.
He says: “Traditional British sausages as served at breakfast or as bangers and mash are not the same as those referred to under processed meats. The concern from IARC is in processed meats containing nitrate curing agents.
“Nitrates or nitrites are added to provide the cured meat colour and inhibit growth of harmful bacteria from the genus Clostridium.
“A typical beef or pork sausage would include the following additives, none of which are nitrates:
“Salt, Rusk, Dextrose, Emulsifier E451(i), Preservative E221, Wheat Flour, Flavour Enhancer E621, Flavourings, Antioxidant E301, Food Colours.
“To assume everything that is a processed product contains nitrates is wrong.”
Well said that man.
Thankfully we have an educated bunch of customers at Macbeth’s both in store and online and this news has not made one bit of difference to our sales. In fact, those who have commented have been of the same opinion as us and that is, as we said in a previous blog – a little of what you fancy does you good.”