So, what’s the deal with hot dogs?
Why are they seen as the epitome of poor eating habits? Well, for one, they are a processed food. Does that tube steak look remotely close to the meat from which it came? Clue #1 that it’s probably not the best for you. Secondly, hot dogs have been known to contain nitrates. Check out this simple FAQ sheet about nitrates and cancer. Well, crap. I don’t want cancer. What can I eat, then? Those juicy dogs are callin’ to me!
When searching for the best hot dog option, look for all-Beef hot dogs from organic, pasture raised beef, uncured, and with no synthetic nitrates or nitrates. (Brands to look for are Applegate Farms & Organic Prairie.)
At this point in hot dog discussions, elitist vegetarians always seem to chime in and speak about how THEY don’t need to worry about carcinogens in their bbq favorites. THEY eat veggie dogs, aka “not dogs.” THEY scoff at hot dog eaters. Believe me, I know about elitist vegetarians. I was (am?!) one. 😉
Let’s look at some veggie dog stats, then, shall we?
Most veggie dogs, at least the kind that try to replicate the rubbery quality of “real” hot dogs, are made of soy protein isolate. Remember my caveat about processed foods? The last time I checked, soy bean fields were not growing pink, meat-free cylinders. Soy protein isolate is a HIGHLY processed product originally intended for making, get this, CARDBOARD. No wonder many processed veggie items taste like just that, huh? A brand I count on to provide junk-free, faux-meat options is Field Roast.
Where Can I Get Hot Dogs That Won’t Kill Me?
If you can’t find the brands I mentioned above at your local grocery or health-food stores, another great option is The Green PolkaDot Box. The Green PolkaDot Box not only carries the brands I mentioned above, but a host of healthy, GMO-free grocery items (mustard and ketchup without artificial colors and corn syrup, for instance!) to create a healthy pantry. And it’s all delivered to your doorstep–yes, even cold and frozen items! There is a one-time membership fee, but if you don’t have access to healthy food choices in your area, it’s probably worth the price, especially since GPD is committed to providing groceries you don’t have to “think about,” so to speak. You can be confident in your choices. Join The Green PolkaDot Box by using this link.
So, what’s the lesson we learned today, my hot dog-loving compadres?
A hot or a not dog, grilled, can be a fun, delicious treat.
But always check the ingredients first: is it weird soy, or grain, or meat?
Enjoy your cookouts! What will you be eating? Hot Dog or Not Dog?
Disclosure: Referral links to The Green PolkaDot Box appear in this post.
photo credit: stevendepolo via photopin cc
I’m going to see if our grocery store or Health Food store carries Field Roast! Thanks!
Now I want a hot dog 🙂 The ones you mentioned sound great.
Maybe I should have added a discussion about mustard, too 🙂
Amanda @ The Eco-Friendly Family says
Oh no, don’t tell me that there is something wrong with mustard…. **I can’t hear you**
Jennifer Roland says
This is one of the things that bothers me about fake meats. I don’t feel good when I eat meat–vegetarian food leads me to a feeling of vitality–but it is a tough choice between meat I don’t feel comfortable eating and processed veggie foods. I usually choose the processed veggie foods, but I don’t give them to my little one.
When I went vegan, I ate a large amount of processed veggie foods (faux cheeses and meats). It took awhile, but I learned that instead of trying to replicate an omnivore’s diet, I needed to switch my food thinking and choose healthy meals with natural, whole plant proteins. This usually meant looking at meals from African, Indian, and Asian traditions.