Nitrates in Food: Health Risks Explored

I am keen to commission an engaging and well-researched argumentative essay on the dangers of nitrates and nitrites in food. This paper is intended to raise awareness and inform readers about the health risks associated with these compounds. Freelancers possessing a profound knowledge of health, food chemistry, or relevant field are invited to apply. Specific points to focus on would include: – The impacts of these compounds on the health of children – Potential links between nitrates/nitrites and cancer – Their effects on cardiovascular health It will be essential for potential freelancers to have excellent research skills, a knack for creating compelling arguments, and the capacity to write in a way that’s comprehensible and engaging for a broad audience. Intro: Hook Background Info Thesis Statement: Body of Essay: Support (5-10 paragraphs minimum) Support for Argument-Discuss support for argument using the OSIE format. Support for Argument Support for Argument Support for Argument (Continue as needed) 2. Body of Essay: Counterclaim – Identify Potential Opposition Counterclaim Section (2-5 paragraphs minimum) 3. Body of Essay: Refutation – Refute the Opposition Refutation/Rebuttal Section 4. Conclusion By Annie Lennon on May 25, 2023 Author Richard Hoffman Published: November 10, 2021 11:02am EST Article Published: January 16, 2024 | By Duane Mellor, a senior teaching fellow at Aston Medical School We can find naturally occurring nitrates and nitrates in water and vegetables, especially in leafy and root vegetables such as lettuce, beets, celery, carrots, and more. Around 80% of the nitrates and nitrites we consume are naturally occurring from the plants we eat. We add synthetic and naturally derived nitrates and nitrites to many meat products such as hotdogs, bacon, sausages, and more to protect the food from harmful bacterial growth while increasing the umami flavor and giving the meat a red or pink color. Nitrates and nitrites are a vital component aiding our digestive system, and we find them in our saliva and blood. They help protect against specific types of bacteria, and they can transform into nitric oxide, which provides many health benefits such as lowering blood pressure. Research shows that diets high in vegetables, including vegetables with naturally occurring nitrates and nitrites, are excellent for human health, and health professionals recommend these vegetable-rich diets. Research also tells us that diets high in processed meats that typically contain nitrate and nitrite preservatives can harm our health, and we should eat them in moderation. As with most things, the dose makes the poison. Meat contains proteins and amino acids naturally. When we need to preserve meats, we add nitrates and nitrites in small, regulated quantities to keep the food from spoiling prematurely. We know that when we expose nitrates and nitrites to high heat in the presence of amino acids, they can transform into nitrosamines. Most nitrosamines are known carcinogens, which can lead to adverse health impacts. For example, when cooking processed meats over high heat, such as grilling or high heat frying, many of the nitrites are transformed into these nitrosamines. Over the years, we’ve made great strides in lowering the number of nitrosamines that can form during the cooking process by adding other ingredients such as Vitamin C, which inhibits the formation of nitrosamines. Additionally, the FDA regulates the number of nitrates and nitrites in processed foods, to ensure our exposure to these ingredients remains well within the safe levels. Research also shows us that if we consume processed meats in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet, we are unlikely to experience long term adverse health impacts. Moderation is key. It’s important to note that when nitrates and nitrites enter drinking water in large quantities, they can cause significant harm to formula-fed infants under six months of age, and, in substantial amounts, they can harm children and adults. Nitrates and nitrites in drinking water is not a common problem and typically impacts individuals with untested, private water wells. Many companies have created “organic” and “natural” meat products. These products are not allowed to use synthetic ingredients such as nitrates and nitrites per USDA guidelines. However, without nitrate and nitrite preservatives, these products spoil quickly and could cause harm. To keep organic and natural meat products safe, scientists have turned to plants rich in natural nitrates and nitrites such as celery, carrot, beet, spinach, and more. They process these plants into juices, powders, and other derived substances. Then, they add these naturally derived ingredients to the meat products with other naturally reactive ingredients that allow the formation of protective nitrites. The level of nitrates and nitrites provided by natural sources can be less than or greater than synthetic nitrates and nitrites, as this varies greatly between products. However, that means these organic and natural meat products still retain the potential to produce nitrosamines when cooked at high heats because they still contain nitrites. The source of the nitrites does not matter when undergoing a chemical reaction. It’s essential to keep this in mind when grocery shopping because our food products, especially our meat food products, require preservatives to retain their quality. Whether you choose natural, organic, or traditional meat products, nitrates and nitrites will still be present in some form to keep our foods safe and fresh. As we fire up our grills and make vegetable salads for our summer barbecues, we know that we can safely consume cured meats and veggies as long as we maintain moderation. The preservatives, both natural and synthetic, help keep our foods safe from harmful pathogens so we can enjoy our meals without worry. The food label will state that there are “no nitrates or nitrites added,” but an asterisk will often lead to a fine-print addendum with the clarification, “except those naturally occurring in celery juice powder,” sea salt or a vegetable juice. As a result some “natural” or “organic” roast beef and turkey breast, or other products cured with sea salt, evaporated cane juice, potato starch, or natural flavorings or seasonings, may end up with just as high a nitrite content as meats with sodium nitrite added. Adding to the confusion for consumers is that the U.S.D.A. requires these meats be labeled “uncured” because they are produced without added nitrites or nitrates. “The average person goes to the store and sees claims like ‘organic, ‘natural,’ or ‘no added nitrates or nitrites,’ and they assume those meats are safer, and they’re not,” said Bonnie Liebman, director of nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a food safety advocacy group. The bottom line: If you’re trying to avoid processed meats in order to reduce your risk of cancer, it may be hard to know whether products labeled “natural,” “organic,” “uncured,” or “nitrate and nitrite free” fall into this category or not. Note that nitrates are not absolutely necessary for mass produced products. I recently purchased some nitrate-free pepperoni from Costco that was stable at room temperature in the sealed package. (I use it as a condiment, not a staple.) So, there are other processes that are valid for preservation.(Main idea) There are lots of other places that nitrosamines can be found. Fermentation of vegetables with certain fungi (I want to say especially aspergillus) can lead to production of nitrosamines, this is likely the reason upper GI cancers are so prominent in largely vegetarian diets in Asia that use kimchi or similar methods. Aflatoxin from molds especially in peanuts are a big deal. Stir-frying many green veggies produces nitrosamines for sure. So there are pitfalls in several types of preservation/preparation. Canning is probably the safest due to the lower temperatures, but obviously for meat this has special caveats. This is close to my understanding as well. Nitrates convert to nitrites. Nitrites, when our body converts then to nitric oxide, are super healthy. Nitrites can also convert to nitrosamines, though. Nitrosamines are carcinogenic. What prevents nitrites from converting to nitrosamines are various phytonutrients, some of which are found in all plants. So if the nitrites are in plants, you’re good, great! If the nitrites get added to meat, there are no phytonutrients to prevent the conversion to nitrosamines, so that’s what happens. When you eat the meat, you’re not even eating nitrites, but already converted nitrosamines. ARGUE FOR NITRITES AND NITRATES Limit or consume less nitrate Change your diet make it consistent all around like dont just eat junk food