Only a few more days to blow your diet during National Hot Dog Month! A few factoids about America's favorite refrigerated processed meat:
In 2006, more than 730 million packages of hot dogs were sold at retail stores (oh, but that doesn't include Wal-Mart, which doesn't report sales data). Good golly!
In 2004, the Mad Cow scare prompted the USDA to prohibit the use of mechanically separated meat (MSM). Now what on earth is MSM? It's paste-like meat product produced by forcing bones, with attached edible meat, under high pressure through a sieve to separate the bone from the edible meat tissue. But don't worry about mechanically separated pork or poultry...they're perfectly safe, and a great source of calcium!
Now if you really want to start drolling, take a peek at the menu at Pink's, the world-famous dog joint in Los Angeles. And don't miss the Martha Stewart dog, a full 10 incher with relish, onions, bacon, chopped tomatoes, sauerkraut & sour cream.
I can hear you asking, "aren't there alternatives to mass-produced franks, made from factory-farmed animals, packed with nitrates, binders, and fillers?". Yee-haw, you bet! Small family farms all around the country are raising beef and pork organically, humanely, and sustainably, and making tasty sausages that you can order direct from the farm. Check out these resources for sniffing out family farms, markets, and restaurants for sustainable, healthy food in your region:
The New Farm