What's in your sausage?
As a kid, everyone is told that things like hot dogs were made up of the parts of the animal no one wants to eat: hooves, lips, and cartilage are ground up into a mysterious meaty paste and stuffed into a tube.
It's unappetizing, to say the least, but sausages shouldn't be mysterious tubes of suspect meat products.
You deserve to know what's in your sausage and that you're getting the best quality product for you and your family.
AREN'T THE INGREDIENTS ON THE LABEL?
A study commissioned by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in 2017 discovered that 20% of so-called 1-ingredient sausages sampled from grocery stores nation-wide contained meat that was not on the label.
1 in 5 grocery store hot dogs had off-label ingredients in non-trace amounts. That means it's not just the result of unhygienic meat grinder blades or something falling into the mix by accident.
- Seven of 27 beef sausages contained pork.
- One of 38 “pure” pork sausages contained horse meat
- Five of the 15 turkey sausages contained no turkey — they were 100% chicken.
As for the casings, they may be natural - meaning they are made from intestines or skin - or they may be made from collagen and cellulose.
On top of those surprise meat ingredients, there's also additives, preservatives, and binding agents in most grocery store hot dogs.
It's enough to turn anyone off from hot dogs, but before you give up on sausage completely, there's a better option.
Luckily, this is a case of being able to have your cake (or, specifically, your sausage) and eat it too. Delicious all natural alternatives do exist!
To get the best quality sausage, there’s a few things to look for:
Natural Casing: a natural animal casing tends to be indicative of a higher quality product. Why? Since they come from an animal, natural casings are not a standard size, so mass-production food companies tend to avoid them in favour of synthetic options. Plus, natural casings are tastier than their synthetic counterparts and provide a satisfying snap when you sink your teeth into the sausage.
Single Meat: By looking for something that is all-beef, all-pork, or all-whatever-sausage-meat-you-prefer, you’re taking some of the mystery out of your mystery meat.
No additives, preservatives, or fillers: You want to eat meat, not fillers. A well-made sausage doesn’t need flour, cornstarch, gum, breadcrumbs, etc. Your sausage should only contain meat and a blend of delicious spices.
As for preservatives and additives? Meat isn’t meant to be kept in the fridge forever. Freezing is the best way to keep meat fresh for a longer period of time - your meat shouldn’t need special chemicals to hide the fact that it isn’t fresh.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FRANKFURTERS, SAUSAGES, AND HOT DOGS?
Essentially, a Frankfurter is a type of sausage made entirely of pork.
A hot dog or wiener is usually a mix of beef and pork, but can also be entirely one ingredient.
And sausage in general refers to almost any type of meat that comes in a casing.
There is a long and complex history behind all the different types of sausage, but what matters most is the taste and quality. Whatever your favourite style of sausage is, look for a true all natural option to get the best flavour.
THE ALL NATURAL SAUSAGE YOU’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR.
No Frankenmeats here! These delicious gluten and nitrate-free sausages are nice and beefy – which makes sense since they are filled with prime organic grass-fed beef! Inside the organic pork casing there is nothing but meaty goodness and spices (no secret recipe here: sea salt, organic pepper, garlic powder, provence herb and ground mustard make for a mouth-watering flavour). NO fillers!