Not Your Average Holiday
Updated: Jul 19, 2019
I missed it.
One of the most glorious days of the year.
July 17th - national hot dog day.
A day of free or discounted hotdogs to americans everywhere.
Hotdogs are a German delicacy, and one of the oldest forms of processed foods.
About $1.7 billion per year are spent on hot dogs in U.S. grocery stores alone.
So have you ever wondered how these sausages are made?
What about the ingredients inside of them?
Well, I am here to take you on an informational journey down hotdog lane.
The creation of a hotdog begins with what are called the trimmings.
Trimmings are the fat and gristle remaining on a butchered animal carcass after all of the prime cuts have been removed.
Before the hotdog production can begin, the trimmings must be precooked due to the amount of bacteria the they are susceptible to during the butchering process. Precooking the trimmings not only helps eliminate bacteria, but also loosens them from the remaining bones of the carcass.
Now that the trimmings have been cooked and removed, it is time to begin the making of the hotdogs.
The trimmings are first put through a machine that expels what looks like ground up hamburger meat. This is what some people call the “meat batter.” YUCK!!
Spices, sweeteners and water are then added to the “meat batter” to give it the correct consistency before the sausage casings are added. Once cased, the hot dogs are hung in a smoke house and rinsed.
There are 2 types of sausage casings - cellulose and natural.
If cellulose casings are used, they will be removed before packaging.
If natural casings are used, they will be left on. (natural casings are the intestine of an animal)
Once the casings are kept or removed, the finished weiners are sent for inspection.
During this final process, if one imperfection is found, the hot dog will not be packaged.
Kosher hotdogs, an all beef sausage with no by-products, fillers, colors, or flavors, are considered a higher end product when it comes to the weiner business.
Conversely, less expensive hotdogs will include chemicals and fats.
Understandably, this is concerning to many people which is why some refrain from consuming hotdogs altogether.
Hot dogs, like many processed meats, are linked to increased risks for health issues like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The American Cancer Society States that “High consumption of processed meats, like hot dogs, is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer” and an American Medical Association study shows us a 50% increase in lower colon and rectum cancers among those who regularly eat processed meats.
After learning all of this information, I don't plan on eating a hot dog anytime soon.
However, if I plan to eat one in the future, I will be sure to purchase from a brand that sells kosher, all beef with no by-products, fillers, colors, or flavored sausages.
Everything is fine in moderation, right?
So from me to you, happy belated National Hot Dog Day!