Unless you’re grilling up juicy veggie dogs this July 4th, you’ll be celebrating Independence Day with rodent parts and pig anuses for all. Here’s why it’s time to declare your freedom from mystery meat.
Want Cancer With That?
Hot dogs contain nitrates and nitrites because they preserve the reddish hue of animal flesh, but multiple studies have linked these preservatives to cancer. Even hot dogs marked “organic” or “natural” contain these carcinogenic chemicals. Hot dogs also often contain another suspected carcinogen: dioxin.
Tastes Like … Fear
When animals suffer from prolonged stress during transport and slaughter, the result is dark, firm, and dry meat. It’s way too unappetizing to sell as is, but grind it up and hide it among other animal bits, such as pig snouts, cow lips, and goat gullets, and voila! Frankfearters.
Mmmm … Bugs
The extra “ingredients” that have shown up in hot dogs include worms, maggots, rodent parts, glass shards, a lock washer, and a Band-Aid. One person even reported finding an intact dragonfly in one.
Put Your Dog on a Diet
Hot dogs are also loaded with fat: Oscar Mayer Classic Beef Franks have 13 grams of fat—5 of which are saturated—and only 5 grams of protein. By contrast, vegan Lightlife Smart Dogs have only 2 grams of fat—0 of which are saturated—and actually contain more protein (7 grams) than a beef hot dog.