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Nathan’s Corned Beef

Posted Mar 11 2010 2:18pm

nathans-corned-beef

I eat corned beef and cabbage on or around St. Patrick’s Day every year, even while being on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Of course, I avoid the accompanying potatoes and Irish soda bread because they’re not allowed. I’ve never had any problems with corned beef and don’t even know which brands I’ve eaten over the years as my Mom or Grandmother have always prepared the meal. This year, however, I won’t be visiting around the holiday so I’ll be making my own.

I went to the supermarket the other day to see what they had available and was met with at least 5 different choices, all different brands. I looked at the ingredients on each brand and most had “natural flavorings” listed as an ingredient. I don’t really trust that when it comes to standard brand meat products. I’m very wary of MSG being hidden in that term. And of course, they all had their various brining salts and chemicals.

I noticed that while most of the corned beef sections were almost full, the Nathan’s section was almost empty with only 6 or 7 cuts of meat left. It was also the most expensive brand in the store. So I took a closer look at their product and noticed that they had the fewest ingredients listed among all of the brands of corned beef, and did not contain any “natural flavorings”. Instead, they had a separate spice packet full of whole dried spices that you add to the pot when cooking. Of course, if you don’t like those spices, like I don’t, you can also just not add them.

Here’s a close-up of the ingredient listing.
nathans-corn-beef-ingredients

So it’s just water, salt, and two preservatives. “Sodium Erythorbate is the sodium salt of erythorbic acid. It increases the rate at which nitrate reduces to nitric oxide, thus facilitating a faster cure and retaining the pink coloring. As an antioxidant structurally related to Vitamin C, it helps improve flavor stability and prevents the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines.” Sodium Nitrite is used as a color fixative and preservative.

While I prefer to avoid Sodium Nitrite and foods containing Nitrites or Nitrates as additives because they’re known not to be healthy, I don’t really mind consuming a product containing them once or a few times a year. Corned Beef should really be more of an occasional indulgence than something that is regularly consumed. And when you only eat it once a year, like I do, it really becomes something to look forward to.

Now if we could only find some SCD legal green beer…. lol.

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