I think many of us knew about the myth of "uncured" bacon being sold.
This is an interesting article in today's paper:
The curious case of the great celery powder scam
Some key points from the article:
"And remember, sodium nitrate occurs naturally in things like spinach. And carrots. And radishes. And beets. And celery.
No one has ever suggested these healthful vegetables give you cancer, right? How can they be loaded with sodium nitrate and not be harmful?
The answer is that these vegetables with sodium nitrate also have ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which helps to inhibit the creation of nitrosamines. Although a link between nitrosamines and cancer in humans has not been absolutely established, studies have shown that it is likely enough that the USDA now requires vitamin C or vitamin E to be added to bacon to counteract the potential effects of the nitrates and nitrites."
"Celery powder, which is the powdered form of celery juice, sounds like a good thing. It’s natural. Celery is good for you. Adding it can only improve your health.
Except it doesn’t. Celery powder is positively loaded with sodium nitrate. Depending on the soil and conditions in which the celery was grown, celery powder can actually add more sodium nitrate to bacon than the meat-packers do when they add pure sodium nitrate.
And because the celery powder is technically considered a flavoring agent instead of a preservative, which is what it is being used for, the uncured bacon does not have to have the vitamin C or vitamin E added to it."
It has me thinking it might be a good idea to add vitamin C (ascorbic acid) to our cures.
I've done a little digging but haven't found in what proportion it should be used.
edit, I did find this chart:
Food Amount of Nitrites/Nitrates (ppm) Bacon 200 Spinach 500-1900 Celery 900-1400 Lettuce 600-1700 Radishes 1500-1800