What's In Your Hot Dog?

He has the meat sweats.
He has the meat sweats.

Stop for a second. It's the Fourth of July and like any good American you're about to shove a foot-long stick of meat into your face. But do you know what's actually in your hot dog?

According to, Americans purchase 350 million pounds of hot dogs a year. And that's just in the supermarkets. Frankly, it's an easy dinner option for the over-worked parents to feed their overweight and nutritionally-deprived children. We get it.

But think twice before serving that meat stick again. Scientific American broke down the ingredients and you might be surprised to learn what's actually in it. Here are two examples: 

Sodium nitrate - "Animal studies have linked sodium nitrates to an increased risk of cancer. It's also frequently found in fertilizers and, yes, fireworks."

Sodium diacetate: "A combination of sodium acetate and acetic acid, it helps to fight fungus and bacterial growth and is often used as an artificial flavor for salt and vinegar chips--and in the sodium acetate form, it's found in instant hand warmers."

Yummy. Here's the full list of the ingredients in a hot dog.

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