The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD -

Back­yard cooks look­ing to grill this sum­mer have an­other op­tion: hot dogs without “added ni­trites.” But are they any health­ier?

Os­car Mayer is tout­ing its new hot dog recipe that uses ni­trites de­rived from cel­ery juice in­stead of ar­ti­fi­cial sodium ni­trite, which is used to pre­serve the pink­ish col­ors of pro­cessed meats and pre­vents bot­u­lism. Kraft Heinz, which owns Os­car Mayer, says sodium ni­trite is among the ar­ti­fi­cial in­gre­di­ents it has re­moved from the prod­uct to re­flect chang­ing con­sumer pref­er­ences. The change comes amid a broader trend of big food mak­ers purg­ing in­gre­di­ents that peo­ple may feel are not nat­u­ral.

But ni­trites are ni­trites — and the change makes lit­tle dif­fer­ence — ac­cord­ing to those who ad­vise lim­it­ing pro­cessed meat.

Al­though nat­u­ral preser­va­tives may not make hot dogs health­ier, they fit with the grow­ing pref­er­ence for in­gre­di­ents like cel­ery juice that peo­ple can eas­ily rec­og­nize.

“I think it’s a step in the right di­rec­tion,” said Kristin Kirk­patrick, a di­eti­tian at the Cleve­land Clinic.

The Cana­dian Press

Ma­rine mam­mal ex­perts ex­am­ine a dead North At­lantic right whale on Prince Ed­ward Is­land in Canada.

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