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Cultured Celery Extract

June 16, 2012

I like to make a sandwich for lunch, on a bagel with sliced meat, mustard, and lettuce.  Recently, I bought a new kind of sliced meat.  It looked pretty good, with `Natural’ and `Just the Good Stuff’ and even `No Preservatives Added ‘ on the label.  How can they do this?  My curiosity aroused, I read the list of ingredients.  It started with chicken, water, and sea salt.

Ah, sea salt.  That’s the same as ordinarly salt.  Both are 99.99% sodium chloride.  Sea salt has insignificant traces of other minerals.  Some people think that sea salt is better for them than mineral salt, but they’re really both the same.  Only the name is more appealing.

It did contain lots of sodium, 25% of my daily limit, according to the nutrition label.  `High blood pressure’, you might think.  My blood pressure is normal.  I’m not sensitive to sodium, either.  The latest medical information seems to be that sodium does not cause high blood pressure, although that it may raise blood pressure in people who are sensitive to it.  I’m not concerned about the 25% figure.

At the end of the ingredient list I found cultured celery extract.  What’s that?  Another package had sodium nitrite at the end of the list.  Ah, now I remember.  They are both the same thing under different names.  Cultured celery extract comes from an organic source.  It sounds like something harmless, but its exactly the same as the chemical sodium nitrite.

Now, nitrates have been in the news recently.  Apparently, they can combine with fats to produce tiny amounts of carcinogens when meat is grilled.  My package of sliced meat was already cooked and was not going to be grilled.  Even if it was, the risk was slight.  I’m not at all concerned over this ingredient.

Nitrites really are a preservative.  They inhibit the growth of bacteria.  When I think of the many types of food poisoning I could get from sliced meat, I want to see a bit of preservative added to it.  Some of the other ingredients are preservatives too.  The only annoying thing here is the misleading label.  It attempts to fool people.  That offends my intelligence.

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    This company called Greenfield Natural Meats has this disclosure on their meats: *Beyond those naturally occurring preservatives and nitrites in the ingredients. Sea Salt and Cultured Celery Extract Contain Naturally Occurring Nitrites.

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