Sunday, April 25, 2004

What's In a Hotdog

Here's a little information from William Poundstone's Biggest Secrets. Surprisingly, the true make-up of a hotdog isn't as bad as you might think.

Break-down of a hotdog:

Approximately 45-55% water
26% fat (turkey and pork)
13% protein (even cheap dogfood is higher)
2-3% salt
2% sugar (Oscar Meyer) no governmental limit to percentage of sugar allowed
up to 3.5% filler ("cereal, starch, and vegetable protein")

The government demands that meat be "skeletal meat" instead of "meat by-products"

Skeletal meat is basically the part of an animal that a typical person would consider "meat."
Meat by-products can be the proverbial lips and assholes but more often hearts, tongues, intestinal tract, etc.

Meat by-products can be used in hotdogs but must be specifically labeled.

The difference between liverwurst and braunschweiger is that while both are chiefly made of pigs' liver, braunschweiger is less likely to include snouts. Poundstone notes that Farmer John Liverwurst is made with smoked pig liver, snouts, and spices.

Oscar Meyer Head Cheese is made from snouts, tongues, hearts, boiled skins, sugar water, and vinegar.

Carmelita Pork Chorizo's chief ingredient is "pork salivary glands," followed by lymph nodes, fat, cheeks, tongues, and unnamed parts of the pig. But, hey, no fillers.

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