Don't you love it when you find out that something you thought was unhealthy is actually not nearly that bad for you after all? Sandy Szwarc at the blog Junkfood Science has a super-long and detailed post debunking the myth that the nitrates and nitrites found in most processed meats are the cause for alarm they've been made out to be. Especially since there are tons more nitrates in leafy green vegetables than in meats, anyway, and even our own bodies produce far more nitrates than we would ever be able to consume from eating cured meats.
(I really just wanted an excuse to post this rad picture.)
The article is long, but totally interesting, and I recommend it to anyone who has ever wasted precious time picking up every package of bacon in the supermarket to check the ingredient list for nitrates or wasted precious money buying a more pricey (and sometimes less tasty!) brand just because it said "nitrate-free". Low-carbers have it hard enough without facing limits when it comes to meat, so I propose we drop nitrates from the list of things to worry about.
Bring on the hot dogs, bacon, pepperoni, salami, sausage, and beef jerky! Whee!