There has been so much press within recent years about the ‘dangers’ of smoked foods and as a result, a great number of people have given up some of their favorite foods. While you can get cured and organic uncured ham, the question is whether or not smoking that ham negates the benefits of purchasing a ham which is certified to be organic. The answer isn’t always as cut and dry as you might think, no pun intended! There is some truth to the matter of smoked foods being carcinogenic, but that is also dependent upon other factors which should be known. If you don’t want to totally give up your favorite foods, here are some suggestions for how to eat smoked foods which aren’t thought to be dangerous.
Time and Temperature
One of the problems with smoking meats is the fact that they are typically smoked over long periods of time. Instead of buying a traditionally smoked ham, you should check out responsible farming groups such as True Story Foods. While they offer uncured hams certified to be organic, they also assure consumers that they follow safe smoking processes. Time and temperature are vital if you want to reduce the risk of carcinogens.
How Many Times per Week Is It Safe to Eat Meat?
In general, red meat and foods like ham can be unhealthy if eaten more than two to three times a week. However, when it comes to ham, there are a couple of other factors involved, the first being whether it is cured. The second being the fact that pork is often referred to as the “other white meat” so it may be okay to eat the third ‘red meat’ meal of the week if it is uncured ham.
Uncured Is the More Important Factor Here
If you had to choose between uncured and smoked, it would be better to eat a smoked ham that was uncured than a cured ham that was not smoked. The reason for this is in the process of curing a ham, chemicals are used. These are highly toxic and have caused a great number of health-related issues. Of major concern in curing ham would be the nitrates and nitrites used in the curing process. These are salts which are not only a danger to heart-health but cause other serious side effects as well. In other words, an uncured ham smoked at low temperatures for shorter periods of time should be the better of the two options.
So, what it all boils down to is the fact that if the pig is fed an organic diet and the ham is uncured and void of chemicals, it would be well within a healthy diet to eat this delectable food once in a while. As with anything that is good, overindulgence can be an issue. However, if you are talking about cured smoked ham, it is better to avoid it altogether. Be smart about your eating habits and all should be well.