Sea Cliff Nutrition Committee. The Apple People

Sea Cliff Nutrition Committee. The Apple People

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Additive of the Week - Sodium Nitrate

Sodium nitrate is found in the ham served in sandwiches about once a week in our school.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest recommends avoiding nitrites and nitrates completely and states that "Several studies have linked consumption of cured meat and nitrite by children, pregnant women, and adults with various types of cancer. "

Our ham is from Tyson, is marketed to child nutrition programs and appears to be a USDA commodity food. The use of nitrate apparently means they don't have to keep it refrigerated.

I wanted to check to make sure I wasn't missing any foods in our school lunch program that contain sodium nitrate or sodium nitrite (sodium nitrate breaks down into sodium nitrite). Hot dogs normally do, but we've been using Applegate Farms and they, thankfully, do not. So, I googled "sodium nitrate is commonly found in". My answer? Fertilizer. And pyrotechnics (yes, fireworks and other explosives.) This is icky at best. Bacon is a common source as well.

Can we all agree that this ham should not return to our school in the fall? Let us know.

For more information, visit or the CDC's website at


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