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Updated posted – July 22, 2011: Okay, now that I know, I feel obligated to share. My eyes have been opened up and I now know more than I did before. Turns out: cultured celery extract does contact sodium nitrate. It’s naturally occurring sodium nitrate but it’s nitrate nonetheless. Does it change my opinion of the product? Yes, I don’t eat bacon often and I may buy this product again in the future but I dislike being misled into thinking that this Schneiders Country Naturals bacon had no nitrates when in fact it did, just under a different name. Sigh, my whole motto of everything in moderation is getting harder to do. The more I know, the more suspicious I get. Here’s an article from CBC News about Maple Leaf Cooked Ham but contains information about sodium nitrates (and others) that might be of interest to you. read CBC News article here . I’m not a scientist so I always prefer to defer to someone more knowledgeable whenever possible. Sorry folks, this just wasn’t the fairy tale come true after all.
Original post – June 11, 2011: Since the Schneiders Country Naturals Weiners (ie. hotdogs) were a hit in our home and I reviewed it ( click here if you haven’t read it yet ), I decided that if I saw some of their other Schneiders Country Naturals products, I would try them out not because I intend to eat deli meats or bacon every day but I do want to know that I have an option of something different that isn’t laced with preservatives and chemicals should I decide to venture off my usual cooking path. Luckily, I was at the grocery store and spotted the Schneiders Country Naturals bacon and decided to buy it.
I read the ingredients and I could pronounce every single one. Ingredients listed on the package: Pork, water, sea salt, cane sugar, cultured celery extract, spice, smoke. Again, same story as before, I have no idea what ‘spice’ and ‘smoke’ refer to but at least it isn’t 40 letters long and the package does claim that it is bacon with natural ingredients. And, since I’m only going to eat it occasionally, I decide to take yet another leap of faith and bought the Schneiders Country Naturals bacon.
Product review: What happened?
I bought the pack of Schneiders Country Naturals bacon and decided I’d make a bacon mushroom pasta dish with onions, garlic, rapini (or broccolini) and broccoli. I fired up the bacon, cooked it thoroughly and removed all the bacon grease. I removed the bacon from the pan and even put the cooked bacon on paper towel to get rid of the excess oil still attached to the bacon. Afterwards, I added the mushrooms, onion, garlic, and a bay leaf into the same bacon pan and added some water to make the sauce. Combine with cooked pasta, added a little milk, mixed in the bacon and dinner was ready. Notice, I didn’t use any extra salt or seasonings with this meal. My guess was if it’s bacon, it’s probably already loaded with salt so I didn’t add any extra to the pasta dish. After all, sea salt is the third ingredient in the ingredient list.
End result: the Schneiders Country Naturals bacon did not disappoint. Schneiders Country Naturals bacon tasted just like all the other regular bacon that is usually made with nitrates and crazy preservatives. Schneiders Country Naturals bacon was just as salty and in my opinion had the same salty taste and flavour as your regular bacon. When I compared prices in the store, since none of the bacon was on sale, it was actually closely priced to the other bacon products on the shelf. So, then, I have to ask myself, if I’m paying the same dollar value, why would I spend it on something made with a ton of preservatives when I could be buying something that is made more naturally?
- Schneiders Country Naturals bacon – take a good look!
I visited the website above and also learned that Schneiders Country Naturals product line have no preservatives added, have no artificial ingredients, colours, or flavours, there are no additives, and no MSG, fillers, or by-products (another thing that creeps me out!). There are no preservatives added, except those that are naturally occurring in the ingredients, but that part I kind of figured out on my own. On the Schneiders Country Naturals bacon section, it also notes that no nitrites have been added.
And, what did the daughter and husband think? The husband liked it but also agreed that it tasted a little too salty (imagine if I had added salt to the cooking process!) and my child said she really liked it, that it tasted like all the other bacon that she’s had before. So, based on our family’s perspective, it certainly seems like the Schneiders Country Naturals bacon tastes just like all the other types of bacon that is out on the market. So, then you have to ask yourself, if Schneiders can make a yummy bacon in a more natural manner, why aren’t more companies doing it??
Will I buy these Schneiders Country Naturals bacon again? Yes, if I want to buy bacon. But, let me be honest. I know bacon in general isn’t exactly the healthiest meat option out there for our family to eat. Thus, bacon in general in our household is a sometimes/rare food item. On the odd occasion, I’ll buy it to cook dinner with but it certainly isn’t something I have on a weekly basis. Now, having said that, if I intend/need to buy bacon, I’d opt for Schneiders Country Naturals bacon. My one only comment is that like all bacon, Schneiders Country Naturals bacon is quite salty. So, if another company came up with a no nitrate added, natural bacon that was less salty, I’d probably give them a try, compare the two, and opt for the one that tasted better/less salty.
Note: now for both the Schneiders Country Naturals bacon and the Schneiders Country Naturals wieners, the ingredient lists do not include nitrates but I honestly don’t know if that is the same thing as being nitrate free since I think there are naturally occurring nitrates in some foods but is a totally different story than a product being pumped full of nitrates to extend its shelf life.
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