Hot dogs are one of life's simple pleasures, and Americans eat tons of them on the Fourth of July. There's nothing better than spending the day outside waiting for another sizzling hot wiener to come off the grill.
And the best part about eating hot dogs, other than the fact that they're delicious, is that we're somehow able to enjoy them despite not really knowing exactly what's in them. So here to clear things up, and hopefully not burst your hot dog-loving bubble, are some of the common ingredients found in hot dogs:
- Mechanically-separated poultry. Chicken or turkey is essentially pounded into a pasty, pink substance.
- Water. The USDA actually requires hot dogs to contain less than 10-percent water.
- Corn syrup, which is used as a thickener and sweetener.
- Potassium lactate is used as a flavor enhancer.
- Packages of hot dogs often include "flavorings" in the ingredients. For some reason, the FDA does not require these "flavorings" to be identified.
- Maltodextrin is made from cooked starch, corn or wheat and is used as filler.
- Sodium nitrate is used as a preservative and to help keep the hot dog's red color. Oh, and it's also believed to increase your risk of cancer. (TreeHugger.com)