Ditching the mainstream dog

Don’t be misled by a “no trans fat” disclaimer—mainstream hot dogs likely contain other fats as well as preservatives and so on

Do think twice: Just because it lacks trans fat doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

Do think twice: Just because it lacks trans fat doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

Ditch the dog
While at the Silver Dollar Fair with my 11-year-old daughter and her friend last weekend, I saw a sign posted in the window of one of the fair’s many traveling food carts advertising “Guilt-free corn dogs—no trans fat.”

There are a number of things that are troubling about that statement. First of all, it seems to imply that the deep-fried, cornmeal-coated dog-on-a-stick is fat-free (thus the word “guilt-free” connected with it); someone who is not apprised of what trans fats are may indeed think this. But just because a food item is without trans fat—a nutrient-free, unsaturated fat known to increase the risk of coronary heart disease—does not mean it does not contain some other type of fat. According to NutrientFacts.com, 170 calories of a 460-calorie corn dog come from fat, most of it saturated. And that’s before they are deep-fried in oil. Ouch.

On top of that, trans fats—“chemically altered vegetable oils, used to give processed foods a longer shelf-life,” as they were described in a 2008 BBC News story (go to http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7526624.stm to read the whole article)—were banned in the state of California in 2008. So it’s doubly no major deal that the corn dogs sold by this particular purveyor contained no trans fats.

To take it further, the wieners lurking inside the cornmeal batter more than likely contained nitrates and nitrites (cured-meat preservatives that have been linked to cancer), as well as factory-farmed meat and, also as likely, GMO corn, one of the most common genetically altered foods.

One thing’s for sure: A preservative-free hot dog made of grass-fed, grass-finished meat from the Turri Family Farms food cart at the Thursday Night Market it ain’t (see The GreenHouse, May 24, 2012, “Lovin’ the local”).

Know what you are eating.

“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour. Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour. And there are things to be considered…

Where are you living?

Know your garden.

What are you doing?

What are your relationships?

Are you in right relation?

Where is your water?

Know your garden.

It is time to speak your truth.

Create your community.

Be good to each other.

And do not look outside yourself for the leader.” – attributed to an unnamed Hopi elder

“We live in a world where a constellation of cognitive illusions—that infinite growth can be sustained on a finite planet, that consumerism can make us happy, that corporations are persons—are dragging us into an ecological apocalypse.” – Micah White, in Adbusters, No. 102.

“A cartridge filled with the sweepings of abattoirs.” – H. L. Mencken, on the hot dog.