Sausage Happens

Posted by on Mar 2, 2014 in Article, Personal Update | No Comments
Sausage Happens

I find that sausage happens to me unexpectedly and when I’m at my weakest. It can happen anytime of the day, from first thing in the morning to after a late night out at the club. I had three social gatherings in this last week, and I was offered sausage at each one. I said no the first time, but couldn’t resist this morning or this afternoon when it was offered to me twice on a platter. OK. I’ll stop now.

This morning, my husband, two kids and I enjoyed a buffet breakfast at a lovely hotel in Cairns, and there they were, looking at me from a cozy pan, next to the bacon. I skipped the bacon because, well, I know bacon tastes good, but I wanted to somehow reconfirm my bad relationship with sausage. So I grabbed one and placed it on my plate, next to a pile of fruit and some tiny pastries. Even before this whole “eating my ethics” adventure began, I just flat out made an agreement with myself to avoid eating sausage due to the “mystery meat” factor and the fact that they are full of chemicals that I am certain cannot be good for me. Well I tucked into that sausage and it tasted alright, but definitely not great. I reconfirmed that I could definitely go the rest of my life without eating a sausage. Then lunch time happened. Friends of ours prepared a lovely BBQ for us at the park with SAUSAGES! I had to then play the “shut-up and eat it” card. You know how I hate being rude and saying things at social gatherings like “I don’t eat meat.” Never a good idea if you don’t want to experience the “eye roll” in the early stages of a friendship. Besides, I kinda wanted to eat it. So I ate it! It was tasty. I wouldn’t classify it with other high quality meats like bacon, but it was tasty, and my appetite was sated.

So there you have it, my confession of the week: sausage. Since we are on the topic of sausage, I’ve included a colourful chart from that illustrates clearly the “baddies” of the sausage ingredients list. This is based on a CHOICE review of 6 different beef sausages in Australia. If you want to read the whole article, you can find all three pages of it here.

Do you want to know what the clinical side-effects of sulphites are?

“Topical, oral or parenteral exposure to sulphites had been reported to induce a range of clinical effects in sensitive individuals, ranging from dermatitis, urticaria, flushing, hypotension, abdominal pain and diarrhoea to life-threatening anaphylactic and asthmatic reactions.”
(Vally, H., et al. 2009. Clinical effects of sulphite additives. Clin Exp Allergy. 39(11): 1643-51.)

I’ve also found this: Preservative Use in Processed Meats, published by the NSW Food Authority in Australia (2009). I’ve included here a chart from page four of this document and an excerpt on the “Key Issues” involving the use of preservatives in meats:

• Processed meat products must be properly categorised and only preservatives permitted for that category may be added. For example sorbates are permitted additives to dried meat but they are not to be added to slow dried and cured meat.
• Carry over of preservatives from ingredients is limited to the maximum permitted level in the ingredient multiplied by the usage rate of the ingredient in the processed meat product.
• Nitrate-based cures may only be used in a few specialty products such as dry cured hams and dry fermented sausage. The long, slow curing processes rely on a long-term reservoir of nitrate that is slowly converted to nitrite over the course of the process.
• Sausage premixes and sulphite preservatives should be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Sausage premixes usually include excess sulphites to allow for production and storage losses. Overuse of premixes or addition of a ‘spike’ of preservative can result in illegal levels of sulphites.
And last but not least (try to zoom in):

Well this turned out to be a very beefy blog (Come on. Be a friend: insert supportive laughter here). So it wasn’t all bad this week. I found myself and my family adjusting very well to some major changes. My 3 year old no longer asks for cereal and milk in the morning, and is happy with fruit and toast. My husband has given up his late night cereal habit, and I’m eating bananas and a lot of chia, hummus, and lentils. In our house we consumed less than 2 litres of milk this week and we disposed of 1.5 bags of rubbish and 1 large bag of recycling. No plastic bags and no plastic water bottles were consumed. My total expenditure on groceries this week was $100.

If you would like to compare this outcome with last week’s, see “What do we eat when there’s nothing” here.

To further confirm my bad relationship with sausage, I’m currently experiencing some abdominal pain. Must be the sulphites and the meat or should I say fat, connective tissue and MRM (mechanically recovered meat). You can look that one up on google 🙂

Good night everyone. Good night.

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