Hot Dogs- It Doesn’t Have to be as Bad as You Expect


Three things that are certain in this world: death, taxes & Joey Chestnut winning the July 4th hot dog eating contest.

According to Wikipedia, a hot dog is a cooked sausage, traditionally grilled or steamed and served in a sliced bun as a sandwich.

I want to make this disclaimer right now, I like hot dogs and eat them particularly at cookouts and ballgames (9 percent of all hot dogs purchased are bought at baseball stadiums). The U.S. population consumes about 20 billion hot dogs a year, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. That works out to about 70 hot dogs per person, per year. And, an estimated 95 percent of U.S. homes serve hot dogs at one meal or another.

In case you missed my blogs last week and want to take a peek at them here they are.

June 30 Does Political Correctness Trump Freedom of Speech?
July 1 Knowing the Right Thing to Do But…
July 2 Allow Kids to Be Kids- Don’t Specialize in One Sport
July 3 The Internet May Be Coming to an End
July 4 O Beautiful for Spacious Skies- Land of the Free and Home of the Brave
July 5 Why Didn’t John Dickinson Sign the Declaration of Independence?



But….. What is in a Hot Dog?

According to that same council:

“All hot dogs are cured and cooked sausages that consist of mainly pork, beef, chicken and turkey or a combination of meat and poultry. Meats used in hot dogs come from the muscle of the animal and looks much like what you buy in the grocer’s case. Other ingredients include water, curing agents and spices, such as garlic, salt, sugar, ground mustard, nutmeg, coriander and white pepper.”

Did you catch that word combination? “Variety meats,” which include things like liver, kidneys and hearts, may be used in processed meats like hot dogs, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that they be disclosed on the ingredient label as “with variety meats” or “with meat by-products.

So look for hot dogs that are packaged “all beef” or “all turkey”. If it is “all” anything it has to be labeled that way on the package.

Are they unhealthy?

Processed meats are linked to increased risks of cancer. Mainly, because of the additive included in it. Another issues is the sodium nitrate (preservatives, coloring and flavoring) that they contain.

If you are a hot dog fan, then you have some alternatives that are considered to be healthier for you. Look for nitrate-free or organic varieties.


Here are some interesting facts from the Hot Dog and Sausage Council:

In 2013, Americans ate enough hot dogs at major league ballparks to stretch from RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. to AT&T Park in San Francisco.

New Yorkers eat more hot dogs than any other city population (even Chicago, also known for its hot dogs).

Travelers at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport eat six times more hot dogs than travelers at Los Angeles International Airport and LaGuardia Airport combined.

Hot dog season — during which Americans eat 7 billion hot dogs — stretches from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Americans eat 150 million hot dogs on the fourth of July, alone


Tomorrow’s Blog-  America: The Melting Pot- Is It Really?

The opinions in this blog are those of Tom Knuppel