“Why are nitrates and nitrites added to food?
Nitrates and nitrites can be found in many foods, including produce and meat. They are used in cured meat and jerky recipes as an antimicrobial food preservative and a food antioxidant to keep meats safe for consumption and to maintain their color, according to the NIH.
According to the USDA, “Nitrite also greatly delays the development of the Clostridium botulinum toxin (botulism); develops a cured-meat flavor; retards the development of rancidity, off-odors, and off-flavors during storage; and inhibits the development of a warmed-over flavor.”
Why can nitrates and nitrites be harmful?
Because of the difference in atomic structure, nitrates and nitrites react differently in your body…”