Nearly 50 Percent of Americans Are Afraid to Know What’s in Hot Dogs

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Forty-three percent of Americans are afraid to know what’s in their hot dogs, according to a new study conducted by United States-based organic meat company Applegate. The meat manufacturer surveyed Americans on how they feel about the iconic summer food.

According to the study, more than 33 percent of Americans also avoid hot dogs because they are typically made with low-quality meat and contain chemicals and artificial ingredients. Health-conscious millennials were found to avoid hot dogs more than any other group, with 24 percent saying that they never buy hot dogs. Fifty percent of women expressed concern over hot dog ingredients versus 37 percent of men.

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council says hot dogs are typically made with meat trimmings and occasionally, organs. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is less vague concerning standard hot dog ingredients, stating that“the raw meat materials used for precooked-cooked products are lower-grade muscle trimmings, fatty tissues, head meat, animal feet, animal skin, blood, liver, and other edible slaughter by-products,” as well as what’s been described as “gelatinous meat mixture,” all of which are emulsified into a pureed “meat batter” before being encased in intestinal lining.

It’s not just hot dogs that consumers are wary of. A number of recent studies reveal that consumers are beginning to feel less positive about meat than ever before. A recent study on Canadian diets showed that residents are eating less meat than the recommended daily intake while 53 percent report eating vegan meat alternatives due to concerns surrounding health and sustainability. In the UK, one report found that residents are eating 50 percent less beef (a primary ingredient in many hot dogs) and veal, opting for plant-based protein options like soy instead. In the United States, 58 percent are electing to choose vegan protein sources over meat. Following a campaign against carcinogenic processed meats spearheaded by the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, two children’s hospitals in California have removed hot dogs from the menu.

Synonymous with baseball games, New York City street food, and backyard barbecues, vegan hot dogs exist for those concerned about the ingredients in the meat-based counterpart. Lightlife vegan hot dogs have been on the market for years while brands like Tofurky and Field Roast make vegan sausages that can substitute for the favorite summer food. Some New York City street carts have also begun carrying veggie dogs. Later this year, IKEA’s vegan hot dog will roll out into US stores.

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