Extracts are a part of life. You use them to flavor your food, smooth your skin, and improve your overall health; but not all extracts are created equal. There’s one seemingly innocent ingredient that may be lurking in your refrigerator right now: celery extracts. This preservative is growing in popularity among companies that want to avoid strict nitrate regulations. Here’s the problem with this unnecessary additive and how you can avoid it.

Why is There Celery Extracts in My Meat?

How it’s Made

Many health advocates will be surprised to learn vegetables naturally contain high amounts of nitrates, especially celery. This vegetable also happens to be one of “the dirty dozen;” a group of foods that test high for concentrated pesticides and other chemicals you shouldn’t consume. Celery extract is created in a lab when a concentrated version of the plant’s juice is combined with bacterial cultures. The blend is then used as a “natural” preservative that can actually contain even more nitrates than what is typically found in unaltered foods.

Why It’s Made

It is a preservative that extends shelf life. Consumers have wised up and are now avoiding products that blatantly use nitrates and nitrites. To fill the void, many companies have turned to celery extracts alternatives because they are loosely regulated and can thus be labeled with catchy phrases like “no nitrates added” and “preservative free;” when in fact, they are filled with the exact thing consumers are trying to avoid.

When You Should Avoid It

It’s practically impossible to avoid every single nitrate out there because it’s something that naturally occurs in some foods. Celery extract, on the other hand, is chemically injected into foods and can easily be avoided. Take the extra minute out of your grocery shopping routine to read the labels on your products and make sure celery extracts is not an included ingredient.

How You Can Work Around It

There are too many products on store shelves today with unhealthy, artificial, or chemical ingredients. McLean Meats’ products are made using just meat, salt, sugar and spices. We only use ingredients you can recognize, trust, and pronounce. This means you won’t find a drop of celery extracts in any of our ingredients.

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