Is Emmett’s The Pioneer of Nitrite-Free Bacon?

A recent article from The Guardian brings to light an initiative to ban nitrites due to the link between the chemical and the development of cancers. According to the news publisher, “about 90% of bacon sold in Britain is thought to contain nitrites”. These chemicals are used to cure bacon and give it the pink colour most of us associate with the food product. However, there is considerable evidence that links nitrites to the development of bowel, breast and prostate cancers.

Government Initiative To Ban Nitrites

An initiative led by Conservative MP Dr Daniel Poulter, including leading food scientists and a cross-party group of MPs and peers is seeking a governmental ban on the use of the chemicals. Poulter, who is a former health minister under David Cameron and a practising NHS doctor, has the support of Labour MP Rosie Cooper, SNP health spokesperson Martyn Day and Liberal Democrat peer Lady Walmsley. All of the supporters have signed a letter intended for Steve Barclay, the new health secretary, and Prof Sir Chris Whitty, the government’s chief medical officer. Prof Denis Corpet is also a supporter of the initiative and an expert on the link between nitrite content and certain cancers.

There have been many studies on the negative impact that nitrite exposure from processed meat has on our bodies. Some studies recommend “the public should avoid (processed meat) entirely”. This particular initiative is building up a head of steam to pass legislation to ban nitrites as it “should be relatively easy” and it “could see an avoidable cause of cancer taken out of circulation”.

Emmett’s Only Ever Uses Natural Ingredients

It is a strong possibility that Emmett’s is the trailblazer to nitrite- and nitrate-free bacon having only used natural ingredients for over 16 years. We’ve been conscious of adding chemicals to our products on health grounds as well as taste. Added chemicals in the curing phase can have an adverse effect on the taste of pig itself and we want our customers to experience the true flavour.

Nitrites are often used to give bacon that distinctive pink colouring, which does not improve flavour. Our nitrite-free bacon never has that artificial colouring as can be seen with our famous Suffolk Black Bacon, and even in our unsmoked ham on the bone.

Our process of curing and smoking our prize-winning meat has been the same for over two centuries and has been documented on TV and in the press. Our black streaky bacon has even been featured on This Morning with James Martin with Phillip Schofield quoted as saying it is “Un-believ-ably good!”. James has featured our bacon on a couple of occasions and has even popped in to visit the store and see our historic smokehouses.