Do You Really Want to Know How Your Hot Dog Was Made?

When it comes to some processed American food favorites, ignorance is truly bliss. Because if consumers really knew what went into their foods, they may actually be motivated to eating healthier. There is no greater example of this than the great American hot dog.

Recently profiled on Discovery Channel’s How It’s Made program, a hot dog factory let viewers in on the nauseating secrets to their success.

We’ve all heard that hot dogs are made of lips and other disgusting meat leftovers, not suitable for the “finer” cuts. And it’s true—these meat tubes are filled with the bits and pieces of pork, chicken, and beef not good enough to be packaged as-is. Instead, they are ground together, resembling hamburger meat.

Then, starches, flavors, and no doubt some MSG for good measure, are added. Water is added to the mix and the result slightly resembles a meat soft-serve. Corn syrup is added to sweeten the pot and, well, because it wouldn’t be an American processed food if it didn’t contain corn.

Read: Hot Dogs as Bad as Cigarettes?

Finally, it is packaged in casings and receives a “smoke shower” before baking and being soaked with a salt water solution.

The images accompanying the profile are nothing short of sickening and prove that the truth about hot dogs is even worse than you likely imagined.

Next time you decide to fire up the grill, consider grilled vegetables or at the very least, meat that didn’t have to be processed beyond recognition before reaching the supermarket.

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  1. [ Sighs ] That is enough to get one nauseated. Sorry, absolutely no hot-dogs for me!

    • laura m. says:

      I knew someone in the meat proc. biz yrs ago, I don’t eat any proc./mystery meats. Can’t figure out why anyone would.

  2. Sandy Dell says:

    Before everyone gets totally grossed out, have you looked or researched the way sausage was made by our great grandparents? They used lots of the same methods (obviously without the automation) — meat scraps that are left from the meat that would seem “uneditable”, ground together with spices and liquids, put into castings and soaked in a salt solution or smoked ….. This may look disgusting, but the original recipe came from our ancestors who knew the best way to preserve and use ALL of the animal they butchered!!

    • DB says:

      Good point–plus my Italian relatives used (and still use)
      intestinal parts for casings. As a result of
      that, and experiences at my dad’s farm, I made the personal choice to
      stop eating meat decades
      ago. But that’s just me–no judging–and I believe
      if you are going to slaughter an animal for food, you SHOULD utilize
      all of
      it in some way, including the skins, if possible, as many people do with
      deer. Also, the huge quantity of pureed meat is a shocking visual here
      mainly because it doesn’t look like food. If this short video grosses
      people out, imagine the prequel, which would begin with a chicken, a
      cow, and a pig. That’s where you’d find the blood, guts, and disturbing
      animal noises.

  3. Mary says:

    The stuff my grandparents used was small pieces of meat that were not ground into burger meats. My relatives I NOT use lips, noses, butts, or any of the parts that are disgusting.
    We had GREAT SAUSAGES and they were made from real meat…….not the waste.

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