I shake my head every time I drive past the billboard: “Beef is what vegetarians eat when they cheat”. There was obviously no room left to add more important information, like: sodium nitrite/nitrate is used as a preservative and a flavoring, and is also used to retain the red color in meat products. As much as 70% of commercial meat sold in stores is treated with carbon monoxide, which is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas that is almost impossible to see, taste or smell.
You will find it in bacon, ham, corned beef, hot dogs, sausages, luncheon meats, smoked meats and smoked fish. According to studies, sodium nitrite/nitrate is linked to certain kinds of cancer, colon cancer, especially once the meat has been subjected to high temperatures (e.g. barbecuing). Under certain conditions, sodium nitrite and nitrate react with amino acids to form cancer causing chemicals called nitrosamines. It is also linked to birth defects and childhood leukemia.
Solution: There are local farmers, everywhere, who offer on site butchering and no chemical grass-fed meat.