Fear on a Bun

It’s easy to forget that processed meats like hot dogs and pepperoni aren’t the healthiest thing in the meat aisle. Kids love ’em, and preparation is minimal.

But the Cancer Project, an offshoot of the pro-vegetarian group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, wants to remind us that exposure to the nitrites and nitrates (not to mention fat and sodium) in processed meats has been linked to cancer. And the organization has produced a startling PSA to drive the point home. In it, children eat hot dogs and talk as though they’ve already grown up, discussing how their cancer is affecting their spouse and children.

The Associated Press notes that the anti-hot-dog ad has been generating controversy. The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council is particularly chapped by it, calling “the new ad an alarmist scare tactic.” Natch.

The AP piece also contains the helpful information that, although the rumor that hot dogs contain animal eyeballs, hooves, and “genitals” is not true, they are allowed to contain pig snouts and stomachs (well, probably not the kosher ones), cow lips and livers, goat gullets, and lamb spleens. Fits right in with today’s vogue for nose-to-tail eating!

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