The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Comments on Cecil's Columns/Staff Reports

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-26-2012, 09:11 AM
MacLir MacLir is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Saltpeter

The reason saltpeter was in the Navy food was as a preservative, of course. Corned beef was a method of preserving meat at ambient temperature for an indefinate period.

The nitrates and nitrites (sodium and potassium) are what gives cured meats (hotdogs, salami, bacon, and especially ham and corned beef) that pink color. As such, consumption of them is ubiquitous; if they really had that effect, we'd almost all be uninterested.

When you buy nitrate for home curing, it's usually called "pink salt" or "Prague powder." You can make bacon and corned beef without them (I do), but it looks different.

Last edited by MacLir; 04-26-2012 at 09:16 AM.. Reason: Typos
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-26-2012, 11:29 AM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Big rumors about this when I was in basic training. The best part was the guy who misunderstood and thought they were putting "soft peter" in our food.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-26-2012, 11:52 AM
Musicat Musicat is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
Posts: 17,527
MacLir, it's always a good idea to supply a link to the column in question right off the bat, so we all know what we are talking about. Perhaps it's this one?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-26-2012, 03:13 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: At the Diogenes Club
Posts: 47,992
Yes, I'm sure it's that one.

Since the column dates to 1989, would it be worthwhile to change the reference in the opening paragraph to "George H.W. Bush" rather than simply "George Bush"?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-26-2012, 03:28 PM
Eleanor of Aquitaine Eleanor of Aquitaine is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Pins!
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.