Monday, April 16, 2018


Charcuterie – And Related Health Issues 
Garde Manger

Charcuterie

“cooked flesh”
Specially prepared pork products: sausage, smoked ham, bacon, pâté, terrine Served cold

What is Processed Meat?
       Processed meat is meat that has been preserved by curing, salting, smoking, drying or canning.

Food products categorized as processed meat include:


       Sausages, hot dogs, salami.

       Bacon, ham.
       Salted and cured meat, corned beef.
       Smoked meat.
       Dried meat, beef jerky.
       Canned meat.
       On the other hand, meat that has been frozen or undergone mechanical processing like cutting and slicing is still considered unprocessed.

Garde Manger

Responsible for the preparation of cold foods, salads, salad dressings, cold appetizers, charcuterie items Also referred to as the pantry

Charcuterie Types

Sausages
Fresh: made with raw ingredients that have not been cured or smoked. Breakfast, Italian, Polish kielbasa*, Mexican chorizo*, French andouille*


Smoked & Cooked: raw meat treated with preservatives, cooked and or smoked. German frankfurter, bratwurst*, knackwurst

Dried or Hard: cured meat, air dried.  Salami, pepperoni

Forcemeat: a mixture of lean ground meat and fat that is emulsified

       Farce (FAHRS) means stuffing
       Pâté (pah-TAY) a rich loaf made of meat, game, poultry, seafood and/or vegetable baked in a mold
       Terrine (tehr-REEN) earthenware mold


Charcuterie Types


Forcemeat: a mixture of lean ground meat and fat that is emulsified
Pâté de Campagne (pah-TAY-de kom-PAN-yuh) Texture is slightly coarser than straight forcemeat allowing the meat flavor to dominate


Pâté en Croûte (pah-TAY on kroot) Wrapped in a pâté dough which may contain herbs spices or lemon zest


Mousseline (moose-uh-LEEN) a forcemeat of veal, poultry or fish lightened with cream and egg whites


Quenelle (kuh-nel) mousseline shaped into small ovals, with spoons,  and poached in a rich stock or court bouillon

Why Processed Meat is Bad For You!


       Processed meat is generally considered unhealthy.
       It has been linked with diseases like cancer and heart disease in numerous studies.
       There is no doubt that processed meat contains many harmful chemicals that are not naturally present in fresh meat.


Eating Processed Meat is Associated with an Unhealthy Lifestyle



       Processed meat has consistently been linked with harmful effects on health.
       This is a fact that health-conscious people have been aware of for decades.
       For this reason, eating high amounts of processed meat is more common among people with unhealthy lifestyle habits.
       In fact, smoking is more common among those who eat lots of processed meat. Their intake of fruit and vegetables is also much lower.
       People who are not health-conscious tend to eat more processed meat. This may partly explain some of the associations found in studies investigating processed meat consumption and disease.




Eating Processed Meat is Associated with an Unhealthy Lifestyle


       Processed meat has consistently been linked with harmful effects on health.
       This is a fact that health-conscious people have been aware of for decades.
       For this reason, eating high amounts of processed meat is more common among people with unhealthy lifestyle habits.
       In fact, smoking is more common among those who eat lots of processed meat. Their intake of fruit and vegetables is also much lower.
       People who are not health-conscious tend to eat more processed meat. This may partly explain some of the associations found in studies investigating processed meat consumption and disease.


Processed Meat is Linked with Chronic Disease


These include:
       High blood pressure (hypertension)
       Heart disease
       Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
       Bowel and stomach cancer
       One thing is clear, processed meat contains harmful chemical compounds that may increase the risk of chronic disease.
       Eating high amounts of processed meat over a long period may increase the risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.

Nitrite, N-Nitroso Compounds and Nitrosamines
Sodium nitrite is used as an additive for 3 reasons:

       To preserve the red/pink color of meat.
       To improve flavor by suppressing fat oxidation (rancidification).
       To prevent the growth of bacteria, improving flavor and cutting the risk of food poisoning.
       Processed meat that is fried or grilled may contain relatively high levels of nitrosamines. Studies suggest that these compounds may increase the risk of cancer in the stomach and bowel.
       N-nitroso compounds are cancer-causing substances believed to be responsible for some of the adverse effects of processed meat consumption.
       They are formed from nitrite (sodium nitrite) that is added to processed meat products.



Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

They can be formed from:
       Burning wood or charcoal.
       Dripping fat that burns on a hot surface.
       Burnt or charred meat.
       Smoked meat products may contain high amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These compounds have been shown to cause cancer in animals.
       PAHs are a large class of substances that form when organic matter burns.
       They are transferred into the air with smoke and accumulate on the surface of smoked meat products and meat that is barbecued, grilled or roasted over an open fire.




Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs)

       Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are a class of chemical compounds that form when meat or fish is cooked under high temperature, such as during frying or grilling.
       hey are not restricted to processed meat, but significant amounts can be found in sausages, fried bacon and meat burgers.
       HCAs cause cancer when given to animals in high amounts. Generally speaking, these amounts are much higher than those normally found in the human diet.
       Nevertheless, numerous observational studies in humans indicate that eating well-done meat may increase the risk of cancer in the colon, breast and prostate.



Sodium Chloride



       Processed meat products are usually high in sodium chloride, also known as table salt.
       Although processed meat is far from being the only food that is high in salt, it may contribute significantly to the salt intake of many people.
       Excessive salt consumption may play a role in hypertension and heart disease, especially in those who have a condition called salt-sensitive hypertension.
       In addition, several observational studies indicate that diets high in salt may increase the risk of stomach cancer.


Take Home Message

       Processed meat contains various chemical compounds that are not naturally present in fresh meat. Many of these compounds are harmful to health.
       For this reason, eating a lot of processed meat products for a long period (years or decades) may increase the risk of chronic disease, especially cancer.
       However, eating them occasionally is fine. Just make sure not to let them dominate your diet and avoid eating them every day.
       At the end of the day, you should limit your intake of processed foods and base your diet on fresh whole foods.


Bottom Line


The wonderful thing about charcuterie boards is that you can tailor them to fit any holiday or special occasion. Use chilled appetizers during the summer. And in the winter, add more spicy flavors (such as hints of nutmeg and cinnamon). The possibilities are truly endless. And no matter what you put on your platter, a glass of organic wine will always pair well with it.



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