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Meat Question


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My wife and I are 7 days into our Whole30; it's my first and her fourth, although it seems like I've done it before, as I do all the cooking in the home and have for her previous Whole30's.  I saw your post about "Before You Ask...", and I did a search and couldn't find another question about this, so...having supported my wife through several of these, and now doing one of my own, and having recently read your blog post about Kumbucha (sp?) and the sugar question, my question is this:
Can we, on the Whole30, consume high grade hams, bacon, and/or breakfast sausage, if they've used sugar ONLY in the curing process and do not add it to the cured product?  I believe I should be able to, much for the same argument given during the Kumbucha post...the sugar contained in many hams, bacons, etc., is/are not added "after" the fact, but are an integral part of the curing process.  This process goes back probably as far as the Kumbucha origin...at least 1-2 millennia, I'd imagine.  There are, of course, those "cheap" hams out there that add a "brown sugar" glaze or some such crap to their product, but those would be obviously non-compliant.  But there are legitimate, quality meat producers out there who only use sugar during the curing process, very similar to the way sugar is used in the fermentation process, which has been stated as compliant IF NOT ADDED AFTER THE FACT.  I get that part, I really do, and I don't feel I'm trying to "get away with anything". 

As I said, too, this wouldn't mean all hams would be allowed, because, like just about anything, there are better quality products and then there are the "not so great" quality products that use sugar after curing, load the meat up with fake flavorings, etc.,etc.,etc..

So, I'll await your answer(s)...

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Not quite the "thoughtful" reply I was expecting.

Are you saying that the sugars used in fermentation somehow magically disappear? 

My question was based on the facts that both curing of meat AND fermentation were originally methods for preserving foods; Keeping them safe for people to eat long after they'd been harvested.  Paraphrasing your reply: "if the sugar is in the jar/vat, then the [fill in the blank] is non-compliant".  But, it has been decided that it isn't, that because it's a critical part of the fermentation process it will be overlooked; but, if sugar is added after fermentation to simply make something more palatable, then it's non-compliant.  I suggest that reasoning should apply to curing: if it is applied as part of, and is required for, curing then it should be accepted; if it is added after curing, as a flavor enhancer, then it should be non-compliant.

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I think Laura did give you a thoughtful reply... the matter is exceptionally simple tho, so a long and drawn out reply is not necessary here.

The basic fact of the matter is that in fermentation, the sugar is 'eaten' by the process.  In curing, it is not consumed by the process and therefore still exists in the meat.

Whether both are age old methods of preserving food or not, the one has sugar remaining and one doesnt.  And the one that does would be non compliant for a Whole30.  Kombucha is not 'overlooked' because it's an age old method, it's overlooked because the sugar is consumed in the first fermentation and therefore is not a sugar added product.  That's not magical, it's science.

Also, it is not 'required' for curing.  It's not common, but there are cured products on the market that do not have sugar in their curing process... I can think of Trader Joe's procuitto as an immediate example... that's a pork product cured with salt.

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