Trying to follow the Paleo diet as closely as possible is definitely worthwhile. But going strict Paleo is not easy in the beginning and it can be confusing and frustrating. If you are responsible for feeding a family and they are not as motivated for change it is truly challenging. Rather than getting discouraged and giving up or having a mutiny on your hands it is important to find ways to optimize your diet while keeping everyone onboard as much as possible.
I always appreciate blog posts that have hints and tips for staying focused and not getting overwhelmed when making radical changes. In that vein I would like to discuss a product that has been a big help for our family. Applegate Farms Uncured Hot Dogs*.
Now I know what you are thinking – there is NO WAY a hotdog is healthful. But these babies are gluten & casein free, contain no fillers, no nitrates or nitrites and come from humanely raised, antibiotic free and grass-fed beef. What is not to like here!? The only criticism I have is they are a bit salty. But Applegate explains they need the extra salt because the dogs are not cured. According to the company website,
“We are considering making a lower sodium product… We are also in the process of re-evaluating the sodium levels, and are working to reformulate some of our products to reduce the sodium content. Since our products do not contain any preservatives, salt plays a large role as an antimicrobial. Once we are confident that we can reduce the amount of sodium without compromising food safety or shelf life, we will make the change to a lower sodium recipe.”
Also from their website,
“Made from 100% organic grass-fed and finished beef, these lean hot dogs are bursting with old-fashioned classic hot dog flavor—juicy, flavorful and delicious! These dogs have only 8 grams of fat compared to the average 15 grams in most brands, and because they’re made from grass-fed beef, they’re also high in omega-3 fatty acids (the good fat).”
I have also bought “The Super Natural Uncured Beef Hot Dog”.
This one is slightly smaller than “The Great Organic” and while it is gluten & casein free, has no nitrates or nitrites it does not come from grass-fed beef. Even so, this is one tasty hot dog and without all the junk you would find in a typical hot dog. According to the Applegate Farms website the “spices” listed on the ingredient label are black pepper, coriander, mace and nutmeg. There is no soy in their hot dogs and the company claims it is working towards having all the beef they use (including the natural program) be 100% grass-fed eventually.
It’s really great to see more and more products coming out because of a changing market. People are demanding quality meat products and companies are responding. This is just one example and it may not be the most optimal of foods but it is far better than many alternatives. And I think it can help bridge the gap between what is “optimal” and what is sometimes possible because of our busy lives. I serve these hot dogs to my two boys when I need something to feed them in a pinch. Eating one of these hot dogs is preferable to them opting for a bagel or mac n cheese, etc… They are great as an after school snack or when you are really pressed for time and need to get to extra-curricular activities. I have even sliced them up and fried them with scrambled eggs to make what my husband’s mother called, “Pennies and Eggs”. The boys love that.
I believe Trader Joe’s carries Applegate Farms Hot Dogs. But I found these at Wegman’s and at Shop-Rite which are more traditional grocery store chains. So even if your local store does not carry them now they might be persuaded if you make a request. I paid $4.29 for a package of the “natural” hot dogs and the cost for a package of 8 organic hot dogs is about $6.50 which is on the expensive side. But when you think about the convenience factor and that you would pay much more to buy hot dogs at a ball park I believe it is well worth it. I’m not saying you should be eating them at every meal. But once in while is fine and if it helps you or your kids or husband or wife get on the bandwagon or stay onboard I think it is a good thing.
What do you think? Anyone else try these dogs?
* Applegate Farms did not pay me to rave about their hot dogs. In fact, Applegate Farms does not know I exist. So you can rest assured my opinion is my own.