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Our modern hot dog is an innovative offshoot of the German sausage and contains a number of animal parts – usually including chicken, pork, and beef.
And if that nag of a friend kept telling you that it was loaded with left-over pieces, they were right. Hot dogs are made from the “trimmings” of other cuts of meat – usually a steak or something else.
First the hot dog manufacturer collects all the meat pieces and grinds them into a pulp. Next the chicken trimmings, corn starch, salt, and flavors are added to the gooey batch of mystery meat.
FUN FACT: The seasonings that go into your hot dogs vary depending on your location. According to How It’s Made, different parts of the country crave different kinds of flavor – and hot dog manufacturers are all too happy to satisfy those urges.
After a gargantuan machine processes the meats and blends the ingredients together, the pulp is pushed through a machine that removes all air from the meat batter. If you see hot dogs at this point, you’ll have to admit they’re unappetizing, but they don’t stay like that for long.
The meaty battery is pushed through a stuffing machine that fills cellulose tubing with the mystery meat mix. Then these links of hot dogs go through the smoker and into the oven.
While still hot, the dogs are coated with cool salt water. They leave the oven and go into another machine to have their casing removed. Then the automaton dumps the barbecue food out so it can be inspected and packaged.
If this process makes you queasy, you’re hardly alone. Hot dogs have not only found to be bad for your waistline and thighs, they have been shown to be potentially deadly to children.
Eating hot dogs frequently increases your risk of certain cancers and could be fatal.
Nevertheless, every July Fourth more than 150 million hot dogs are devoured by the American hordes. And the city that eats the most hot dogs is…Los Angeles. Not New York as what you might think.
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