Sodium nitrate-nitrite is used as a preservative, coloring and flavoring in bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, corned beef, smoked fish and other processed meats. This ingredient, which sounds harmless, is actually highly carcinogenic once it enters the human digestive system. Once it reaches the digestive tract, it can enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc on a number of internal organs: the liver and pancreas in particular.
Sodium nitrite is widely regarded as a toxic ingredient and the USDA actually tried to ban this additive in the 1970's but was vetoed by food manufacturers who complained they had no alternative for preserving packaged meat products. The industry STILL uses this chemical because it turns meat bright RED.
Sodium nitrite makes old dead meat appear fresh and vibrant! Mmmm-
Higher consumption of processed meats is also associated with increased risk of colon cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, studies have shown that people who eat even a relatively small amount of processed meats over the years can increase the risk of colorectal cancer.