Companies are adding sodium nitrate to their food products so that they last longer at the store or at home. We receive a healthy natural amount of sodium nitrate everyday when we eat vegetables. However, when sodium nitrate is added to other food products that we eat, we are consuming too much; we are consuming an unhealthy amount. According to Amanda Cross, an investigator in the division of cancer epidemiology and genetics at the National Institute of Health, in the article "The Truth About Nitrite in Lunch Meat," written by Luke Yoquinto, one highly risks colorectal (colon) cancer when he or she consumes large amounts of sodium nitrite (nitrate becomes nitrite when it enters the body). So why do companies pack their food products with sodium nitrate to begin with? Do they not care about the health of their customers?
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