Whatever made us want to gather around the campfire to cook ground up body parts, guts, and bones from multiple types of animals caged in factory farms has definitely led us astray from good health, environmental sustainability, and morality. In the hunter/gatherer days, humans would hunt for any creature and skew it over the fire for a respectable feast. It was necessary for survival. But today’s society took it to a new level with the everyday, every meal indulgence of consuming massive amounts of factory farmed animals, inhumanely locked up in concentration camps. The worst part is that people — and children — are unaware they are eating something so poor in quality.
“But it tastes so good.”
“Your daughter needs to eat her meat.”
“Your veggie dog is garbage.”
Blah Blah Blah. I don’t want to hear it. You can eat your death dog. I’ll eat something that tastes equally good and provides my body with quality nutrition and energy.
Let’s look at two common brands of hot dogs: Ballpark & Lightlife.
|Brand||Lightlife Veggie Hot Dog||Ballpark Classic Frank|
|Ingredients||Water, soy protein isolate, soybean oil, evaporated cane syrup, pea protein isolate, tapioca starch, salt, potassium chloride, bakers yeast extract, carrageenan, dried garlic, natural flavor (from plant sources), natural smoke flavor, xanthan gum, fermented rice flour, guar gum, oleoresin paprika (color)||Mechanically separated turkey, pork, water, corn syrup, beef, Contains 2% or less of: salt, potassium lactate, sodium phosphates, flavorings, beef stock, sodium dictate, sodium erythorbate, maltodextrin, sodium nitrite, extractives of paprika|
|Serving Size||1 link, (42g)||1 link, (57g)|
|Calories from Fat||20||140|
|Vitamin A||0% DV||0% DV|
|Vitamin C||0% DV||0% DV|
|Calcium||0% DV||4% DV|
|Iron||6% DV||4% DV|
*Source: Ballpark & Lightlife official websites.
Both types of hot dogs are high in sodium, which doesn’t make either of them a healthy food choice unless you exclude sodium from all other meals. However, the veggie dog is smaller and still provides a higher amount of protein, dietary fiber, and iron compared to the meat hot dog. The veggie dogs contain 0 grams of saturated fat, cholesterol, and sugar, which is important for reducing your risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). However, diets high in sodium also increase your risk of CHD, so even veggie dogs should be served sparingly. Source: National Institutes of Health
Since Americans tend to hold billions of hot dogs cookouts every summer, veggie hot dogs make for a healthier alternative… unless you can convince your guests to grill delicious shish kabobs at each cook out!
Did you notice the first ingredient in the Ballpark franks?
Mechanically separated turkey. I am not sure if all the other meats were mechanically separated but I’d assume at least the pork was as well. If you don’t know how that process works, let me share a short youtube video that demonstrates it.
Fun times remembering all the times I ate meat hot dogs in my life. Thankfully, it’s been over a year since my last one and I won’t be doing that again – unless the zombie apocalypse occurs and that’s all that’s left.
Important: If you do buy veggie hot dogs, be sure to buy ones containing GMO-free ingredients for the highest quality nutrition. Lightlife is excellent as they are verified by the Non-GMO Project and certified vegan. I personally haven’t found any veggie hot dogs made with GMO soy products, but just check your labels to be sure.
Tips for Grilling Veggie Hot Dogs
- Coat in olive oil, or your preferred type of oil.
- Grill on preheated grill, for 3-5 minutes only. Be sure to constantly turn the veggie dog to avoid burning.
- Soy-based veggie dogs will dry out if not continuously tended to, so be sure not to overcook it.
- Enjoy with your favorite toppings.