What comes to mind when you think hot dogs? Summer grilling, baseball games, New York City streets? Yeah, me too. Hot dogs are an ever present staple in the U.S. Think of biting into a warm bun that perfectly hugs a hot dog overflowing with topping goodness—is your stomach grumbling yet?
Unfortunately, when I think of hot dogs, I also think of horror stories: what goes into them; how they are made. My innocent hot dog days are over and honestly, I can hardly remember the last hot dog I ate.
Walking in the grocery store recently, I was perusing the refrigerated cheese section to search for a block of cheese without antibiotics—but that’s a whole different issue. I eventually found myself reaching the end of the cheese section and staring at a package of Ball Park Franks. I read the package and immediately thought of a classic American baseball game and biting into a mouthwatering hot dog.
I quickly snapped out of it, “Goddamn, I know better than to fall for those marketers’ schemes.” (Sorry advertising and marketing majors.) But then I noticed something unusual, “What is that strange package I see?” And my friends, this is when the world of hot dogs did a 180 for me.
This package of hot dogs was unlike any other I had ever seen. No crazy, artificial colors, a minimal amount of plastic, and a recycled-looking, natural brown paper label. I realized that it was actually a package of hot dogs—not tofu dogs or something else of the sort. And guess who made it? Ball Park Franks!
Was I fooled yet again by the company’s magical marketers? To my pleasant surprise, I was not. These hot dogs are completely made of beef and they contain no artificial preservatives (I did some research, they actually don’t!), no nitrates, and no nitrites. Nitrates and nitrites are chemicals used to preserve food, kill rodents, and as a fertilizer and long term exposure to these chemicals has been linked to different types of cancers and tumors in children. Grave, I know. But on a positive note, these hot dogs don’t contain harmful contents—for once.
In a nutshell, if you feel hopeless in the world of hot dogs, I’m here to tell you that meat companies understand us millennials who are desperately trying to eat natural and organic foods (even though we can’t afford it). So, thank you Ball Park, Oscar Mayer, and any other company who heard our call. Millennials still want to eat the same crap as before, just without all the crap.