A New Study Reveals What’s Actually in Hot Dogs. Hint: It’s Not Meat.

Your favorite July 4th treat is a lie.

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If you think you’re eating meat when you have a hot dog, I’m sorry to tell you that you’ve been getting played. We all have.

What’s actually in them, then? “They’re just tubes of fat,” Tyler Rouse, a pathologist at the Stratford General Hospital in Ontario, Canada, explained to Scientific American.

Rouse got curious as to what exactly where in dogless hot dogs a couple years ago and realized that he had the ability to figure it out. “We work in a lab, we make slides all day. Hot dogs are kind of the perfect shape to make into a slide. We can actually answer this question.” He recounted how he figured it out to the publication.

So he and his colleague Jordan Radigan got their hands on three types of dogs: a no-name brand from the supermarket, another all-beef dog and a third from a ballpark vendor. They then took cross sections for slides and used stains to identify different types of tissue. And found, to their surprise, that most slices consisted primarily of fat globules, with very little skeletal muscle—the stuff we tend to think of as “meat.”  The researchers also found bits of bone and blood vessels and cartilage—even plant material. 

How did the plant material get in there you’re wondering? Rouse explains:

Let me put it this way. Sometimes I get biopsies from human colons and I find vegetable matter. I’ll just leave it at that.

So there’s not really meat in hot dogs. But what about the brands you buy that say “all-beef” on the outside? Well, it turns out that those are even worse:

In fact, the no-name brand actually had more skeletal muscle than the all-beef brand.

This means that the hot dog is a lie within a lie within a lie. There’s no hot canine, the type of meat advertised isn’t present, and even the promise we’re left with, of just any type of meat, isn’t true.

If anything, this all makes hot dogs an even more fitting way to mark a holiday to celebrate a country with a history wrapped in misrepresentations and misdirections. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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