Mclean Organic Foods - The Natural Choice - FAQs

By: Mc Lean Meats  09-12-2011
Keywords: Meat, Organic Foods

QUESTION:  Why isn’t MCLEAN ham pink?

ANSWER: The pink colour in deli meats, especially pork products, is caused by a chemical reaction from additives such as nitrite. Mclean Organic Foods does not use nitrite, therefore our pork products retain their natural colour.  

QUESTION: Why doesn’t Mclean Organic Foods use nitrites or nitrates?

ANSWER : We believe that nitrite/nitates, which are traditionally used in processed meats, can contribute to the formation of potentially dangerous carcinogens in the body. Temperature control during the cooking process and proper storage methods (refrigeration) are the critical factors in preventing bacterial growth in processed meats.

QUESTION: What is sodium erythorbate?

ANSWER : Sodium erythorbate is a non-nutritive chemical that is considered a Class I preservative in processed foods. This food additive has been banned in several countries and yet it is still authorized for use in Canada and the United States. Some meat processors add sodium erythorbate to their products to extend the shelf life.


ANSWER : MSG stands for Monosodium glutamate (also referred to as Mono-ammonium glutamate and Monopotassium glutamate). MSG is added as a flavour enhancer to thousands of processed food items that are sold throughout Canada and the US. There are no specific regulations to govern the use of this food additive because it is classed as a food ‘enhancer’ and not a chemical additive. Some meat processors use MSG in their recipes as a flavour enhancer.

In 1969, both Canada and the US banned the use of MSG in baby food. Since this time, MSG has been scientifically connected to birth defects.

QUESTION: What is ‘gelatin’?

ANSWER : Gelatin is a colorless or slightly yellow, protein formed by boiling skin, bones, and connective tissue of animals. It is a common binding ingredient that is used by the food and drug industries. Pure gelatin is pure protein, but gelatin that is sold in the market place today is loaded with chemicals.

QUESTION: What does ‘Organic’ mean?

ANSWER : The C.O.A.B.C (Certified Organic Association of British Columbia) defines organic as farming that promotes the sustainable health and productivity of the ecosystem – soil, plants, animals and people. This means that organic foods are farmed in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible way, focusing on soil regeneration, water conservation and animal welfare.

QUESTION: What is ‘Certified Organic’?

ANSWER : Companies that can make the claim to be ‘Certified’ organic have received accreditation from a recognized certifying body. Both farms and food processors must be audited to ensure that organic standards are met throughout each stage of production. At minimum organic food suppliers must:

  • Never use synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or GMOs (genetically modified organisms)  when growing their produce, grains and/or animal grain feed;
  • Never feed animal by-products to their livestock;
  • Never fully cage their livestock and deny them access to fresh air, or opportunities to socialize with other animals;
  • Never use chemical preservatives such as nitrites, or synthetic additives like colourings and waxes.

QUESTION: Can organic cows get MAD COW disease?

ANSWER : Organic cows cannot contract MAD COW disease. Alternatively, conventionally raised cows are at risk of contracting the disease if their feed contains ground-up parts of infected animals (this could be rendered parts or blood from other cows or pigs). Most countries now ban the use of feeding rendered animal bi-products to other animals (Canada is one of the many countries now that bans this). The ORGANIC food industry ensures that cows are only fed a 100% vegetarian diet of grass and grain that is certified organic.

QUESTION: Do Mclean Organic Foods' products contain allergens?


QUESTION:  What type of casing is used on Mclean Organic Foods sausages?

ANSWER: Mclean Organic Foods' larger sausages like turkey smokies & turkey kolbassa are made with pork casing. The smaller (or thinner) sausages such as turkey Euro wieners, beef hot dogs and pepperoni are made with sheep casing.

QUESTION: Why buy organic or naturally farmed meat?  

ANSWER : Conventionally raised livestock are often confined to small cages from birth to slaughter and fed food that contains rendered animal bi-products. Animals are frequently medicated with antibiotics to prevent disease caused by inadequate and unclean living conditions.

Certified organic livestock must have free access to pasture and continuous access to fresh, clean water. Housing must allow for freedom of movement, fresh air, daylight and proper shelter. Organic animals are raised on certified organic feed and land, and are non-medicated.

Naturally farmed animals may not be fed certified organic feed, but they are raised without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones and are fed a 100% vegetarian diet with no animal bi-products. Poultry can move freely and is not confined to cages. Pigs and Cows are pasture raised outdoors on sustainable land and treated humanely.

QUESTION: Who regulates the meat industry in Canada?

ANSWER : The meat processing industry in Canada is regulated at both a provincial and a federal level. All manufacturers of meat products must adhere to strict guidelines of Provincial & Federal legislation under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Fisheries.

To learn more about meat processing guidelines, visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website with the Government of Canada at or visit the Food & Consumer Products Manufacturers (FCPMC) website at .

QUESTION: What is glucono-delta lactone?

ANSWER : Glucono-Delta-Lactone is produced by the fermentation of glucose. The glucose is usually corn derived. It is commonly used in foods like salamis and sausages to adjust PH levels during the drying or aging process. GDL is soluble in water and is non-toxic and completely metabolized in our bodies. The corn glucose is not a source ingredient in the production of the Glucono-Delta-Lactone, being instead food fed to microorganisms, which then produce Glucono-Delta-Lactone.

 Glucono-Delta-Lactone is found in honey, fruit juices, and wine. It adds a tangy taste and is metabolized to sugar. Our bodies metabolize a gram of glucono-delta-lactone into 1 gram of sugar glucose.


Keywords: Meat, Organic Foods

Other products and services from Mc Lean Meats


Mclean Organic Foods - The Natural Choice - Organic Nutritional Labels

VITAMINS & MINERALS: Because we have so many foods now that are enriched with added vitamins and minerals, Canadian nutritional labels include a breakdown of things like vitamin C and iron per serving. Canada has a mandatory nutritional labelling law that requires food products for human consumption to use a specific format for presenting the nutritional facts on their products.