Difference between cured and uncured labeling
The Oxford English Dictionary defines “cure” as: “to preserve by salting, drying, etc.” So, according to historical meat preserving tradition, many Applegate products are cured.
Unfortunately, the USDA’s definition of “cured” derives from the industrial food system. Before refrigeration was common, synthetic sodium nitrite was viewed as an innovation that made food safer. At the time, the USDA required producers to include the synthetic compound in products labeled “cured” to help customers identify bacteria-free foods. Label laws haven’t changed since.
However, there are many ways to cure meat, not all of which require a synthetic chemical. For example, we cure our Prosciutto using only salt and spices. We make other Applegate products with celery juice and starter culture. The results are natural and delicious.