Can You Eat Spam Raw?

by Charlie
Can You Eat Spam Raw

Spam is canned meat made from ground pork and processed ham. It contains pork with ham and added salt, water, processed potato starch as a binder, sugar, and sodium nitrite as a preservative. Natural gelatins production occurs when cooking. 

Spam was used and produced in high quantities during World War II rationing and the Lend-lease Act. Several countries ravaged by the conflict and faced with strict food rations came to appreciate spam throughout the way.

Spam, however, is reputed in the United States as poverty food. Its image as a low-cost meat product gave rise to the Scottish colloquial term “spam valley,” describing certain affluent housing areas where residents appear to be wealthy but, in reality, maybe living at poverty levels. 

So, can you eat raw spam? Yes, you can. It is precooked before it gets canned. Since all canned foods are pasteurized during the canning process, spam is safe to eat. Therefore, you can eat it directly from the can, but the smell of just opened tin can be a little unbearable. 

Is Eating Raw Spam Bad for Me?

Eating raw spam is not bad for you. It contains spicy pork and ham, which you can combine with other ingredients into a meaty block. 

It is precooked before packaging, which eliminates the risks of eating raw meat. It is a bit greasy when uncooked, but the less fat type does not have as much grease.

However, it tastes better when cooked by frying or chopping it and adding to your omelet. 

Effects of Eating Raw Spam

Every food you consume affects your health and lifestyle, which are more likely to have negative or positive impacts. Such effects in spam consumption include: 

#1 It is More Convenient and Shelf-stable

The most beneficial aspect of spam is that it is more convenient and has a long shelf life, unlike other meat types. When running out of time, it is more convenient for you to prepare spam even with limited ingredients. Since spam is precooked, you can eat it straight from the can and demands minimal preparation before eating.

Adding additives and preservatives makes it easier to stock up on than other perishable meats such as chicken, beef, and fish. You can use your spam by adding it to sandwiches, sliders, pasta dishes, and rice.

#2 Health Risks Since its Highly Processed

The consumption of spam can affect your health since it can categorize as processed meat. The manufacturer can process meat by curing, canning, smoking, or drying, increasing its shelf life and enriching its taste and texture. It is associated with other processed meat such as; hotdogs, bacon, and salami. 

Eating this type of meat is associated with a long list of health complications such as diabetes and coronary heart diseases. Additionally, highly processed meat is more likely to be associated with a higher risk of colorectal and stomach cancer.  Other conditions include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and high blood pressure.

#3 Presence of Sodium Nitrite

Sodium nitrite is a common additive used as a food additive in the production of spam. It prevents bacterial growth and improves the flavor and appearance of the end product. A dangerous compound, nitrosamine, is associated with several health effects after exposure of amino acids and nitrites to high heat. 

A high sodium nitrite and nitrosamine intake increases a higher risk of stomach cancer, thyroid cancer, brain tumor formation, and type 1 diabetes. 

#4 Spam Contains High Levels of Sodium

Spam contains sodium, which accounts for a third of the recommended daily intake per serving. Different people react differently to the effects of salt. For instance, those with high blood pressure benefit better by reducing their sodium intake since this can lower blood pressure.

High salt consumption may weaken the blood flow in salt-sensitive people resulting in bloating and swelling. Stomach cancer is associated with increased intake of sodium.

#5 Spam Contains a High Amount of Fat

Spam contains high-fat levels of about 15 grams in 56 grams serving. Fat is considerably higher in calories than carbohydrates or proteins since each gram of fat contains nine calories compared to other meat products such as beef, poultry, and fish. 

You can potentially increase your overall calorie intake and contribute to weight gain if you frequently indulge in high-fat foods such as spam.

What is the Nutritional Value of Spam?

Just like other foods, spam contains high levels of sodium, fat, and calories. It also has several micronutrients such as zinc and potassium. In one serving of 56 grams spam;

  • Calories 174
  • Protein 7 grams
  • Carbohydrates 2 grams
  • Fat 15 grams
  • Sodium 32% of the RDI
  • Zinc 7% of the RDI
  • Potassium 4% of the RDI
  • Iron 35 of the RDI
  • Copper 3% of the RDI

Additionally, Vitamin C, magnesium, folate, and calcium are provided in small amounts by spam.

What are the Different Varieties of Spam?

As you walk through the supermarket aisle aligned with spam products, be sure to choose a specific flavor of your liking. The following are different flavors of spam;

  1. Spam Classic – original flavor
  2. Spam Hot and Spicy – tobacco flavored
  3. Jalapeno Spam
  4. Spam with Black Pepper
  5. Spam Low Sodium – 25% less sodium
  6. Spam Lite – 33% fewer calories, 25% less sodium, and 50% less fat. It derives from pork with ham and mechanically separated chicken
  7. Spam Oven Roasted Turkey
  8. Spam Hickory smoked
  9. Spam spread – it is similar to the spam classic but in a virulent form
  10. Spam Bacon, Spam Cheese, and others

Final Thoughts

  • Spam is a popular canned meat product made with ground pork, ham, and various flavoring agents and preservatives.
  • Spam is packaged when precooked, eliminating the possibility of eating raw. You can eat it straight from your can or cook it by frying them to improve the taste.
  • Every type of food has its good impacts on your health and a downside too. Spam is associated with a higher risk of health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.
  • Spam contains numerous nutrients such as fat, sodium, and proteins.
  • Spam contains a variety of flavors, such as spam classic, spam cheese, and spam bacon.

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