So do all nitrates in any form cause cancer? My taster from the kielbasa batch with celery powder was good. Had no chemical taste like cure #1 adds. ...
First, I have no idea what you mean by "chemical taste", but I will agree with NePaS. Any direct taste contributed by cure #1 in appropriate amount should be sensed basically as salty. The flavor of sodium nitrite is generally likened to salt. Nitrites do contribute to a different flavor development over time that is characteristic of cured meats (some describe it as the ham taste), but by itself it should basically taste like salt.
Second, I know of no definitive, well conducted study either toxicological or epidemiological,and there have been many, that has found that nitrate is cancer causing. This remains the position of the National Academy of Sciences and the FDA who have studied the question at length for more than 30 years.
Please understand that when you use celery products you are most likely using predominantly nitrate unless a suitable bacteria that effects the reduction of nitrate to nitrite has been included. Nitrate and nitrite are a "couple", in that they can be interconverted. In curing meat nitrite is the working agent and nitrate serves as a reservoir of reserve capacity. Normally nitrate is included for long-term cures, such as with hams and other dry aged meats, and not for short term curing applications. The use of celery products as nitrite source requires either pretreatment or the inclusion of a culture to reduce the nitrate to nitrite. Without adequate controls this can lead to higher levels of nitrite than would normally be had with the use of a nitrite curing agent directly.
Nitrite either in its sodium or potassium salt form poses an acute health risk due to its ability to bind with hemoglobin. The levels required for that to be a serious concern would require eating a vast amount of a properly cured meat product in on sitting, enough so that the normal salt levels would probably present a greater immediate health risk.
There have been suggestions and hypotheses that nitrites in the diet present a health risk due to the potential of reacting with amines to produce nitrosamines, some of which are known to be potent carcinogens. However, numerous toxicological studies have not been able to find a link between dietary intake of nitrites and cancer. It remains a concern that has not been substantiated after significant effort to confirm a cause and effect relationship.
In spite of the lack of any credible supporting scientific evidence, the concern
over adverse health effects of nitrate and nitrite in the human diet can and does lead to fear of both. The web is full of non-credible information suggesting serious adverse health effects from both nitrates and nitrites. In the interest of neutrality let me suggest two easily obtained references, both of which strike me as unbiased and neutral without any benefit of position either pro or con:
1. From The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
2. From The University of Minnesota Extension Service