"American style" covers a vast amount of different production methods, from simple drying to smoke drying, sugar brining, "toasting" etc etc. Bacon is like saying "seafood", there are many styles. The southern salt cure is probably the style the English are used to. But even the southern US folks use these cuts like ham hocks, to boil and use as a meat flavoring for stuff like collards.
Nitrites are an issue like many other additives and preservatives(Flavors and fragrnces as the entire industry got to be known)
We dont have to be "stuck with em" Im sure many canadian meats and meat products use nitrates and nitrites. You just have to wisely shop if you wish to avoid em.
we should NEVER grille or bbq a meat with added nitrate salts. The heating process of direct flame or searing creates a couple of truly carcinogenic organic salts (NDMA one of the best known but theres several dozen others).
Im even concerned with brining with some added vinegar (Thats why I wont ue a cider in a brine). The acetates created , if in solution with certain kinds of sea salt, (sea salts often have flourides) These can create a chemical similar to Sodium fluoroacetate, a very effective coyote killer in larger doses.