Where's the (Safe) Bacon?

 


 Isn't it strange when you read an article from another country and it makes the same points you've been making for (in my case) decades about the safety of a food processing technique...  and it treats those points as if they are perfectly obvious?  Yet when I made those same points when I was younger, the general response was that I was inexperienced and paranoid.  Funny how the worm turns. It's surreal for me to read the article below from the Guardian (a UK news service) and find my words spoken back to me.  

 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/14/uk-us-brexit-trade-deal-could-fill-supermarkets-with-cancer-risk-bacon

To make a long story short, if bacon or cured meat mentions nitrites or celery, it probably irritates the gut, and people with gut disease should probably be careful not to buy such food.  Other options do exist.  More every day.   

Natural bacon is cured with salt, in brine (wet).  But dry cured bacon can be left at room temperature for 10 days before it goes off.  Nitrites are added to increase the refrigerated shelf life of brined bacon.  So, in addition, since pork without nitrates has a shorter shelf life, you can be sure it is fresher, and that means it's tastier.  

What about trichinosis you say?  Many people have that reaction instantly when discussing pork.  I was taught in middle school and again in high school of the danger of it.  It's natural to be concerned about it.  However, it's an extremely rare event in the US.  Here's what the CDC has to say: https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/trichinellosis/gen_info/faqs.html    Basically, cook your pork thoroughly and you won't have any problem.

Pigs are omnivores just like us.  Currently there is a law banning the use of their traditional feed (requiring vegetarian feed, which is interpreted to mean vegan actually), so pork is actually less nutritious than it could be.  Pigs used to be fed whey from cheese making, but now they are given a routinely plant based diet. 

 

Where do I find good bacon?

There is a local farmer who attempts to restore a more natural way of life for their pigs, Nature's Roots Farm.  They raise "forest fed" pork.  Get in touch for some excellent local pork.  The Organic Butcher Shop in Dunn NC also carries local pork. Both of these options delivers to Raleigh/Durham areas.  I'm guessing Naked Bacon is also an option, but I wasn't able to confirm that they ship to the US.  

 

Update:  There are two Naked Bacon companies, one in the UK, which the article talks about, and one in the US, which has the same name, but is not associated with the UK company.  However, they claim GF and then add unspecified spices so I'm not full of confidence about it.  If you're looking for a simple supermarket brand that is Certified GF, look for Jones brand. Jones has a lot more than bacon available.  

Once you've found the perfect bacon, why not pair it with some turkey for a Club Sandwich?  It will make you almost forget you're on a restricted diet.  Watch out, Dietz and Watson's Ham has celery powder and a bunch of preservatives too, but I have no complaints about their organic turkey.

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