Thursday, July 02, 2009


"The soul may be a mere pretense
The mind makes very little sense
So let us value the appeal
Of that which we can taste and feel."
Piet Hein, A Toast

Yep, that’s right. I'm a bacovegetarian. You’ve probably heard of the lacto- and ovo- kinds of vegetarians who also eat, respectively milk products and eggs. Me too. I couldn’t live without cheese, and on my weekly trips to the local egg lady I obtain the most wonderful fresh delicious eggs. Recently Tech Support Guy ordered an egg dish at a local restaurant and we barely recognized the anemic tasteless egg-shaped thing on his plate. He reported that it had a vaguely egg-like flavor, but had hardly any taste at all.

But bacon is, well bacon. Now, don’t judge me. I won't ever eat deep fried Snickers. I can’t stand the things big agriculture does to pigs. Shooting them full of antibiotics within days after they’re born, cutting their curlicue tales off because they pack them so tightly together that they’ll eat each other’s tails otherwise. Feeding them nasty muck and making them stand in their own poop.

We recently saw the movie Food, Inc. which doesn’t talk so much about pigs but will make you cut beef out of your diet unless you’re a soul-dead consumer seeking a slow death from nutritional deficiency and obesity-related diseases. The local county fair is a positive hotbed of irresistible bad food seemingly designed to make you sick and fat at the same time. I particularly love that all the trash cans wore patriotic dress and reminded the overweight customers to keep America beautiful.

So, I pay more to get organic bacon, certified as cage-free or humanely treated. I’ll eat bacon on/in anything: tomato sauce, potatoes sautéed in garlic and bacon grease, buttered toast. I haven’t sunk to coating my bacon with chocolate as they do at the fair, but I’m not saying it couldn’t happen someday. If only I could figure out how to get bacon into my morning coffee, I think I would have invented the perfect food.


chaiselongue said...

Organic bacon is a very sustainable food. Intensive farming of anything is awful and produces tasteless food, but pigs are a necessary part of organic agriculture and sustainable food production. John Seymour found this decades ago - when you have food scraps and need manure, you need pigs. All smallholders the world over keep pigs for this reason. So you can eat your bacon without guilt!

colleen said...

Is there possibly a trace of Anglo/Saxon/Celt in there? Bacon is possibly the food of the (breakfast) gods.

Martha in Michigan said...

A few years ago, when I was reviewing medical research 20 hours a week, I came across, via a classic circuitous Web route never to be retraced, an article detailing the history of bacon, at least in the USA. Early in the last century, hogs subsisted in the winter mostly on acorns, which made for a fairly healthy, monounsaturated lipid profile in the resulting bacon. Once bacon began to be shipped some distance, however, the tendency of its fat to go liquid in hot conditions became a problem. Hog diet was altered to promote saturated fat that would stay solid during shipment and -- voila! -- high cholesterol in humans was fostered.

But what your post really has me thinking about is the weirdness of a county fair at the BEGINNING of JULY! I know your climate is different, but I cannot imagine already having the farm/garden bounty to support pie and preserve contests, for example. My tomatoes are barely golf-ball size here in SE Michigan. You are taunting me most cruelly.

walk2write said...

I stopped eating most cuts of pork a few years ago when a good friend and holistic healer told me that since pigs don't sweat they can't shed enough toxins. So the non-organic bacon eaters might want to at least give up air conditioning and work up a sweat. And maybe forgo those deep-fried Snickers.

Cicero Sings said...

We are so fortunate to be able to get locally raised beef, pork, lamb, chicken all raised humanely and organically and butchered relatively locally (not a mega abattoir anyway). I just had 4 chickens delivered the other day plus 6 lbs of necks for the pup. Pork raised naturally tastes SO different than the mass produced pork.

Cicero Sings said...

On the issue of garlic, if one wants to have nice heads of garlic for eating, one must remove the scapes or flowering stalks as soon as they emerge ... otherwise all the nutrients goes into the flower heads instead of the cloves. Scapes can be eaten, chopped up and added to whatever one is cooking. Once the green leaves start turning yellow, then one can lift the garlic, trim the roots and the stalks and dry WELL before storing. The hard neck garlic keeps longer but only the soft necked garlic can be braided. We grow all hard neck garlic. It seems to do better up here.