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Bringing Home the Bacon

Updated on February 16, 2012
Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon is my favorite.
Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon is my favorite. | Source
Pork Belly Meat, where Bacon Comes From
Pork Belly Meat, where Bacon Comes From | Source

Being associated with the meat industry for several years, I have had the chance to learn a lot about meat quality, its health benefits and its ruins. I have heard stories of isolated incidents of mad cow disease, e-coli in ground meat and salmonella in seafood. But the most consistent problem that I have encountered is the health “benefits” of pork.

In the course of my time butchering hogs and beef in the Midwest for a major slaughterhouse, I have had the opportunity to process the body parts of literally millions of animals (7000 hogs a day, or 4500 beef a day). I have seen cancers, diseases and deformities in some of these animals. Some are rejected completely and rendered out for grease, and some are passed on for a different type of processing. Of all of the meat that has run past me over the years, pork is the one item that is the most problematic. (See my blog called “The Other White Meat”).

I don’t normally eat pork as a rule, but I love a good pork steak or a thick grilled loin chop with applesauce once in a while. My wife and I enjoy some good bacon with our eggs occasionally, but too much pork at one time seems to upset my body chemistry. It makes my joints ache, causes gout flare-ups and my skin feels all greasy and dirty until it is all out of my system. If I was to actually buy pork bacon, I would get the Wright’s Brand thick cut bacon. It is minimally processed and is very popular here in the South. But there are alternatives to the pork bacon.

Everyone knows about Turkey Bacon. It is good, but you have to experiment with different brands to get the one that you like. While one can cook up really well and taste like cardboard, the other will burn quickly, but have a nice flavor. I personally like the Oscar Mayer turkey bacon. But there are other pork alternatives. If you are dead set to eat pork, you can buy the uncured apple wood smoked bacon. It is very good and is usually sold with the organic meats in your grocer’s meat department. Burger’s makes excellent country bacon in a variety of cures. Their thick cut is so thick, it is like a ham steak.

Beef Bacon is a good choice. It is an excellent and flavorful change to the sometimes mundane breakfast routine. Gwaltney makes a very good beef bacon. I am not sure if Gwaltney is a nationwide product or is just here in Dixie, but it might be worth checking into.

Then there is the “fake bacon”. The so called “veggie strips” that look like bacon, smell like bacon but taste like Plexiglas. You gotta be a real die hard to choke that stuff down every morning. But, they say that soy is good for you. I heard somewhere that Plexiglas is made from soybeans. So with that bit of knowledge, wouldn’t it seem right that soymilk comes from plastic cows?

Winter has returned once more to our small town of Lulawissie. The weather has been fickle here lately. Last week it was 18 degrees out, three days later it was sunny and warm in the high 60’s, with a warm rain. The rain was so warm, that the grass frogs came out of hibernation. Now as I sit here, the temperature sits at 30◦ on its way down to 25. Somehow, I think that Al Gore is to blame for the weather problems.

Well, it’s a “bundle up” night tonight. I can look out of my back window and see the ice crusting along the shoreline of the lake. The loons and ducks have come up under my porch this time to stay out of the wind. My dogs don’t seem to mind, they could use the extra warmth. But come sun-up, they will be chasing them back to the water.

As always my friends, give thanks to the Good Lord for everything, do a kind deed for someone you don’t know, and stay healthy.

I bid you Peace.

©2012 by Del Banks


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