“Do we eat too much bacon? Are you sure this is healthy?” asks my husband as I put the second tray of candied bacon in the oven. Bacon feels indulgent and almost too good to be true. How can something so delicious be nourishing? It all depends on the quality of the meat.
Bacon is predominately fat and when you’re eating animal fat it’s most important to source humanely-raised, healthy pigs. The fat contains the highest concentrations of an animal’s diet. If a pig was raised predominately on corn and soy meal then it’s fat will have higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids than a pig raised on pasture grasses/weeds, roots, tubers, rodents, reptiles and other grains. Pigs are natural foragers and have a varied nutrient dense diet. By consuming bacon from conventional/factory farmed pigs, you’re ingesting higher levels of inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids.
The pig’s health will be reflected in you. If the pig led a suffered, sickly existence then you don’t want that meat on your plate. Pigs should be raised humanely under happy, sustainable conditions. Whatever the pig eats, you’re eating too.
Chipotle recently pulled all pork from their menu after discovering their suppliers were sourcing non-humanely raised pigs. By holding up to this standard, the company is showing how much they care about the health of their customers. They successfully found another supplier, Niman Ranch to fill the loss.
Have your bacon and eat it too. Just make sure you know what’s in it. I like to consider bacon a complement to a meal, there to highlight all the other ingredients. Use this sweet and salty bacon candy as a topping for salads, guacamole or for dessert on ice cream or cupcakes.Sourcing Quality Pork:
►List of all the farms in the U.S. that Ship pasture-raised pork, http://www.eatwild.com/products/farmsthatship.html
►Niman Ranch, http://store.nimanranch.com/p-75-uncured-applewood-smoked-bacon-4-12oz-packages.aspx
►Local Famers Markets – Ask the farmers how their pigs are raised and what they feed them.
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 5 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 lb good quality bacon - sliced
- 2 tbsp maple sugar
- Preheat oven to 365 degrees.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a metal cooling rack on top of the backing sheet. Make sure it’s folded down and secure over the pan.
- Mix together the cayenne, salt, maple syrup and dijon mustard in a large bowl. Individually dip each slice of bacon into the mixture, allowing excess to dip off into the bowl. Arrange slices onto metal rack.
- Bake for 20 minutes in the middle of the oven. It should be golden and not quite done.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with maple sugar. Bake for 5-10 more minute until crispy. If chewy, allow to cook a few more minutes.
- Only allow to cool for 5 minutes. If they sit too long the bacon slices will stick together. Move to a plate. Eat as stripes or crumble for salads and desserts.
The Jungle Effect, Okinawa, Japan by Daphne Miller, M.D.
Hog Production Alternatives, Alternative Feeds, http://thenaturalfarmer.com/article/hog-production-alternatives
Pigs – the food connoisseurs of the farm animal kingdom, http://www.naturalpigfarming.com/feed.htm
Dear Mark: Bacon Fat Stability, Noise Machines, and Pig Feed,http://www.marksdailyapple.com/bacon-fat-stability-noise-machines-and-pig-feed/#axzz3Qiq23Htz
Dude, They Found Your Carnitas: Chipotle Solves Its Pork Crisis, http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/01/16/chipotle-pork-shortage-solved-carnitas-return