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Everything's Better with Bacon: Making the Case for Bacon in a Healthy Diet

Updated on May 30, 2016
Source

Forget your pescatarians, your flexitarians, your lacto-ovo-vegetarians. If I ever decide to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle, I would have to be a baco-vegetarian. Yes, that's a person who abstains from eating all meat and animal flesh except bacon.

I love bacon that much. I eat it for breakfast, of course. I've had bacon for dessert. My favorite sandwich is the BLT. I've even invented a drink called the BLTini (bacon vodka with a splash of Bloody Mary mix, garnished with an endive spear and, what else, a slice of bacon).

As a connoisseur of bacon, I'm troubled by the bad rap bestowed upon my favorite cured meat. Bacon is bad for you, they say. It's full of saturated fats and the chemicals used in the curing process are virtually toxic. It's high in sodium, high in cholesterol, it's a heart attack on a plate.

But it's so very, very good.

So I set out to find whether bacon is guilty as charged or whether it's been unjustly condemned. Let's examine the arguments for and against bacon as part of a healthy diet and then you, the jury, can decide.


The Case Against Bacon

The prosecution's case against bacon begins at the industrial farm. Pork production, like all mass livestock production, is resource-intensive, meaning it demands more water, energy, and grain than other foods.

What's the difference between a hog and a pig?

In the United States, the term "pig" means a younger domesticated swine weighing less than 120 pounds, while the term "hog" means an older swine weighing more than 120 pounds. All domesticated swine are called pigs in Great Britain.

Hogs are housed in crowded factory farms on slatted floors, making it impossible for them to act upon their natural instinct to root and forage. The stressful living conditions make the animals susceptible to disease and physical maladies, while the waste they generate threatens air and water quality. Hogs receive antibiotics to prevent disease and artificially increase weight, and drug residue may linger in the meat after slaughter.

Bacon is one of the most highly processed foods we eat. Bacon in the United States comes from pork bellies, the fattiest part of the hog. The meat is injected with salt and a chemical curing solution before heat processing. It gets its smoky flavor from a sprayed-on liquid smoke extract that contains even more chemicals. The end product, before cooking, is pink-gray and slimy.

Cooked bacon is high in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. These raise cholesterol levels and blood pressure, increasing the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Eating bacon and other processed meats also leads to a higher risk of cancer, studies have shown. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends that people avoid all forms of processed meat until more is known about the cancer risk.

So in the face of all this damning evidence, what's a bacon lover to do? Must one resign oneself to a sad, baconless existence? Reserve judgment until the defense is heard.


In Defense of Bacon

Bacon can be part of a healthy diet. It is a protein, after all, and a complete one at that, meaning it has all the essential amino acids in the proper proportions. Because it is high in protein, it has a greater satiating effect (fullness factor) after a meal than other foods so you are less likely to overeat. It's also a good source of niacin, phosphorus, and selenium.

For persons watching their blood sugar levels due to diabetes or metabolic syndrome, bacon has little effect. Because it's so low in carbohydrates, Dr. Atkins touted it as part of his controversial diet.

The cancer risk comes from nitrites used to cure bacon. At the high temperatures used for cooking, nitrites are converted to nitrosamines, which may cause cancer. The use of nitrites has decreased over the last four decades and the USDA regulates the amount of sodium nitrite that may be used in processing bacon. Researchers have questioned the link between nitrites and cancer, and have suggested that the higher rates of cancer seen in bacon eaters may be the result of processed meat displacing fruits and vegetables and their beneficial effects in the diet, rather than some cancer-causing agent in the bacon itself.

Commercial pork producers are responding to an increasing public awareness of food safety and environmental issues. The National Pork Board, which provides industry oversight, pledges to protect and promote animal well-being, protect public health, and safeguard natural resources. Through the voluntary Pork Quality Assurance Plus program, the pork industry promotes the use of responsible antibiotic practices to avoid sending adulterated food to market and to minimize the development of antibiotic resistance. Regulations require a withdrawal period between the time medicine is administered to an animal and slaughter, and the USDA randomly samples pork to detect violations.

Some pork producers go above and beyond the regulatory requirements and employ traditional, sustainable production methods. Producers like Niman Ranch, which works with a network of family farms across the United States, raise hogs in pastures or in deeply bedded pens where they are able to follow their natural instincts to root and roam. Waste is used to fertilize crop land and fewer animals are raised per acre to ensure the health of the land. No antibiotics are used. These producers offer bacon that is processed without nitrites using natural curing methods like infusion of celery juice.

Mmm ... bacon

Source

How to include bacon as part of a healthy diet

To make bacon part of a healthy diet, begin by sourcing your bacon from a producer using traditional farming methods. The closer the producer to you, the better, so research family farms in your area.

At the supermarket, look for labels indicating the use of sustainable and humane farming practices. "Certified Organic" means the animals were given organic feed and provided access to the outdoors, although not necessarily a pasture.

For animals that were pastured or had significant access the outdoors, look for the following labels: "Animal Welfare Approved," "Food Alliance Certified," or "Free Range/Free Roaming."

Use bacon in moderation. One slice of cooked bacon has just 41 calories and one gram of saturated fat. But that one slice packs a lot of flavor and you need no more than that to feel satiated. Think of bacon as a seasoning instead of the focal point of the dish. When you flavor a dish with bacon, you won't need to add extra salt.

Don't skimp on the fruits and veggies when eating bacon. Load up your BLT with colorful, antioxidant-rich tomatoes and leafy greens. Have a salad of citrus fruit and berries with your bacon at breakfast. Limit your consumption of other fats. Instead of topping your baked potato with butter and sour cream, try crumbled bacon, spicy salsa, and diced avocado.

If saturated fat is a concern, look for lower-fat bacon alternatives like turkey bacon or Canadian bacon, also known as back bacon, which is cut from the leaner pork loin. If you insist on traditional pork bacon, look for center cut bacon, which is slightly leaner. To reduce your exposure to nitrites, look for bacon labeled "uncured" or reduce your consumption of other processed meats.



Sugar Snap Peas with Bacon

And if I still haven't convinced you that bacon can be a part of a healthy diet, try this easy and delicious vegetable dish flavored with a modest amount of pork bacon and, remember, everything's better with bacon.

Seared scallops with orange soy ginger sauce over curried rice, sugar snap peas with bacon
Seared scallops with orange soy ginger sauce over curried rice, sugar snap peas with bacon

Ingredients:

4 slices bacon

1/2 small onion, minced

1/3 cup water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

Ground black pepper

Preparation:

Cook the bacon in a deep skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels; reserve.

Drain off all but one tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet. Return to the heat and add the minced onion. Stir constantly for one minute. Add the water, salt, and sugar snap peas. Bring the water to a boil, then cover and steam over medium-high heat until the peas are bright green and just tender, about 5 minutes. While the peas are steaming, chop the cooked bacon slices.

Remove the lid and stir in the thyme. Continue to cook until the liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally, for another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the bacon. Season with pepper. Serves 4.


The Verdict

We, the jury, find bacon:

See results

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    • Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

      This is so wonderfully written (snort, snort). It gives bacon folks hope. As a Farm Girl raised in a pear orchard, I finally know the difference between a pig and a hog. As in--Duh.

    • elizabethmcgriff profile image

      elizabethmcgriff 5 years ago from South Alabama

      Great hub! I laughed out loud at the BLtini- when we first saw bacon vodka on the market, my husband and I automatically thought, "yeah! in a bloody mary!" I completely agree that in moderation, and purchased locally, you can't beat bacon for flavor.

      Thanks for writing!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Bring on the Bacon! I like mine on toast with ketchup or a BLT and with perogies, eggs, Caesar salad, on top of meatloaf or homemade macaroni and cheese or by itself. I just love bacon. I will try your recipe Sugar Snap Peas with Bacon. Excellent hub!

    • LABrashear profile image

      LABrashear 5 years ago from My Perfect Place, USA

      Great hub! You had me at the title. Everything's better with bacon!

    • Maralexa profile image

      Marilyn Alexander 5 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

      This is a fabulous hub! I was just talking to the butcher in my local store mentioning how much I missed eating bacon. You have won me back. Especially using bacon as a seasoning.

      Thanks so much.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
      Author

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks for reading and commenting, everyone. Arlene, it was a question that came to my mind while writing this so I decided to add that little fun fact in. Glad to teach you something new! Elizabeth, my BLTini needs a bit of work still. Stick with the bloody mary for now. : )

    • Emma Harvey profile image

      Emma Harvey 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Loving this hub (as a regular bacon eater). Eating it in moderation is probably the healthiest way to go, but having anything in moderation is wise. I won't go without my Sunday morning bacon sandwich, and I try to be good in the week!

    • joystickenvy profile image

      joystickenvy 5 years ago from Illinois

      Seems like pretty much all factory farming, whether it's meat or produce leads to some disgusting or unhealthy aspects to the food, whether it's chemicals, inhumane treatment etc. Interesting hub.

    • frugalfamily profile image

      Brenda Trott, M.Ed 5 years ago from Houston, TX

      I absolutley love bacon. I'm afraid I might be one that over eats it...I even like the shelf stable version.

    • Pat Clark 5 years ago

      In the olden days, bacon was much saltier and truly smoked. Hard to find, now: check where you can find country cured ham. BTW, salt gets a bad rap for healthy people: the kidneys can and do handle it just fine.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      You present an excellent, excellent argument DeborahNeyens. Even as a vegetarian, I agree with you entirely!

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 5 years ago

      Bacon is the new darling of the epicurean circles.

      Men food for sure and anything with bacon will please any man and some women.;-)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Congrats on Hub of the Day!!! Your premise can't be argued with. :) Also shows what can be done if consumers speak up! Good information, neat hub!

    • SlyMJ profile image

      SlyMJ 5 years ago

      Interesting to see the difference in practices and developments between the UK and US. We use mostly back bacon here, which I have searched for in vain when I visit the States - though I may have been looking in the wrong places :o)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Congrats again on hub of the day! You go girl! What a super shout-out to bacon. I voted for used it in moderation (3-5 times a year). It's great for added flavor in recipes. Voted UP/Awesome!

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Well done hub! A great choice for hub of the day, congratulations. Although we do not eat pork bacon, we do eat a lot of turkey bacon. There definitely is something about having that flavor add to your dishes. Thanks for sharing all of your knowledge.

    • jenubouka 5 years ago

      I will take a side of bacon with my bacon, thank you

      All in moderation

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      I love bacon as well. Let me clarify this, I love American bacon! I lived in Britain for many years and I couldn't get bacon to go crispy even using the kind called "streaky bacon". There was so much water injected into it, it didn't didn't fry it boiled.

      Now I am in Brazil and the bacon is more akin to "American Bacon". Yeah!

      I was recently watching a film with Matthew McConaughey and instead of drooling over him, I was looking at the piece of bacon in his hand.

      Long live bacon!

      Great hub and congratulations on your "hub of the day", you have a good balance of writing, information, selling and humor.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I love love LOVE bacon! But since I no longer drink alcohol (and rarely vodka when I did), I'll have to trust you on the BLTini. And deep-fried bacon (which you didn't mention, so I did) just sounds YUCKY. Ewwwwwwwwww. ;D

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great hub! I can't believe that I didn't comment on it the first time when I read it and voted in the poll. Congrats on getting Hub of the Day!

    • Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

      Congratulations, Deborah, on Hub of the Day!!! And I am just as proud of myself for being the first to comment on your writing this piece. Can I spot winning writers or WHAT??? Or could it be I was instantly smelling bacon and wanting to get some in a pan as I read this??? Keep writing!!!

    • leroy64 profile image

      Brian L. Powell 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff)

      You caught my attention with the word bacon and held my interest with good writing. When you had bacon for dessert, was it milk chocolate covered bacon? It is a great combination. Something about the saltiness of the bacon and the sweetness of the chocolate is seductive.

    • Huntgoddess profile image

      Huntgoddess 5 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      I do love bacon. I used to be a vegan, until I found out that there are alternatives to factory-farmed meats. Try to find a humane, local source of good meats --- grass-fed, free-range, humanely raised. One family farm near me has won awards for humane treatment of its hogs.

      The Weston A. Price Foundation has lists of these local farmers on its website.

      Great Hub!!

      Up. Funny. Informative. Something else I can't remember. LOL

    • ThePastor profile image

      ThePastor 5 years ago from California

      Let it be so! let it be so! I love bacon to hence I love your HUB!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      How can I not agree? To me bacon is a basic food group in and of itself. I do look for low sodium. Bacon is the best and so is your hub! Voted up.

    • Karen N profile image

      Karen N 5 years ago from United States

      Excellent hub. most things in moderation is perfectly fine. :)

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

      No joke...I just had bacon TWICE today! Breakfast and lunch. I have a wedding to go to in a week and waited way too long to take off weight. So, gotta do it quick on the Atkins Diet. Bacon is what gets me through on Atkins! Thanks for making me feel better about it.

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      For some reason the line, "Think of bacon as a seasoning..." really made me laugh. I think that is the justification I will use when voting "guilty of a lesser count."

      Your humorous style packed with information made this a really fun article to read. Congratulations on hub of the day.

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 5 years ago

      Bacon is one of the joys of life. A day without bacon is a day without umami. I must try the sugar snap recipe. Another good one is bacon and Brussel sprouts totally changes the experience and kids will eat them done that way. Just cube some bacon fry it until crispy and throw it over the brussel's. Brilliant and informative. Bacon will no longer be a guilty pleasure. up.

    • stayingalivemoma profile image

      Valerie Washington 5 years ago from Tempe, Arizona

      bacon lovers everywhere will be dreaming of you tonight.

    • Donna Huebsch profile image

      Donna Fairley Huebsch 5 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

      Great writing - congrats on being Hub of the Day! We have bacon almost each Sunday at our house with whole grain pancakes and maple syrup - YUM :o)

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Crumbled bacon on top of my salad keeps me eating my green leafy vegatables every day!

    • Jokylu profile image

      Jokylu 5 years ago from Waratah North, Victoria.

      I love the way you approached the dilemma of bacon guilty or not guilty. I agree with you bacon definitely has a place in our diets but like everything it needs to be in moderation. The use as a seasoning point was excellent advice as you certainly can improve the fullness of flavour in many dishes with a little bacon added. Molometer mentioned its use with brussell sprouts and I know that is a winner as I have tried that with the grandkids.

      Voted up on this one, and congratulations on receiving accolades for hub of the day, a very well deserving one.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      This is not only a great hub to read but a good looking one too, great job with the layout DeborahNeyens. Great facts, some funny tidbits and I'm glad I can now eat bacon without feeling guilty (in moderation of course). Welcome to Hubpages, enjoy being part of this great writing community.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
      Author

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      It's Sunday morning - time to fry up some bacon! Loving all the great comments here. Agreed that bacon and brussels sprouts are another good combination. Blond Logic, your comment about Matthew McConaughey holding bacon really cracked me up!

    • UrsulaRose 5 years ago

      Congratulations Deborah for being awarded 'Hub Of The Day' ... keep up the good work. :-)

    • Carlon Michelle profile image

      Carlon Michelle 5 years ago from USA

      This is the best set of information I have read on Bacon. Thank you for your research! You truly deserve, Hub of the day award! Smile!

    • signetfence profile image

      signetfence 5 years ago from Online

      That's a lot of information on bacon, but well written and funny. I never knew the smokey flavor came from a can.

    • pmiles profile image

      pmiles 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Best. Hub. EVER.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
      Author

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      So I was in St. Louis for the weekend and last night we went to a little local pizza joint where I had pizza with bacon and banana peppers. Wow! A new way to love bacon.

    • JLBender profile image

      JLBender 5 years ago from Greensburg, PA

      Great article. I have read so much about the paleo diet and people consuming bacon as staple for breakfast. Many people following the diet cook with bacon fat! Great article highlighting both sides.

    • PWalker281 5 years ago

      I've loved bacon all my life, but cut back dramatically several years ago because of the bad rap you speak of. Thanks to your hub, I can start eating it again.

      Hawaii, where I live, has a large population of feral pigs (a mix of the domesticated Polynesian pig and the wild Eurasian boar). Hunting is allowed to keep them in check. The famous luau dish, Kalua pork, is to die for!

      Informative, well-written and entertaining hub on the right way to eat bacon.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Deborah, I could quite easily become a vegatarian - but like you could never give up bacon, I love it!

      Excellent article and congratulations for being Hub of the Day, well deserved!

    • Marie-Renee profile image

      Renee 5 years ago

      I have always loved bacon and despite the bad rap you mentioned still manages to eat a lot. I do cut back on some things that makes my arthritis act up...but never on bacon. Love how you made the hub so interesting. Great job for one so new here in HP. Congrats on being hub of the day. Voted up! Btw, I saw a recipe where the mom put bacon on the vegetables just so the kids would eat the veggies, forgot though what veggie it was. She wrapped the bacon on it and cooked in little olive oil...I think it was green beans.

    • johncimble profile image

      johncimble 5 years ago from Bangkok

      great!!!

    • Ania L profile image

      Ania L 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Absolutely brilliant! Amuzing to read yet showing both sides of the equation. So often something is completely banned by saying 'it's not healthy' while in fact it's just one point of view. I generally believe that everything, that is not pure poison, is good for us when used in modesty.

    • LisaH 5 years ago

      Deb- I love your hub. Took me awhile to get around to this but love bacon...will think of you whenever I eat my favorite BLT.

    • Teresa Coppens profile image

      Teresa Coppens 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I loooove bacon. Crispy is my favourite. I eat it in moderation however. Everything in moderation! Thanks for the hub. Very informative. I will feel less guilty during my weekend bacon consumption. And thanks for the follow. Glad to have you aboard!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
      Author

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      I discovered a new way to enjoy bacon as a Thanksgiving appetizer: peel a butternut squash and cut into 1-inch cubes. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then wrap each cube in a strip of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake at 450F for about 20 minutes. Delish!

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image

      Sarah Johnson 5 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      I can honestly say I love this Hub, even though I do not eat bacon, and had to vote that way as well. Good news, DN, I hear there is a bacon flavored gum!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
      Author

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks for reading, Chaplin. I will have to check out the gum!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      You make some valid points! Sometimes it is more a matter of what you DO NOT eat as opposed to what you do!

    • albertsj profile image

      jacy albertson 4 years ago from Pittsfield, Ma

      Ever have chocolate covered bacon? I never have, but have heard of it. Love to add bacon to...well almost anything. : )

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
      Author

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Of course, Jacy. : ) Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      My mouth is watering... great hub about bacon, Deb! Thank you for sharing :0)

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
      Author

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks, Jamie. It's hard to resist the temptation of all that salty, fatty goodness.

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Bacon once in a while...ummm!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
      Author

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks, coffeegginmyrice. I hadn't had bacon in a few weeks so I bought some yesterday and ended up using it in all 3 dishes I made for my husband's birthday dinner - bacon-wrapped filet mignon, twice-baked potatoes, and spinach salad. Yum-o!

    • chili sauce sweet 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your work and impressions. I love your choices.

      http://www.cattleboyz.com/

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

      I know it is 10 months late...congrats on this hub of the day. I was reading your profile and I have to say I was very impressed with your Hub of the Day collection.....job well done.

      I could not help thinking about the comedian Jim Gaffigan while reading this hub...his two most famous comedy bits are the value of bacon and the how bad hot pockets are.....I like bacon if it is crispy.....but if it is not crispy there is no way I can eat it.

      I think the key point in your hub is to use bacon in moderation....interesting hub that I am voting up and interesting.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
      Author

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks, Cogerson. Better late than never. : ) I've not heard the Jim Gaffigan bit on bacon. I'll have to look for it. And I agree - there's nothing worse than limp bacon! I appreciate the comment and votes.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5029155/jim_gaffigan...

      Go to about the 2 minute mark and then he starts talking about bacon.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5029155/jim_gaffigan...

      Go to the two minute 10 second mark for the bacon bits....no pun intended.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
      Author

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Love it, Cogerson! It's a great addition to my hub. Thanks.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Being a vegetarian, I don't eat bacon but that doesn't mean I don't like it. I love bacon! Ive tried soy bacon, etc. - yuck! This is a great hub and I can see why it was voted "hub of the day." Big votes and sharing!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
      Author

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks, vocalcoach. I don't eat that much meat myself, but I would have a tough time giving up bacon! I guess in moderation nothing can be that bad. Appreciate the comment and share.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      I so agree with what you say here! Some of the healthiest people I know eat a balanced, natural diet that includes bacon in moderation along with lots of fruit and veggies. I think the key is high quality food. Your hubs are all so well-written. Voted up and shared!

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      This recipe sounds totally awesome! Mmmm. I've even been brave enough to try bacon ice cream before. It was surprisingly good.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
      Author

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks, vesapwoolf. I believe food should be joyfully eaten, and what would be the joy of a diet with no bacon, butter, etc.? All things in moderation!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
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      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      I've not had bacon ice cream but I bet it would be delicious. My husband makes a bacon candy by coating slices of bacon in a brown sugar mixture and then baking it. I think it would be delicious crumbled up in vanilla ice cream. Will have to try that next time! Thanks for the comment, Natasha.

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 4 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      I love bacon! Thank you for this, I feel vindicated at last! lol I'm lucky that nearby I have a farm shop that sells locally sourced free range/organic meat and their bacon is smoked in their smoker on the farm! I use it in all sorts of recipes but have never tried it in a drink... (yet)... :-)

      All the votes and all the best from the riverbank in England, Jen

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
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      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      LOL, Jen. You have to really love bacon to enjoy the BLTini. It gets mixed reviews. : ) Thanks for the comment and votes. You bacon source sounds wonderful!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Bacon is the main reason I can't go vegetarian. I tried going veggoe once when I was about 20 but gave up after six weeks because my mam was frying bacon for breakfast...... so I am on your side, I eat in freely but not too much. I especially like a hot bacon and egg sandwich with HP sauce, yummy!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
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      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      I hear you, Jools! We need to get the baco-vegetarian movement off and running. I love bacon and egg sandwiches, too, but my favorite is the BLT. This time of year with all the fresh tomatoes in my garden, I could eat them for every meal!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      BLT is my daughter's favourite but I just don't get lettuce and bacon together! Must be my weird taste buds.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
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      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Usually it's the tomatoes people have a problem with, not the lettuce. But to each her own. : ) I love them so much I could eat them for breakfast. Come to think of it, I have, several times.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I love bacon and can't see stopping my enjoyment of it, but I will look for the organically grown brands. Thanks for the enjoyable read, information on pros and cons, and the wonderful recipe idea. Voted up.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
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      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks, teaches. One thing I've found with the bacon we've been buying locally is that it cooks a bit differently than the mass-produced stuff. You have to cook it at a lower temperature and watch it more closely because it seems to burn easier. Not sure why, but that's been my observation.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      How did I miss this? I loooove bacon. My family tried turkey bacon when I was in high school but we finally divorced that and went back to our first love of pork. I know people have reasons for eating bacon but I really don't see anything wrong eating it a couple of times a week.

      Until I find otherwise, there's no substitute for a great BLT! Awesome hub :).

    • jeolmoz2 profile image

      Julio E Olmo Sr 4 years ago from Florida, USA

      The title says it all!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
      Author

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks, Alecia. I've never really seen the point of turkey bacon. To me, it tastes nothing like the real stuff. So keep enjoying your bacon, in moderation, of course. Thanks for the comment.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
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      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Yes it does! Thanks, jeolmoz2.

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 4 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      This is also going into my Recipe Index for HubPages.

      I love bacon - it is the major reason why I'm not vegetarian.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
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      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      You can join me in my baco-vegetarian movement, 2patricias. Soon to be sweeping the nation, I'm sure. : )

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 4 years ago from UK

      mmmm. a BLT ... or a bacon toastie... I agree with you Deb - everything's better with bacon. Just don't tell my Grandma I said that as I am a Hindu vegetarian boy. I'm still not too old for a smacked bottom as far as my Grandma is concerned! I love the sound of a baco-vegetarian. But then I think I am a Baco-pesco-ovo-bovine-vegetarian.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      It makes me hungry just thinking about the taste of bacon. I love bacon and waffles for breakfast and a big BLT for lunch (but not everyday). I learned a lot about bacon on this great HOTD.

      I voted this UP, and shared.

    • KDuBarry03 4 years ago

      Thank you so much for making a strong case for bacon! I eat bacon at least 4 times a week and not only does it taste good, it can pretty much go with anything. This is definitely worthy of today's HOTD! Congrats Deb!

      Voted up and shared!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
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      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks for the comments, Docmo, Mary, and Keith. I don't think I've found anything that isn't better with bacon.

      Docmo, you are my kind of vegetarian!

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

      "Mmm... bacon, bacon, BACON!!" ;)

      I buy nitrate-free bacon. It's just as yummy. I sometimes use bacon grease when cooking, too. It adds so much flavor & salt to heartier meals.

      I have never tried a bacon dessert. Your drink concoction sounds rather enticing. You truly are a bacontier!

      (I should not have read this at 9 am. I want some bacon now! hehe)

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
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      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks for the comment, Veronica. Truthfully, the drink concoction needs some work. I should really put some time into perfecting it. But bacon for dessert - yum! A little candied bacon makes any dessert better. And, yes, cooking with bacon grease really adds something to a dish. I like to use it for fried potatoes.

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

      I love bacon and I could never imagine that it can be included in a heathy diet! Quite useful information Deborah and congratulation on the Hub of the Day :) Voted UP, Awesome, and shared all the ways possible

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      The bacon in your photo looks like it's cooked perfectly. Everything in moderation I say. I love bacon, and would never give it up completely. It is great for flavoring things. I cut up a slice in small pieces and fry it before adding my washed fresh spinach. Cover the pan for a couple of minutes to let it steam, yum.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Like Linda, I vote for it in moderation, and it does have nutritional value as you say. Thanks for sharing, and congrats on the HOTD which is well deserved!!

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I made bacon cookies for a Christmas party. Some people liked them but I thought they were kind of gross. I tossed the leftovers away rather than eating them.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
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      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks for the comments, Mike, Sherry. midget, and That Grrl. I don't want to overstate the nutritional value of bacon, because it is high in saturated fat, but used in moderation it can be part of most any diet.

      Sherry, I love the combination of bacon and spinach, too. I make a spinach salad with bacon, apples, and toasted pecans and top with a roasted garlic balsamic vinaigrette. Yum!

      That Grrl, your cookies sound interesting. I bet my dog would have liked them! : )

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Deborah,

      Like you, I would hate to have to give up bacon forever. It is just so good tasting! Now...as to how the animals are raised...I hope that more improvements continue to be made and also the use of antibiotics is no longer needed. You have presented great arguments both pro and con and your recipe is a winner. Belated congrats on getting the HOTD. UUI votes! :)

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
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      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks, Peggy. I try to buy all of my meat now from small local producers who are raising the animals using sustainable methods and in more humane conditions than the big factory farms. So I don't feel guilty at all when I enjoy a nice side of bacon with my eggs.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 3 years ago from Jamaica

      The last meat I gave up before becoming a vegetarian is Jerk Pork. It was hard to let go because it was so nutritious and tasted good. In fact, you sound like me several years ago. I cant believe you use the term baco-vegetarian (lol). brings back memories.

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 3 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      There's nothing quite like a bacon sandwich on fresh crusty white bread. I get so sick of reading in the press what thing is bad for us this week. There's something new every time you open a newspaper and it's usually something they said was good for you last year. Now I want a bacon sandwich and I have no bacon! Fab hub. Voted up

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
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      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks, Rasta. I really wish the baco-vegetarian movement would catch on! Yeah, it would be hard to give up something as delicious as jerk pork. Jerk tofu just doesn't seem right. : )

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
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      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      Agreed, Sue. I think a good rule of thumb is everything in moderation. You know, I have some bacon in the refrigerator. Maybe I'll have a bacon sandwich for breakfast! Thanks for commenting.

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 3 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      Oh don't! You've set me off again and I still don't have any bacon.

    • Beth37 3 years ago

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
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      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      Time to get to the grocery store, Sue! : ) I have to say, I had bacon and eggs for dinner last night.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
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      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      Great clip, Beth. Thanks for sharing.

    • khmazz profile image

      Kristen Mazzola 3 years ago from South Florida

      I love bacon and this hub was read with enthusiasm for this amazing food! Well done! I really enjoyed reading this!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
      Author

      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks for reading and commenting, khmazz. Always glad to meet a fellow bacon-lover. : )

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Vicki L Hodges 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      What a wonderful defense of bacon! You make great points! My mother always said, "Anything in moderation." I love bacon, too, but I don't eat it all the time. I'm glad to hear that it's more highly regulated than it used to be as far as nitrites go. I love BLTs, too! I may have to try your snap peas recipe. Looks great! Well done! Many votes and up!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Love bacon!! Great tips on how to make it healthier for us. Thanks for sharing!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
      Author

      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks for the comments, Victoria Lynn and Midget. I love peas with bacon. I got the idea from an old Italian recipe, peas with prosciutto. Just waiting for those first garden tomatoes so I can start enjoying BLTs!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      I have a friend who loves bacon, but says a person hasn't truly lived if they haven't lived next door to a corporate pig farm.

      I love the flavor of bacon and often flavor my soups with artificial bacon flavoring -- Betty Crocker's Bacon Bits. They work great, no abuse in their manufacture -- except maybe the employees, and still full of salt and bad for high blood pressure and other health issues.

      Bacon is very bad (as are all pork products) for people with gall bladder issues. It will be on the list of foods you can't eat from your doc.

      Have to agree the flavor is yummy in lots of things. Even ice cream sundaes with maple syrup and bacon bits on them! I make mine with artificial bacon bits, but if someone wants to have the real bacon bits, or eat the real bacon or pork for their main course, it's OK with me.

      I don't think there is any defense for abusing an animal or a person.

      Well written with lots of good information that can help people make up their minds -- or perhaps change their minds. Definitely a Hub of the Day. Even though it may not have been recent, Congratulations on this achievement!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
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      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Au fait. Living in Iowa, I am familiar with the stench that comes from corporate hog farms so I have sympathy for those who have to live next to them! I buy pretty much all of my meat these days from local farmers who use sustainable and humane farming practices so I feel good about the meat I eat (and I don't eat that much to begin with). I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of artificial bacon bits - too processed for me - but I can see how some people would find them a good substitute for the real thing. I like the sound of your ice cream sundae. I would use the real thing, though. : )

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 22 months ago

      I couldn't help myself. Besides, the bacon had it coming. So I ate it.

      Have a day blessed and enriched by bacony goodness!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image
      Author

      Deborah Neyens 21 months ago from Iowa

      Thanks, poetryman. Every day is better when there's bacon!

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