Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Truth About Bacon

The medical world has done a pretty good job rubbing Bacons good name in the mud for the last several decades. It's been accused of causing everything from atherosclerosis, cancer and diabetes to the extinction of the Barbary Lion as well as Communism.

This is all, frankly, horseshit. Bacon has made a strong comeback in the last year or two after being labeled a devil for so many years. It's a push thats mainly been fueled by foodie hipsters in snug skinny jeans drinking Pabst and riding fixed-gear bicycles, but we can forgive and forget that part. 

Athletes of all shapes and sizes have been jumping on the bacon-bandwagon as well, calling it things like "meat candy" and including it in every dish and recipe imaginable. Well, what's the truth? Is bacon a killer or should we all be investing in Oscar Meyer?

The truth, like always, lies somewhere comfortably in the middle. Bacon is not intrinsically a "bad" food, it's just another part of the pig (pork belly). Pretty much no natural food source is "bad" for you, it just doesn't work like that. Eggs, beef and milk aren't bad for you either. We've learned quite a bit in the last several years about cholesterol and animal fat and what is actually good and bad for you. The Cliffs Notes version is that animal fat is not bad for you; especially if you're training hard (like you should be). 

The problem with bacon is that it is often processed in such a way that a bunch of shit gets added to it like sugar, sodium phosphates, nitrites and food coloring (shit we don't want to be eating). This bacon is pretty cheap and readily available; really, it's what most people know as "bacon". However, real bacon is even more delicious than Oscar Meyer. You can buy just straight up "pork belly" and pan fry it; it's a little thicker and meatier than normal bacon but it's amazing. You can also spend some dough and buy uncured, nitrite-free bacon. This usually comes thick-cut and looks and feels more like traditional bacon than pork belly. It's often smoked as the curing process, but doesn't contain all the shit that normal grocery store bacon has in it. Both of these options are getting more and more available to general consumers; Trader Joe's even sells a pre-cooked pork belly that is amazing, and normal grocery stores usually carry a few varieties of all-natural uncured bacon.

"some wonderful, magical animal..."
So, why bacon? Well, there's truthfully a pro's and con's list for the consumption of bacon. Let's start


  • It's expensive. The really good stuff gets up towards $10/pound.
  • The suggested "serving" is ridiculous. 2 fucking strips of bacon? If you don't cook/consume the entire package of bacon, I don't know how to talk to you.
  • It's a shitty source of protein
  • It's delicious, obviously. It will make any dish it's combined with more delicious-er.
  • The fat in it will keep you satiated for a long time.
  • You can save the fat from when you cook the bacon and use it to cook other dishes. 
  • The good fats in there are a testosterone-boosting gift from the Gods of Girth.
  • It's pretty calorically dense, so if you're looking for extra kcals it's useful.
There it is folks, the truth about bacon and why it's such a popular food source. I'd say that if you can spare the kcals in your diet, it's very very useful. If you're looking to cut some calories from your diet then it's probably a good place to start since you're not getting much besides fat from it. Take it for what it's worth.

Have a great day and go lift some heavy shit!

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