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Diet & Nutrition > Foods > The down side of Bacon

The aroma, the sizzle..

Bacon is considered by many to be a staple of the Western diet with some people consuming it several times a week and for meat eaters it’s not hard to know why. That rich singed fatty smell makes people’s mouths water in delightful expectation. It makes the taste buds tingle, but is it actually good for us?

According to a newly published WHO report, bake in those one of the unhealthiest foods that we can eat and a major contributor to bowel cancer.

Three of the world’s religions, Judahism Christianity and Islam actually have regulations forbidding the eating of pigs although it is not clear why. Perhaps it’s because the pig is a very base animal, it eats the excrement of other animals and it is also very highly intelligent.

Buddhists and Hindus don’t normally eat pork and remember that bacon is pork because they are largely vegetarian. It is also well-known health circles that vegetarians live longer than meat eaters who suffer more cancers.

Meat is further divided into red and white meat, red meats which include pork because the highest amount of cancer whereas white meat still causes cancers, but not so much.

Why is bacon so bad?

It is well established that red meats are patiently unhealthy but bacon is pork which has been further processed with some chemicals that are very unhealthy.

The smell of bacon is not due to one chemical alone, but a blend of approximately 150 chemicals and the principal chemicals are:

  • Sugar; most people know sugar is bad for us and in bacon it reacts with amino acids to create that aroma known as a Maillard reaction which browns meats and creates that delirious aroma.
  • Salt; we need salt and if it were not for the sugar, the salt would probably be okay.
  • Sodium nitrite; a preservative and colour enhancer known to cause cancers.

Making bacon from pork

Once the pig has been killed and chopped up, selected parts like the belly are separated and soaked in brine, a concoction of salt, sugar, flavourings and other chemicals for up to a week.

Then the bacon is dried, it may be smoked and stored for months before use.

Commercial processing plants vary; some microwave the bacon or add ‘smoke flavour’ whereas some companies use purpose made smoke houses that cook the bacon as well as adding flavour.

If you make your own bacon, you can lessen the amount of dangerous chemicals, but the basic facts are that the chemicals in bacon are known to be cancerous and red meat is also cancerous therefore bacon is more cancerous than other meats, but no more so than other processed meats like sausages.

Bacon is a carryover from a time when people relied on meat for their survival, but today we can survive perfectly well without heating meet and by not eating meat it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt we will live longer and suffer less disease.

It’s about time we stopped bringing home the bacon and adopted a more sensible approach to diet and nutrition.

References:
Processed meats too dangerous for human consumption
Hormones in meats
Effects of animal growth hormones in people
Famous Vegetarians

 

 



 

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