Don't get me wrong, I love the taste of bacon when it is crisp. But it is also processed, with questionable additives, besides salt of course. My family, because of me, gets back bacon which we slice thinly and cook in coconut oil. But it still has non-paleo additives, some of which (e.g. sodium nitrite and 'smoke') which leave me wondering what I am doing. I've wondered about this for some time...so if anyone can help out with my confusion, I'd be grateful.
It is quite possible to get quality bacon from pastured pigs, without the usual additives. There is great bacon from some of the pastured pig farmers at my farmers market. Applegate Farms also sells some decent bacon in many grocery stores. AFAIK, this kind of bacon is what folks here eat.
I suspect some of the bacon fetish is just because it's been a "forbidden food" for so long. IMO, it's still not ideal, but quality bacon is not bad either. I sure wouldn't make it a major part of my diet, but it's a lovely flavoring. Just be sure to get the good stuff.
If you love bacon and don't like the additives, make your own. It's easy and fun, and only requires a shelf in your refrigerator for a week or so. Made without smoke flavoring or even without nitrates, if those worry you (they occur naturally in many foods, even supposedly nitrate-free foods).
(I've posted this in so many threads I'm beginning to feel like a shill for my own bacon, lol. Good thing I don't sell it, or I'd be kicked off PaleoHacks for sure.)
It's a debate that has been had on paleo blogs. Here are some of the pros and cons, others can edit this list if they know of other posts:
Well, it tastes really damn good and is incredibly satisfying. I use to eat tons of it.
I don't really eat bacon at all now, but that is mainly because I currently can't afford to source the really high quality, compassionately prepared stuff.
I think bacon acts as a bridge for a lot of people starting out on paleo. In my first days I did not reach for organ meats and coconut milk. It took awhile to incorporate other important parts. Bacon is easy and most everybody likes it.
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