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Monday, September 19, 2011

My new bacon

Healthy "bacon" and eggs
Bacon and eggs. Local eggs from my yard and local meat from the town. Free eggs and "bacon" for $2.99/lb, not cheap but local.  Blogger is not cooperating today or for the last few days. So, pictures are whereever Blogger puts them, certainly not centered. So, here is my "bacon" story.

I feel this bacon will keep me healthy while I indulge in bacon and eggs occassionally. Of course, the fat content could be lower. The bacon actually has more lean meat than is shown here. But, it has no preservatives or flavoring.

I buy bacon about once or twice each year, alternating between eating it every meal until it is gone and treating the next package reverently, savoring each slice and indulging less often.  Since my father and his mother died of pancreatic cancer and the nitrates and nitrites used to cure bacon are implicated in this type of cancer, I stay away from meat processed with nitrites, if possible. Avoiding food with nitrites is my goal. Occassionally, bologna comes into the house, not often.

There is a local, in the town, meat processor who slaughters and processes all sorts of meat. Only chicken and sheep are not on his list of things to sell or slaughter. He sells bison meat!

Okay, on to my story. He came with a huge refrigerated truck to the local farmer's market where I talked with his employees. I was discussing nitrites and hoping to glean information about where to buy bacon without it. It seems they do carry bacon without nitrites, but it is preserved with salt. That's not good!

Then, he volunteered they had pork belly, sliced like bacon. Actually, it is bacon without seasoning and preservatives. I bought a package in April and finally ate it over the last few weeks.

At first, I put a teaspoon of the bacon grease I refrigerated from grocery store bacon into the pan of unseasoned bacon and gave my new bacon the slightest hint of bacon. Then, I just fried it and ate it plain. Yummy! Of course, I drained it and pressed it well.

With scrambled eggs, it is perfect. Of course, I do give up the really bacon-y flavor, but maybe I gain a few years or even months on my life and retain my health.

Maybe you can find a local slaughterer and ask for pork belly to have the same unsalted, unpreserved bacon-y treat. This is a full-time business. He has a huge operation. I am not talking store-front. I am talking in the city limits, but in the country, in the middle of his acreage. The people who waited on me came from the back in bloody aprons and hairnet/caps. The blood did not bother me in the least. And, the odor was negligible.

Your turn
This felt like rambling today! Have you ever bought pork belly instead of bacon? If so, how did you like it? Do you have a butcher who slaughters in a business that is really local, owner-operated?

5 comments:

  1. Mmm, that is interesting. I try to avoid nitrates also. I buy Hormel Natural Choice lunch meat. It is expensive but I don't buy it often. I just found some nitrate free hot dogs, Oscar Mayer Selects. It's not the kind of food I prefer but it's fast and easy when I'm eating alone. We do have a local person who sells beef and eggs. He sells it thru the health food store. It does taste much better than store bought. It's hit or miss as to what they have in stock but I'm happy to get anything local.

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  2. i like pork belly. You get used to not eating preservative flavors when the meat is so fresh that it speaks for itself. Yes, we do have local butcher shops- meat lockers- where aniamls are brought for butchering. Thats how we buy meat now, but beware, if demand is high they do import meat if they need to. Ask.

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  3. Circle,
    I really prefer one nasty, bad for me kind. So, I try not to buy it often. Actually, I really like buying ONE hotdog from a vendor to keep me from consuming a whole package, even one at a time.
    I don't know where you live, but maybe looking online might give you a better idea what there is around you. Maybe not...lol.
    Baking chicken or just cooking it on the stove where it is like baked chicken is the way I keep from buying lunch meat.
    It is good to have you read and comment. My heart goes pitter patter over comments! Come by again.
    Linda

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  4. Pork belly is *amazing*. I like it at restaurants with a sugary glaze (like maple).

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  5. N and M, I thought seriously about putting maple syrup in the small skillet when I fried it. The guy with the truck at the market sort of winced at the idea. So, maybe I will try it next time I cook some. Right now, it stays frozen in the vacuum package. Thanks for telling me of this prep method, something I am now determined to try.

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