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Bacon Bites - National Bacon Lovers Day

Confession time – bacon is one of my favorite foods.  Whether it is a crispy slice of bacon in the morning or on a sandwich, wrapped around scallops, chicken, asparagus, etc. or chopped up to use on salads (or a number of other ways), bacon is a favorite food in our house.  And that means today is a great day…because it’s National Bacon Lovers Day!
 
Bacon is a food that crosses nationalities, centuries and even food categories!  Bacon is broadly defined as cured and processed pork (usually pork belly), and preserving and processing pork dates back to 1500 B.C. in China.  Depending on what country you live in, your bacon may come from different parts of a pig – in the US and Italy it generally comes from the belly, but Canadian bacon is actually cooked, smoked pork loin.
 
Traditional bacon comes from pigs (some really passionate bacon lovers may even argue that turkey bacon and other “bacons” made from other meats is not really bacon), and the pork industry supports more than 800,000 jobs across the United States and produces nearly 22 billion pounds of pork each year. 
 
Pig farmers care deeply about their animals; providing scientifically formulated nutrition, access to plenty of fresh water, proper vaccinations, biosecurity protocols, barn sanitation, and medication, such as antibiotics, when advised by a veterinarian.  All of this helps them to be able to do more with less – in 1959 eight pigs were required to produce 1,000 lbs of pork, and today it requires just five.  Added to this, it takes less inputs to produce each pound of pork – 78% less land, 41% less water and a 35% smaller carbon footprint compared to 50 years ago (these and more statistics can be found at https://www.pork.org/facts/pig-farming/6-things-you-dont-know-about-u-s-pig-farms/).
 
A surprising 53% of U.S. households have bacon on hand at all times, and the average American eats 18 lbs. of bacon a year (some of us are probably much higher!).  Bacon contains choline, which helps support healthy brain development of babies in utero (good news for pregnant moms!) and it is eaten with eggs 71% of the time…sounds like a great breakfast right?  Oscar Mayer introduced the first pre-sliced packaged bacon to the U.S. in 1924…and the rest is history!
 
Feel free to share this “Bacon Bites” graphic (you can download a PDF version by clicking on the picture), and be sure to enjoy some bacon today!
 
Bacon-Bites.gif
Monday, August 20, 2018
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