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15 November, 2014

How Much Bacon Is In Your Bacon?

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I was at the supermarket the other day, looking at the bacon and happened to notice the ingredients of one of the packets of bacon. I was astounded to read that it said 90% bacon. This packet of bacon contains only 90 percent bacon? My immediate thought was “What else does bacon need to have in it?” and “How much bacon is in other brands of bacon?”.

So, we all know that meat packers (tee hee) freeze meat for transport, which imbues the meat with water. This water makes the meat heavier, and as meat is sold by weight, the water makes the meat more valuable. Consequently, pig farmers (or some intermediary along the line) add water to the meat so when it freezes, it’s as heavy as possible. But what interested me is that the other 10% of ingredients in my “bacon” were not water, but flavourings, preservatives and other chemicals.

Upon doing some more research, it seems that the amount of bacon in my bacon was not related to the price in the way you might expect. Cheaper bacon often contained more bacon than more expensive counterparts. Also smoked bacon had a lower percentage of bacon in it, which suggests to me that smoked bacon isn’t actually smoked, rather it’s bacon that is treated with preservatives then has a “smoke flavour” applied to it.

I have yet been unable to buy some bacon from the supermarket that is 100% bacon. The best there seems to be is 92% bacon and the worst goes as far as 80% bacon or 20% chemicals. This is a massive number if you imagine the volume of chemicals compared to the amount of bacon in the packet. It’s amazing the bacon isn’t swimming in juices.

The entrepreneur in me thinks that it would be really easy to take the bacon industry by storm with a quality 100% bacon product and a scare based marketing / advertising strategy challenging people to read the ingredients in their bacon. It amazes me that nobody in the industry has done this yet. Having said that, I’m not surprised, given that consumers are still in the dark about how badly the animals are treated in farms.

So to finish, I would like to leave you with a challenge:

Next time you are in the supermarket, take note of the brands with the highest and lowest percentage of bacon in the bacon, leave a comment on this article with your findings, and share this in FaceBook to challenge your friends.

It’ll be great to see what are the best and worst brands of bacon that we can find.

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