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Author Topic: Which Bacon do you buy?  (Read 9801 times)

BarbinNC

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Which Bacon do you buy?
« on: June 07, 2014, 06:14:16 PM »
I'm in a bit of a quandary right now.  I used to love the Smithfield Lower Sodium Bacon, it has no sugar added and tasted really good in the olden days.  Also, I am very sensitive to MSG in any form, my ankles and feet swell up drastically if I ingest it, so I avoid it like the plague.


So now that Smithfield sold out to a Chinese meat company, I don't like it anymore.  I don't trust them, for one thing.  But I also have noticed an remarkable change in quality, and it's not my imagination.  The bacon used to be a solid slice, you could pull them out of the package and nicely put on a baking sheet to cook in the oven.  Now, it's this soft, gooey mess that sticks together and pulls into long threads, is mostly fat (I like fat, obviously, but not pure fat when it comes to my bacon) and doesn't taste the same either.   I can's stomach it.


So we've been trying different makes and brands, but all have sugar added!  My daughter bought some at Trader Joe's supposedly all natural etc. and we had some this morning, I had also bought some Boars Head bacon, and we tried them all.  None tasted really right, way too sweet, the Boars Head was my favorite, but it also has sugar listed.


AND:  both our ankles are swollen!!!  Darn.  I am about to give up bacon, but thought I'd ask which one you like?  Do you have one without sugar added?  I would also like it to be low sodium if possible, that usually eliminates MSG, since it's very high sodium to begin with, so they wouldn't add it (hopefully).


Sorry of the novel, but I wanted to state where I'm coming from with this questions, it does eliminate a lot of what's out there these days.  Short of making my own, I am not sure I can eat bacon any more.


 :'(

Randal

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2014, 11:15:09 PM »
Barb,


I've been wanting to add bacon to my breakfast for a while. But every time I look at the offerings in the supermarket, they are all cured with sugar. Thank you for posting this question. I'd like to know where I can buy bacon that is all protein and fat without any added carbs.


R

Jan in Key West

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2014, 03:46:44 AM »
Barbara and Randal,
The only mass marketed (clean-er) bacon that I know of, and it does have some sugar, is Applegate, which we'll use in a pinch....other alternatives would be U.S. Wellness meats, (and other online retailers) who ship and market nationwide. Or check into locally grown meats in your areas....there is a thread somewhere on this forum for identifying local meat sources all over the country.

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2014, 04:08:13 AM »
Barb in NC and Randall,


Check your local organic farm store that sells pastured pork.  http://tendergrassfarms.org is just one of many you can order from.  Their bacon is smoked but needs you to add flavorings when you fry it up.  Butchers also will sell pork belly upon request.  http://prairiefarms,com bacon can sometimes be found in your supermarket.  ApplegateFarms bacon does contain some sugar.  There is a discussion somewhere on this blog about bacon.  Boundless had many good suggestions as I recall.  He was more concerned about the sugar than the nitrates.

The mail order products tend to be quite expensive, but quality is superb.  http://shallerandweber.com has excellent liverwurst and other products made from pastured pork and is readily available in supermarkets here in NJ. 


Barb, like you, I have not purchased Smithfield products since they sold the brand.  Our supermarkets have had sales of their premium "honey" cured spiral sliced  and other flavor hams for $.98 cents per pound!  Bacon for $1.99 per pound!  My guess is that many people feel the same way and aren't buying that brand.  The flu that is killing so many young pigs was brought to this country from China. 

BarbinNC

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2014, 06:39:32 AM »
Thank you all for the great suggestions.  I've tried the bacon from Wellness Meats, and it is very good, and very expensive.  Not really a problem, but will check locally to see if I can get some from pastured pigs, really good idea. 


I tend to agree with Boundless that the sugar is worse than the nitrates.  Which actually makes the search somewhat easier.


Barbara in NJ - thank you for reminding me of Schaller and Weber!  We lived in Manhattan for many years before moving down south, and my in laws had a Deli right next door to the main store on 2nd Ave, and 86th street!  Small world, eh?  They actually made the potato salad and cucumber salad and other deli items for the store to sell.  I have such nice memories of that time, it was late 70s and early 80s, a different world than now, and most of the German stores and restaurants are gone, only the Heidelberg left … do you know the neighborhood?


Anyway, I will search them out.  One minor issue (for me) is still the sodium content, or rather the MSG, which can hide in many ways in these products that are shipped nationwide.  It acts as a preservative, and I know for a fact, from the horses mouth, that they add more salt to these products that they ship out, than to the wurst they sell in the store.  But oh boy, their stuff is truly delicious, and I will have to check it out.


Again, thanks for all the ideas, and I will let you know if I come across something that works for us.  I have played with the idea of making my own, can't remember who it was now, but in one of the many blogs I read, I found a recipe for making your own bacon, from the fresh pork belly.  I can get the pork belly at Publix of all places, right around the corner from me.  They have wonderful pork products, the meat smells better than from other supermarkets, not sure why, but I can get pigs knuckles and other pork specialities that you don't usually find.  Germans love that stuff.  :D

BarbinNC

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2014, 06:47:55 AM »
Did a quick google search and came across this (there are many, many recipes for making your own bacon) and sugar does not seem essential, albeit it desirable in small quantities.


http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/nchfp/lit_rev/cure_smoke_cure.html




Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2014, 07:27:41 AM »
BarbinNC,


The longer you are grain and sugar free, the more salt you can tolerate, and you do need salt in your diet.  There is hope for you!  I rarely have swollen ankles anymore.  I do drink at least 70 oz. of water or a stevia sweetened tea/lemonade/limeade drink daily which has helped to keep me hydrated and flushed a lot of the accumulated toxins out of my system. 


I haven't been to back to that neighborhood for many years now.  The store is still there.  You might want to read their web site for a stroll down memory lane.  Between parking, tolls and general hassle, visiting NYC for cultural events, ethnic food shopping or even just a stroll and nice lunch or dinner, the costs are mind boggling and usually not worth the time and effort to me anymore.  I attended graduate and post graduate schools there, even took courses given by the museums.  I enjoyed every minute of it!  Used to love the window shopping and general ambience.  The food displays for takeout were phenomenal!   Crack changed all that.  After my tires were "ice picked" at The Plaza parking garage and "no one saw nothing!" I found that meals at the Oyster Bar lost their appeal.  I had a can of Inflate-a-tire in the trunk, so I was able to drive home without a problem and had my tires plugged.   The scam was to disable your car and then rob you while you waited for AAA.   I was going to meet my brother at Windows on the World on September 11 for dinner …. need I say more?


Demand created some very fine restaurants here in northern NJ and I patronize them or cook myself.   

BarbinNC

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2014, 07:37:54 AM »
Hi Barbara,


yes, I agree and it's been my experience too, that I can tolerate salt now, esp. some good Keltic sea salt.  I love the grey stuff.  It doesn't make me retain water, only MSG does, so I know right away when I've been exposed.  And yesterday was the case.  My daughter never has swollen ankles, even during pregnancy, but yesterday she did.  It was just too obvious.


And yes, I agree about NY.  Too sad, really.  The last time I was there, was in 98 - my MIL passed away, in 95 and we sold her apartment, after that staying there was just too expensive.   I also go to Germany every Summer, to stay with relatives, so really no time since I went back to work full time.


New Jersey is beautiful too, we used to go out to eat across the bridge many times, I remember one place in particular, so festive and elegant, The Manor in West Orange … my MIL loved that place and would take us there for special occasions.


Thanks for the walk down memory lane, I'm glad I have those good memories, but you're right, not worth going back now.  Everything has changed….


I will see if I can get their liverwurst around here though, I love that stuff, also the Mettwurst.  Fresh Market used to carry their brand, and some of the supermarkets even.  Hadn't thought of them lately, but will look!  :)

Suzhookem

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2014, 11:05:32 AM »
Just looked and we buy Applewood bacon at Whole Foods. No sugar.

Jan in Key West

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2014, 11:07:50 AM »
Suzanne,
What brand?

Suzhookem

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2014, 11:12:03 AM »
Applewood at Whole Foods doesn't have sugar or MSG.

Jan in Key West

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2014, 11:34:38 AM »
Are you referring to Applegate brand?

BarbinNC

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2014, 11:43:03 AM »
Thanks so much for the recommendation, Suz - I will definitely check it out!!

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2014, 01:02:35 PM »
Please check the Applegate web site.  It shays that their bacon does contain less than 2% cane sugar and celery juice. 

BarbinNC

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2014, 01:09:21 PM »
Well this might be different … at first I also thought it was the Applewood brand, but I think perhaps this is Applewood smoked by Whole Foods themselves.  Not sure - but we have one here in town, so I will go by their butcher shop and ask if it has sugar in it.  Sure would be nice to find one without. 


I'm still intrigued by making my own, seems the pink salt is what gives it the color, turning bacon pink or red from grey.  Or something like that … still have to read in detail, but might try my hand at it. I don't have a smoker, but sounds like you can do on a grill?





Jan in Key West

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2014, 01:48:25 PM »
I think the confusion is that there are several brands of applewood smoked bacon, (Whole foods must provide a sugar-free option)....and then there is the Applegate brand bacon, which does contain some sugar.

BarbinNC

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2014, 02:26:23 PM »
Just did another google search and up came Plumwood lower sodium sugar free bacon.  Seems it's sold at Walmart, of all places.  Not sure what to think of it, ingredients are Pork, salt, water, sodium phosphate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrate.  Might try it to see if I like it.  Wonder where their pork comes from ….

Rita

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2014, 02:36:22 PM »
I buy the Applewood bacon at Whole Foods.   I'm looking at the ingredients and it says:  Pork, Water, Sea Salt, Turbinado Sugar, Celery Juice, Lactic Acid Starter Culture

BarbinNC

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2014, 02:50:42 PM »
I think I got Applegate and Applewood confused … but I see it does have sugar, so might not like it, I really didn't like the sweet taste of the bacon from Trader Joe's.  Thanks for clarifying!

Bob Niland (Boundless)

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2014, 07:01:51 PM »
> Seems it's sold at Walmart, of all places. ...
> Wonder where their pork comes from ….


Where does everything else at WM come from?

If it was USA, I suspect they'd say so.

Do you feel lucky?  ::)

Lynda (Fl)

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2014, 09:43:37 AM »
That's interesting about the different salt types changing the color of the bacon.  Never thought about it before.

ldyrdr4311

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2014, 10:29:00 AM »
Just did another google search and up came Plumwood lower sodium sugar free bacon.  Seems it's sold at Walmart, of all places.  Not sure what to think of it, ingredients are Pork, salt, water, sodium phosphate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrate.  Might try it to see if I like it.  Wonder where their pork comes from ….

Ldyrdr4311 on 6/10/14

Barb: Glad you stated the ingredients. There is one that turns me off: sodium nitrate, & this would mean that this is a cured bacon. It's very difficult to find meats that are uncured, which are better for us. On the other hand, it's also difficult to find bacon w/o sugar as well.

Sort of puts all of us in-between a rock & a hard place, doesn't it?

mosey

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2014, 11:00:03 AM »
Organics are hard to find & VERY expensive in my rural area but I can find Hormel Natural Choice Bacon, uncured with no preservatives, no sugar. We like it very much, $8.35/lb. Sometimes we just have to make the best choice from what is available. I do see a small improvement in organic items. 

Linda R

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2014, 11:28:13 AM »
Organics are hard to find & VERY expensive in my rural area but I can find Hormel Natural Choice Bacon, uncured with no preservatives, no sugar. We like it very much, $8.35/lb. Sometimes we just have to make the best choice from what is available. I do see a small improvement in organic items.


That's very sad. I can't imagine hogs raised for Hormel having lived a very pleasant lifestyle. Unless you are able to discern otherwise, chances are they never saw the light of day, wallowed in a single mud pile or slept belly up in the sun. Hope things improve in the organic department very soon.


Lynda (Fl)

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2014, 04:08:49 PM »
You guys made me hungry for bacon and I had to get some for dinner, uncured of course!

Lila

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2014, 05:28:00 PM »
I buy Hormel, Smithfield, and the Kroger (simple something?). All have sugar but I haven't found any sugar free around. I believe the ones I use have the turbinado sugar, which is, I believe, a cane sugar.

I always feel sad when I read your posts, Linda R, when you remind us about how badly these poor animals are treated. :( [size=78%] Keep doing it.[/size]

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2014, 06:09:20 PM »
The Wall Street Journal had an article about the world wide need for more protein and how our food companies are going to continue to merge and consolidate.  The only thing we can do is walk with our pocketbooks when we see the packages of foodstuff from abused animals. 
A local supermarket has Smithfield Spiral Sliced Honey Ham on sale again for $1.28 lb.  Even at that price, I wouldn't buy it.   The Chinese are just dumping their products on the market.   I just could not eat this because of all the reports of illness and cruelty by Chinese farmers towards their animals. 


There are also news items about the "slave labor" used to work in the shrimp/fish farms which export to the USA.  The toxic chemical/fecal feed doesn't generate enough profitability for the owners.  Again, I don't purchase this seafood or fish. 


The Native Americans respected the land and the animals they killed for food.  They had the right idea.  Maybe there will be a resurgence of that respect when there are enough of us who don't have Grain Brains and all the emotional problems and poor judgements caused by grains and sugars.

Bob Niland (Boundless)

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2014, 07:48:31 AM »
> ... the shrimp/fish farms which export to the USA.

And it gets worse: Very Serious Superbugs in Imported Seafood

Linda R

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2014, 07:57:08 AM »
I buy Hormel, Smithfield, and the Kroger (simple something?). All have sugar but I haven't found any sugar free around. I believe the ones I use have the turbinado sugar, which is, I believe, a cane sugar.

I always feel sad when I read your posts, Linda R, when you remind us about how badly these poor animals are treated. :( [size=78%] Keep doing it.[/size]


Thanks Lila.
Sometimes I think that a few members here will begin to ignore my posts, thinking, "There she goes again running another sad post to remind us of the cruelty in this world and I can't do a damn thing about it."


I disagree. We can all do something in our own small way. Knowledge is power.


I consider myself very fortunate to have access to delicious grass fed beef, pastured pork, range free poultry plus organic veggies, via the Iowa Food Coop and Wallace Farms.


My biggest incentive is to continue eating as healthy as I can, staying as healthy as possible for as long as possible and avoid finding myself someday in one of those disgusting institutions for old folks, eating the crappy food they push on the residents.

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2014, 10:07:14 AM »
Linda,


I remember the outrage 40 years ago when an investigative reporter wrote articles about the chained up animals who couldn't move more than a few feet in order to produce the softest veal.  Never ate it again! 

With you reminding us of the cruelty to these living creatures, I do pause and reflect.  Suburbia is so far away from the source of our food that we do forget that the packages in our stores were once part of living things.  Maybe I'm a softy, but I can't watch lobsters trying to crawl out of the pot when being boiled.  The cruelty towards living creatures is much too often based on greed or is at the mercy of pathological emotions.

We all know that diseased Mother's give birth to sickly children, human or animal.  Why would we want to eat the flesh of sickly animals who live in filth?  As Boundless just pointed out,  there are many bad germs in food when that food is raised in filth.   The big food producers will change their ways when enough of us demand it.  Walk with your pocketbook! 
 

Linda R

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2014, 10:23:44 AM »
Barbara....


I am also disgusted with the proliferation of ag gag laws popping up in state after state, including Iowa.
We NEED TO KNOW what is actually going on inside the walls of those disgusting factory farms.


Having lived on small farms in both Massachusetts and Nebraska, I know from personal experience that farm life is not always "puppies and rainbows".
But compared to factory farms, our animals lived so much better!


BTW
I quit eating veal about the same time as you.For the same reason.

Jan in Key West

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2014, 12:10:23 PM »
And why many have also stopped consuming 'foie gras' as well.......http://www.stopforcefeeding.com/content/what-foie-gras

Linda R

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2014, 12:35:18 PM »
Disgusting!
I had read many years ago that this was the method used to create the "delicacy" and decided I did not need that in my diet, not then or ever!


Where does it say that we human types can cause whatever pain we desire on a animal, just because we want to?


What gives us that right?




Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2014, 12:58:03 PM »
Linda,


THAT IS EXACTLY THE RIGHT QUESTION!!!! 
Not just Americans, but our ancestors, other civilizations and races have all done this, thinking they were righteous in doing so. 
Perhaps now we will begin to address this issue.  Of course, it will have to wait until the different factions of Muslims stop killing each other in Iraq, Syria and any where else they are fighting.

BarbinNC

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2014, 06:23:09 AM »
Well, I think I'm done looking for bacon, and processed meats altogether, for a while anyway.  I'm checking on some of the Natural Farms in my area, where pastured and grassfed meat is being sold.  Perhaps I'll find a good source for bacon too, but until then, my appetite has been stilted.  And that's a good thing!


 ;)





Jan in Key West

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2014, 06:28:15 AM »

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2014, 06:50:23 AM »
Jan,


No surprise here.  The blame had been placed on the Chinese when it was pork blood plasma in the pork feed all along.  Perhaps the Chinese were the first to use this blood plasma as a feed ingredient. 


It is heartening that farmer's markets and co-ops are growing rapidly.  Perhaps demand will allow certified raw milk products to be purchased instead to the ultra-pasteruized products which have boiled away most of the nutritious bacteria just so the processor can be lazy, dirty and kee[ a long shelf life with nary a thought to the human health needs. 



BarbinNC

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Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2014, 06:01:52 AM »
I have to say that reading the articles and info regarding how the animals are kept and fed, has stilled my appetite completely.  I don't crave bacon any more, at least for the time being. I haven't bought ground meat of any kind for years, got myself a heavy duty food grinder and buy special cuts once in a while, and grind and freeze portions for later use.


I do like steaks, and Costco has good tasting rib eyes, I buy in bulk and slice and freeze.  Certainly not grass fed and pastured, but a compromise of sorts.  Eating just one steak a day, for a few days, has a detox effect on my body, it's obviously no carb and intermittent fasting, so pulls out water.  It's been my little secret weapon to get rid of cravings, too, after a binge or cheat that sets me off again.


Anyway, no more processed meats for a while, in my house.

Wheat Free Forum

Re: Which Bacon do you buy?
« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2014, 06:01:52 AM »

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