Bacon is a delightful breakfast meat that has easily and commandingly slipped into every other meal that one might consume. And it doesn’t stop at lunch and dinner, either. Would you like bacon coffee? They make it. Maybe a refreshing bacon soda is more your style? It exists. Want to gnaw on some bacon jerky or bacon brittle? They’ll deliver it to your house.
But seriously, this has to stop.
For all male bacon lovers, a study out of Harvard University, released two weeks before Halloween, must have been truly terrifying. This succulent fried meat, it seems, could be responsible for sapping your essence.
Researchers in that study observed a cohort of 156 men who were struggling to conceive with their partner. While looking at the diets of the participants, the researchers found those men who consumed more than half a portion of processed meats every day had fewer “normal” sperm compared directly with those men in the study whose diets included less than a half portion daily.
In an interview with the New York Daily News, Dr. Jorge Chavarro said, “What brought up our concern is how meat is produced in the United States. Many beef producers give cattle natural or synthetic hormones to stimulate growth a few days or weeks before the animals are killed.” Chavarro continued, “We wanted to examine how these hormones might affect people who consume them.”
But barring bacon from your breakfast or burger is, to some, a fate worse than death. Perhaps this is why the fine folks at Consumer Reports released a definitive rating of the best and worst bacon brands available on the market.
If you are a Costco aficionado and devotee, it should come as no surprise their Kirkland Signature was the only product that received an excellent rating. As Consumer Reports notes, “It crisped up nicely and consistently; had balanced fat and meat flavors complemented by wood smoke and a hint of sweetness.” But have your deep freeze at the ready because with a single-quantity purchase equaling 4 1-pound packages, you actually will be bringing home the bacon.
Other contenders came in a close second place. Consumer Reports tested Niman Ranch, Trader Joe’s, Wright and two pre-cooked bacons, as well as two Hormel Black Labels which they found a tad sour. They caution not to confuse price with quality. Oscar Mayer’s fully-cooked bacon has the highest average price while ranking below many of the tested brands.
If you are a true bacon lover, it will come as no surprise the rating team was none too pleased with the turkey bacon offerings.
I started this article off by calling for an end to this literally morbid fascination with bacon, and I now present to you the seventh sign of the Bacon-ocalypse: Seattle-based J&D Foods Power Bacon deodorant.
This opportunistic and zeitgeist exploitative company is the same group behind earlier offerings like bacon-flavored lip balm and bacon-scented shaving cream. J&D Foods slogan for this new entry into the personal grooming category is “For When You Sweat Like a Pig.” The company promises you will smell like a pig, albeit cooked, for 24 hours if you apply “liberally to underarms or private areas.” Private areas? Eh, no thanks.
J&D Foods also pioneered the art of adding bacon flavoring to food products that should never receive bacon flavoring. You may have seen Baconnaise or Bacon Salt as you’ve cruised down your grocery aisle. They also produce BaconPOP and Cheddar BaconPOP (bacon-flavored popcorns).
If you still aren’t convinced the bacon wave has gone too far, you can have your very own Power Bacon deodorant for the exorbitant price of $9.99 per 2.5 ounce stick. Just don’t feign shock or surprise when your co-workers suggest you take a mental health day or, worse yet, when you are being chased through the streets by a frenzied pack of hungry hounds.