Bring home the bacon!

A cold wind was a-blowin’ through Seattle today, but that’s OK, because we’ve got our ham to keep us warm.

We picked up most of our half-pig a few weeks ago, but it took a few weeks to smoke the hams and the bacon and the hocks (oh, what wonderful bean soups I will make!). So it was back to the farm for us today, after I aced another anatomy exam (digestive and respiratory systems, this time).

This reminded me that I have a few nice squashes at home that I need to roast.

We don’t eat bacon all that often. Our pig half included nine small packages this year (perfect for breakfast for two plus a little extra for leftovers). Bacon is high in fat, yes, but I feel fine about including it our eating plan for three reasons:

  1. We eat it roughly once-a-month
  2. We eat lots and lots of fruits and vegetables
  3. It comes from pigs that were allowed to live like pigs

This last bit is important. The farm we buy our pork from is not technically organic (i.e., not USDA-certified as organic), but they are essentially organic. (This is where it helps to buy local and know the farmer. I’ve found that there are many farmers who are using organic, sustainable agriculture practices who just don’t have the resources to jump through the official government hoops. One farm we used to buy beef from had issues because they rented much of their grazing land…how do you get organic certification for someone else’s land? Well, you really don’t.) We know our pig farmer and have visited the farm several times. That’s food security that no amount of government regulation can provide.

Anyway, pesticides, chemicals and other toxins often accumulate in fat. Bacon has a lot of fat, and any cut of meat has more fat than a vegetable. This is why I encourage people who want to buy organic but can’t afford to buy all organic to put their extra food dollars toward organic meat and dairy products. (Of course, going vegetarian is always another option for those so inclined.)