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Cured vs. uncured bacon

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  • Cured vs. uncured bacon

    I was wondering if it was a huge deal whether bacon was cured or uncured. I usually get uncured, but if I can't find it, I just have the regular stuff. By accident, I picked up a maple flavored kind last night, and I was really looking forward to having bacon for breakfast. What say you? Is it a big deal or not? It still has zero carbs...

  • #2
    Not real sure...though I always buy uncured, nitrate-free bacon.
    Striving to live a life extraordinary.

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    • #3
      It depends on how you cook your bacon, and how well done you like it. Microwaving bacon produces less nitrosamines than frying it, so if I ever was forced to buy cured bacon, I'd microwave it. Also, the more you cook the bacon, the more nitrosamines... so if you like your bacon so crispy that it's just teetering on the edge of burnt (like I do) it's a bigger deal to buy uncured. Also I suppose it depends on how often you eat it... I wouldn't feel comfortable eating cured bacon every single day, but once a week wouldn't bother me.

      As for sugar and flavorings in bacon, I don't really worry about it... I can't find bacon without ANY sugar at a price I'm willing to pay. As you pointed out, it's such a small amount that you still usually are getting less than 1g of carbs per serving.
      "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

      I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.

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      • #4
        The nitrates are bad. Also, most cured bacon uses sugar. It is more expensive ( but you're worth it!); Trader Joe's is best price I find in my area. Once in a while I see a bacon sale I can't resist, but mostly stick to uncured bacon.
        This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

        Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
        Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism

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        • #5
          My understanding is that ALL bacon has nitrites, it's just a matter of whether they are added as an artificial chemical or as components of celery salt or sea salt. If you don't put enough nitrites of some sort onto the bacon, it's not preserved. A local seller of grass-fed meat has this explanation for why they don't ship uncured bacon: http://www.thunderinghooves.net/about_nitrites.htm

          I've been choosing uncured for the most part, but the Thundering Hooves info rattles around my head and makes me wonder if I'd actually be better off with cured.
          Liz.

          Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
          Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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          • #6
            If it's uncured, I don't think it's bacon at all, is it? It's just side pork. That's what I prefer, anyway.
            You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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            • #7
              I thought that all bacon is cured - it is the curing that turns it from pork into bacon, surely? There are different types of curing - and also it can be smoked or not, depending on taste.

              But the idea of uncured bacon just makes no sense to me - isn't it just belly of pork??!

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              • #8
                It makes no sense, but bacon that has no sodium nitrite added to it is referred to as "uncured". I just checked my pack of bacon to be sure. As you say, it IS cured anyway, using the natural nitrites in the celery/sea salt.
                Liz.

                Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
                Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by lizch View Post
                  My understanding is that ALL bacon has nitrites, it's just a matter of whether they are added as an artificial chemical or as components of celery salt or sea salt. If you don't put enough nitrites of some sort onto the bacon, it's not preserved. A local seller of grass-fed meat has this explanation for why they don't ship uncured bacon: http://www.thunderinghooves.net/about_nitrites.htm

                  I've been choosing uncured for the most part, but the Thundering Hooves info rattles around my head and makes me wonder if I'd actually be better off with cured.
                  Just read this link......now I'm not sure what is better either. Sometimes I feel like i'm screwed no matter what I do. Maybe I should give up bacon? GIVE UP BACON? That's one of the reasons I'm loving primal so much!!!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nik View Post
                    Maybe I should give up bacon? GIVE UP BACON? That's one of the reasons I'm loving primal so much!!!

                    Now, that is just crazy talk. Personally I don't stress it. I buy the natural stuff if I can, the regular stuff if I can't. I figure I have eliminated so much crap from my diet that some nitrates wont kill me. I also have a hard time getting grassfed meat so eat the regular. But a steak and some veggies even if conventional is a hell of a lot better than the pizza or fast food crap I was eating before.

                    It's bacon. Enjoy it.

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                    • #11
                      Definitely do not give up bacon!

                      Uncured bacon is typically a small piece of "pork belly" that has not been processed in any way. Cured on the other hand can mean a number of things. As I don't want the added nitrites from "pink, curing salt", I make my own bacon using a cure that flavors the meat to my liking (it is sea salt, pepper, bay leaves, fennel, coriander). The only thing I seem to lose in not using the "curing salt" is the meat tends to be a browner color (that is not a deal breaker for me).

                      ...Tim

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                      • #12
                        I'm not totally convinced nitrites are bad for us. I'm also probably not the best person to even talk about it because here are the two things I alternate between pretty much every single morning:

                        http://www.wrightbrand.com/products

                        and

                        http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ..._fb_revshr_001

                        I could get better sausage, but the only brand that doesnt suck is 9 - 11 dollars a pound which is a joke.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by canio6 View Post
                          Now, that is just crazy talk. Personally I don't stress it. I buy the natural stuff if I can, the regular stuff if I can't. I figure I have eliminated so much crap from my diet that some nitrates wont kill me. I also have a hard time getting grassfed meat so eat the regular. But a steak and some veggies even if conventional is a hell of a lot better than the pizza or fast food crap I was eating before.

                          It's bacon. Enjoy it.
                          +100! I'm not going to sweat my bacon! Although I have to say that DH has been buying a "reduced sodium" variety from Costco that we both really like. It's still plenty salty, but I think the reduced saltiness allows for more of the bacony-ness to shine through!

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                          • #14
                            Just do your best to track down a sturdy source of chemical-free bacon, and you should be good to go.
                            --Trish (Bork)
                            TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                            http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
                            FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

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                            • #15
                              Are there any definitive studies indicating the negative side effects of nitrates?

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