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  • "Clean" bacon?

    I love how all the "natural" bacon still uses nitrates/nitrites, they just come from "celery juice" or "celery powder." In unregulated amounts, from what I can garner.

    So here's my question: if I'm eating this type of bacon on a regular basis (organic, uncured, but still containing celery juice/powder), am I going to end up doing myself a disservice?

    And also: has anyone found a mythical bacon that doesn't contain that stuff? I've checked Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, and my local butcher just tells me his bacon is "natural", which for $6.99/lb he can stuff where the sun don't shine (if you can't tell me what's in it, don't charge me a premium for it). Where can I find cleaner bacon?
    ~Kai

    Visit me at Primal Cauldron for recipes and progress updates.

  • #2
    We grow our own. Four pigs worth this year. Best damn bacon, ever.

    We don't sell, and the folks we work with on the piglet side sell all their output directly to a handful of premium restaurants. Best advice I can offer is to make friends out in the country - eventually you'll find someone who can hook you up. And expect to buy a year's worth in one shot, in the fall, so get a big freezer.

    (I'm assuming you're looking for free range pork)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DeeDub View Post
      We grow our own. Four pigs worth this year. Best damn bacon, ever.

      We don't sell, and the folks we work with on the piglet side sell all their output directly to a handful of premium restaurants. Best advice I can offer is to make friends out in the country - eventually you'll find someone who can hook you up. And expect to buy a year's worth in one shot, in the fall, so get a big freezer.

      (I'm assuming you're looking for free range pork)
      Yes, well. I'm now both utterly jealous of your home-grown pig and devastated by my own meager living conditions. Unfortunately, I rent a studio apartment and not only is the freezer on the smaller size of standard, but I can't put in a chest freezer. So buying a year's worth of porky goodness is unfortunately not in the cards. I'm going to be making an(other) international move in a couple years, and then with two incomes I hope to be able to afford an actual home and an actual kitchen, with all the proper accouterments. Until then, porcine utopia (and dreams of buying half a cow) are unfortunately just dreams.

      What I'm hoping for right now is just something available commercially that I can purchase locally or have shipped in.
      ~Kai

      Visit me at Primal Cauldron for recipes and progress updates.

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      • #4
        You got me. When you find a reasonable supplier, I'll be thrilled to know as well. The sodium nitrite gives me a brutal migraine for 3 days.

        I've tried to get that cut of meat clean with nothing in it (don't bother - it just tastes "grey"), and I don't have the time lately to try curing it myself, though I've heard it's pretty simple.
        Durp.

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        • #5
          An alternative is to get the whole pork belly directly from a local butcher or free range meat purveyor, and make your own. It's really not that hard. Half a belly should fit comfortaby into a standard fridge-freezer. In my area we also have "underground" smoke houses used for First Nations salmon trade, that could be an option.

          Unfortunately I know of no store-bought packaged bacon that comes anywhere close to being the Real Deal.
          Last edited by DeeDub; 12-11-2011, 04:50 PM.

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          • #6
            Jones Dairy sells nitrite-free sausages, but not bacon. You may have some luck at the farmers markets. The meat vendors have caught onto the Paleo/Primal terminology, so I've seen a lot of signs which say "nitrite free."
            5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by oxide View Post
              Jones Dairy sells nitrite-free sausages, but not bacon. You may have some luck at the farmers markets. The meat vendors have caught onto the Paleo/Primal terminology, so I've seen a lot of signs which say "nitrite free."
              You just have to be very careful with the whole "nitrite free" thing because they sometimes contain celery salt or celery juice as an alternative preservative, and it's the same thing to your body. A quick read of the label, or asking the vendor if they have added it should let you know very easily, though.
              Durp.

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              • #8
                I get this stuff: Natural Sunday Bacon I think it's the best thing you can get that's not "fresh" from the butcher.
                Depression Lies

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by oxide View Post
                  Jones Dairy sells nitrite-free sausages, but not bacon. You may have some luck at the farmers markets. The meat vendors have caught onto the Paleo/Primal terminology, so I've seen a lot of signs which say "nitrite free."
                  Yeah, I've had good luck finding crap-free sausages and hotdogs, etc, but not bacon. There's one artisinal charcuterie guy at my farmer's market, but when I asked him he did say he uses celery salt, so unfortunately that's a no go (and at $17/lb, ouch). I might as well stick to the $2.99/lb celery juice bacon from Trader Joe's.
                  ~Kai

                  Visit me at Primal Cauldron for recipes and progress updates.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
                    I get this stuff: Natural Sunday Bacon I think it's the best thing you can get that's not "fresh" from the butcher.
                    Unfortunately, that still has celery powder. The butcher uses the same stuff.
                    ~Kai

                    Visit me at Primal Cauldron for recipes and progress updates.

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                    • #11
                      so then why does everyone use bacon so much and still lose weight and love it so much? are they all rich and getting it straight from the farm? especially on this forum. what do the nitrates and stuff DO to your body? I don't really love or hate bacon, if it is around I would have it. I just bought uncured kind but it still probably is not good for me but I thought I would try it. I wish it was easier for me to access it straight from a farm! I am really starting to resent the supermarkets!
                      Last edited by primalprincess7; 12-11-2011, 05:54 PM.
                      I'm too stubborn to give up so I keep on trying.

                      You're never going to get to the top of the stairs if you don't walk up them.

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                      • #12
                        It's a weekend or sunday treat. My wife and I are not affected by nitrates, or celery based nitrates. We eat the most natural we can buy My wife had 3 pieces of a pound today I had the rest. I am sure if I ate a pound every morning it could be a problem but for me 1 or 2 days a week is a great treat and one salty meal a week is part of my indulgence 20%.
                        Integrity is what we do when nobody's watching.

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                        • #13
                          I know there is a down side - something about carcinogens or something, but I'm not sure exactly what. I never worried about it much because, even if it magically allowed me to stay healthy for the next 150 years, it gives me a pretty brutal migraine for 3 days every time I eat it. Bacon (or hot dogs) cured with celery seed, celery salt or celery juice do the same thing once they hit your system (learned that one the hard way), and the amount isn't as well regulated as industrial sodium nitrite is.
                          Durp.

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                          • #14
                            It's not "mythical." Don't be afraid of the damn supermarket; you don't need some esoteric source or to hire a sherpa to take you to some remote pig farm. Capitalism is a beautiful thing as it provides things that people want to buy. A quick check of Wegmans, Whole Foods, and even Shop-Rite near me reveals high quality, nitrate-free, uncured bacon - ingredients pork, salt, sugar - in either the meat case or deli sections. I suspect it's the same throughout the country.
                            Last edited by Satch12879; 12-12-2011, 07:56 AM.
                            Read. The. Book.

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                            • #15
                              Home made breakfast sausage; an alternative to the nitrates in bacon

                              I make my own breakfast sausage. It only takes a few minutes.

                              Ground pork (locating a meat counter that grinds their own pork on-location is usually fresh and sweet. If the pork tastes rancid, it's probably being ground elsewhere and IS rancid)

                              Add a few tablespoons of maple syrup
                              A teaspoon of ground sage
                              a bit of salt

                              Form into thin patties and place between wax paper sheets. Put the sheets into a large ziplock and store in the freezer. Thawing for use isn't needed, just pop them into a hot frying pan!

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