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Thread: Grass-fed, nitrite-free bacon

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


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    LOL, my bad. I meant "pastured/organic", not grass-fed. Thanks for your input. I've been able to find good pastured pork at the farmers market but the bacon is cured with sugar and nitrites. I tried it once and it tastes great but I don't want to get all those nasty chemicals in to my system.

  2. #12
    nina_70's Avatar
    nina_70 Guest


    I buy all my 100% pasture-meat here...they do offer pastured bacon too although it's occasionally out of stock. Depends on seasonality:

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    Ialways have a hard time finding nitrate free bacon. I think unless you order it made-to-order, it would be difficult to get it.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Same here - almost all of the local small farmers here use processors who add nitrate to the bacon.

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  5. #15
    Covo's Avatar
    Covo Guest


    I don't think pigs eat grass at all! Here in Ireland, there is a butcher that has free range pigs. They eat roots and flowers and other things, don't think they eat grass tho.

    The meat is nice, although I have to say that the nitrate free bacon stinks a bit... the meaty taste is very strong but I sort of like it. Still I think I prefer the nitrate bacon. Taste-wise. So I eat a mix of them both.

  6. #16
    hovad123's Avatar
    hovad123 Guest


    you are all correct about pastured vs grass fed. Some farms actually sell pastured/whey fed pork which if you can find it is ridiculous. The Niman's brand of bacon at whole foods is delish but I do not believe it is pastured.

  7. #17
    pandapuffs's Avatar
    pandapuffs Guest


    hovad, from the Niman Ranch website I got the impression pastured wasn't a requirement to be under that umbrella brand. Humane and chemical-free, but not pastured. I bought some at Trader Joe's recently--it might be available there throughout the country.

    Beeler's is a brand my local co-op carries, and it's not a Northwest brand so it might be available further afield. Nitrate-free, but I don't know that it's pastured either (there website is pretty lacking). It's my bf's and my favorite of the widely available brands we've tried.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Seattle area

    Look twice at that nitrite-free bacon.

    I'm sure you already knew these but for the stumblers, here are some interesting reads about the marketing tricks behind "nitrite-free" and "no added nitrite" food labels.

    Your ?Nitrite-Free? Meats Are Full of Nitrites - Lifestyle - GOOD
    Nitrite free: Where does the truth end?
    So-called "Nitrite-Free" Bacon Is Full Of It : TreeHugger

    Beware "healthy" and "natural" meat products containing celery extracts, celery juice, or other plant extracts. Evidently, they may contain at least or even 3x the amount of nitrites as the Bar-S bacon in the grocery case. Using these extracts instead of the regulated additive allows them to circumvent the labeling laws and brand your meats as "no added nitrite."

    I didn't know any of this until I found it on the website of an organic beef and pork farmer who admits (horrors!) to adding small amounts of sodium nitrite to his pastured pork. I learned a lot and I have to say that I'd feel more comfortable buying his meat with a low standardized 120 ppm nitrite (200 is the USDA max concentration) over a grocery store "natural" product with an un-standardized celery extract that could contain an astounding 1,100 ppm of naturally occurring nitrite.

    Incidentally, this farmer will also process your meat without any added nitrites (including celery) if you choose.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    It is very easy to make your own bacon. Google is your friend. So if you have access to pastured pork, get a belly and go for it.

    It may take some tinkering to develop a spice blend you go nuts for, but the basics are not at all difficult.
    Last edited by beachrat; 12-05-2011 at 05:36 PM.
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  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Pigs don't eat grass. We buy uncured bacon which typically does not have nitrates in it. Whole Foods usually carries it.
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