Has anyone actually seen/used the nitrates used for conventional bacon and even some I've come across at my farmer's market? It is dyed bring pink so as to reduce confusion with actual salt when making various charcuterie items such as bacon, sausage, etc- natural anyone? I have actually made sausages and other cured items with nitrate and you have to be extremely careful to measure the quantities you are putting in for each #. So while I would agree that yes, if consumed in moderation, you would have less of a risk of developing diseases like cancer but then again we're talking 1-2 x a week moderation and how many of us want to limit our bacon consumption that much?
I posted on another thread about nitrate-free bacon that smoking and brining are completely natural ways of curing. Smoking in fact was most likely exactly what Grok and his crew did when they took down a large game animal and needed a way to preserve the leftover meat until they could get more. No, it does not last as long as ones cured with that lovely artificially created pink powder or look "normal" pink but then again who here is letting a perfectly good # of bacon sit in their fridge for more than 1.5 weeks?
As for taste, I am not sure about the "funky" smell when cooking as the brined/cold-smoked bacon I get from my farmer's market smells delicious when cooking and I think it tastes better and more like pork than a salt explosion in my mouth like conventional bacon.