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Thread: Cured vs Uncured Bacon page

  1. #1
    Kris T's Avatar
    Kris T is offline Senior Member
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    Cured vs Uncured Bacon

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    Had a discussion with the butcher about the difference.

    Is it REALLY that bad to eat cured bacon from the butcher vs uncured mass produced from the grocery store????
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  2. #2
    oceangrl's Avatar
    oceangrl is offline Senior Member
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    I vote for your butcher. Are his pigs humanely raised?

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  3. #3
    Kris T's Avatar
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    They are. He was very informative about the difference in uncured which uses celery salts and the nitrates that occur naturally and cured which uses chemical nitrates.

    He explained the risk of botulism and that it is a very small risk. Our choice to take that risk of course to go uncured. I just thought that in the uncured bacon sold in the stores, there must be something used to eliminate that risk. No way any mass produced product would be sold if there was a risk of botulism.

    So then I thought that maybe the meat from the butcher would be better even though it is cured.

    I did some internet research, but was wondering if others here might have some knowledge or information that I haven't read about yet.

    Trying to be as informed as possible while making these decisions.
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  4. #4
    JoanieL's Avatar
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    No way any mass produced product would be sold if there was a risk of botulism.
    I wouldn't necessarily believe that. There have been more deaths from pasteurized milk in the last 30 years than from raw milk, yet most laws protect the big companies that sell pasteurized milk and make it difficult to get raw milk. It seems like every time a bunch of people get sick from greens/spinach, it's those "salad in a bag/plastic box" type things from big companies. The recent Chobani recall - not a small producer. But I don't hear very often about someone getting sick from something they bought from a farmers market, or a farmer they know from meeting him/her in person.

    Big companies care about pushing out as much product as possible for as little cost and only adhere to specific laws. They don't go out of their way to do better. They don't even much care about people getting sick. They toss some money at it, or tie it up in court so long, they win anyway. The example I gave about greens in plastic has been happening for years, but people think it's not going to happen to them, so the companies keep cranking out those little petri dishes of ick because people keep buying them.

    My point is to not believe that big chain markets or big food companies produce safer products than your local butcher/farmer/etc. The little guy gets hurt if he's sued. Big food brushes off like so many gnats.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

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  5. #5
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    I looked into curing and smoking meats myself. The only difference is the source of nitrites (plant vs. mineral/chemical). There's an argument that chemical is better, because you can more accurately control the amount you use, whereas with celery salt the nitrite content may not be known, so you err on the side of using more of it. On the other hand, I've read that some mineral sources may contain trace amounts if arsenic.

    http://ruhlman.com/2011/05/the-no-nitrites-added-hoax/

  6. #6
    Urban Forager's Avatar
    Urban Forager is online now Senior Member
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    We cure and smoke our own bacon with just salt and sugar. We looked into having our pork belly (we raised our own pigs) cured and smoked at nearby butcher shops, all used nitrates so we decided to do it ourselves. It wasn't at all difficult. Commercial meat processors, even small scale, have to abide by certain health standards which may make it impossible for them to use alternative methods.
    Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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    StupidFatHobbit's Avatar
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    I think some of it is marketing as well...since the curing salt helps keep the color bright pink instead of grayish.

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