Please Stop Putting Bacon in Everything


When did bacon become a seasoning?

In case you missed it, bacon is now so much more than just the cured meat of a dead pig. It’s also a flavoring. Like cinnamon. Or chocolate. Sometimes, it is even paired with cinnamon or chocolate.

There are bacon candy canes.

Jack In The Box restaurants were selling Bacon Shakes a few seasons ago. That’s basically: a smoothie with bacon in it. If that’s too heavy, you can swill back a bacony soda. Or Bakon vodka.

There’s bacon in chocolates.

And in cookies.

The Food Network posted an article called “50 Things to Make with Bacon“, including a peanut butter and bacon sandwich with banana slices.

One of the Food Network recipes is for “bacon oatmeal.” Because there’s nothing better than turning a healthy breakfast into the one that causes the heart attack. And forget having a pancake breakfast with bacon only on the side of your plate. Every bacon lover knows you also put the greasy stuff inside your pancake batter (recipes #45, #47).

According to LiveScience, sales of bacon in 2013 reached nearly $4 billion just in the U.S. Of course that’s an all time record high. “And since the introduction of the Perfect Bacon Bowl, anything you can put into a bowl — cereal, pasta, rice, soup — can now be served in a container made of hot, crispy bacon.”

bacon pringles

I get it. People love bacon.

But this needs to stop.

We don’t need any more burgers with bacon or bacon with burgers.

We don’t need to wrap slices of bacon around any other food. Or chop it up and add it into foods where it has no business being.

There will come a time when humans will look back at America’s bacon obsession in horror. In shock.

It’s not just because pigs are seriously intelligent. Or that they’re capable of showing love, curiosity, compassion, joy. Although, all of those things are worthy enough reasons to stop this bacon insanity. All of those are reasons to see pigs as much more deserving than being carved up into strips.

More than 65 million pigs—right now!—are wasting away in filthy, dank, dark and otherwise horrific factory farms across the country. If they’re breeding sows, they can’t turn around. They’re in awful gestation crates that would be considered unacceptable methods of torture if we used them on our worst criminals.

And think about the toll 65 million 200+ pound animals take on our environment. On our health. If you’ve ever gotten sick from a salad or a piece of fruit, or even from drinking water, you may have factory farm runoff to thank. “Pork products are known carriers of foodborne pathogens, including E. coli, trichinella, listeria, salmonella, and pork tapeworms. One study of 256 pork samples taken from 36 different grocery stores found that up to 63 percent of the samples were contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus bacteria,” reports PETA.

According to recent research, diets high in meat are more likely to cause an early death. Researchers for the National Cancer Institute have linked meat to an increased risk of prostate cancer. A study from Yale University found that meat-based diets can cause stomach cancer and esophageal cancer as well as lymphoma. “Cured” meats such as bacon, sausage and hot dogs are also linked to a higher risk for pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal.

Conservatively, it takes 1,630 gallons of water to produce a pound of pork.

Conventionally raised animals, including pigs, are fed diets high in genetically modified corn and soy. The production of GMO grains involves heavy spraying of herbicides and pesticides, which pollute the air, water and soil, as well as pose risks to human health.

Pigs, like all conventionally raised animals, are also fed high amounts of antibiotics, which make pathogens resistant to treatment with antibiotics.

And then, of course, all those pigs have to go poop. In just the U.S., factory farm animals produce nearly two trillion tons of animal waste per year. The waste is a high pollution and contamination risk that we’ve barely begun to feel the repercussions of.

No, you’re not just eating bacon, or bacon flavored whatever.

You’re eating GMOs, and antibiotics, and fear and anguish. You’re eating away our water supply. Our clean air. Our healthy fruits and vegetables. You’re eating the poop that gets into our water supply. You’re breathing it too. You’re eating the destruction of our nation’s land—land that could be farming low impact foods and empowering small, family farms to thrive. You’re eating pigs who deserve a better reason for living.

So, please. Please stop putting bacon in everything.

Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

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Image: Zanthia, the impulsive buy

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites and, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better.