Bacon is the Teflon meat

October 10, 2012|By TIM ROWLAND |
  • Tim Rowland
Tim Rowland

If the flags around Hagerstown aren’t flying at half-staff, they should be. For America is facing an impending bacon shortage.

I say Hagerstown, but really it would be a time of national morning in a country where bacon finds its way into everything from hamburgers to ice cream.

My own view is that bacon is an indictment of our factory farming system, which is pumping out ever more product with ever less flavor. Used to be a hamburger didn’t need bacon. Used to be a chicken breast tasted like something without having to wrap it in slabs of pork fat.

Which we do. At which point the government steps in and tells us we are all fat, worthless and weak. Which we are, but only because the government subsidizes sugar and corn syrup, which have become the overriding staple of our diet.

So in Florida, the government is subsidizing sugar. And in New York, the government is outlawing soft drinks that contain excess — sugar.

That’s just plain — well, I hate to call anyone stupid — let’s just say it’s countersmart.

I also wonder why it’s OK for the government to browbeat us over our obesity, but when an emailer criticizes a television news anchor for the same offense it makes for running, national headlines.

I don’t think he was right to do it, but really, the government’s been doing exactly the same thing for years. Every day we open up the newspapers to see the government telling us, “Hey fatty, up the servings of vegetables and whole grains and lay off the ice cream cake and Cheetos.”

And as you have already surmised, government policies financially reward the makers of ice cream and Cheetos, but not the growers of vegetables and whole grains. As a matter of fact, if you were to try to grow wheat and grind the whole grain into flour and bake bread and try to sell it, the government would come and arrest you for having a nonconforming kitchen that does not include, among other things, a hazmat plan.

And if you think I’m joking, you just lie there in your bacon-encrusted womb and continue to deny reality.

Oh right, bacon. This is a column about bacon.

This all started when a British trade organization eyeballed the drought conditions in the Midwest and the soaring price of corn and predicted a “global bacon shortage” in the coming year.

According to multiple news sources, this idea of the Great Bacon Panic of 2013 (others are calling it the Aporkalypse) is greatly overblown. There will be bacon, it will just, surprise, cost more.

“It’s really not news,” Janet Riley, a spokesperson at the American Meat Institute told the Huffington Post. “We’ve been talking about rising meat prices for a long time — but as soon as bacon got attached to it, people started to care.”

I’ve never understood our schizophrenic relationship with animal fat. You’ve seen that woman in the restaurant who will bring actual surgical implements to the table so she can slice every single molecule of fat from her steak. Then the next morning, there she is at the breakfast, eating six strips of bacon and biscuits that are 50 percent lard.

Somehow that “Eew, I think fat is so gross” declaration is never applied to bacon. Bacon is the Teflon meat. It’s all the things we are theoretically against, yet it remains No. 1 in the hearts (literally) of Americans from coast to coast.

Shortage? Never! Not so long as we can make pigs of ourselves.

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