Boy I’m glad what is happening in California hasn’t fully made it here yet. We can still buy “regular” bacon. But it’s amazing that the strong (and phony) liberal mindset has even taken over good old-fashioned bacon over there on the left coast. I swear, someone should just package some “words” in a bag and sell them. A giant bag of eco-friendly, sustainable, hormone-free words. They’d probably eat that just because it makes them feel good to hear those words. Forget what it tastes like.
I want my old bacon back
You might think that I am using this title to get comments, but that is not the case. Neither is it the case that this is a story simply about bacon; although bacon figures into it in a significant way. This is a story about taking back our country and our way of life, and, of course, our bacon.
For over a year I have been on a quest to first find out what has happened to bacon in California, and then, given that I don’t like the new bacon, find a way to get bacon made the old fashion way. What I have found is that there are two ways of preparing bacon. Let’s refer to Wikipedia:
Bacon is cured through either a process of injecting with or soaking in brine, known as wet curing, or using plain salt, known as dry curing. Bacon brine has added curing ingredients, most notably sodium nitrite or, less often, potassium nitrate (saltpeter), which speed the curing and stabilize color. Fresh bacon may then be dried for weeks or months in cold air, or it may be smoked of boiled.
And herein we find the problem. It is now virtually impossible to find dry cured bacon or even cured bacon. Most of the bacon available in the supermarket or even the specialty stores is labeled as uncured. Rather than curing the meat, it has become common practice to protect us from the evils of sodium nitrite through the use of celery salt. Some is smoked, most is not and none of it cooks, looks, or tastes like bacon.
The end result of the effort to provide us with a healthier lifestyle while maintaining the illusion of good food is a product that foams in the pan when cooked and emits white goo which cooks into disgusting black globs that stick to the pan and the (and I use the word loosely) bacon. It didn’t used to be this way but the nattering nabobs of negativism (to quote one of the foulest of the swamp creatures, Spiro Agnew) have decided for us that for our own protection the foul evil bacon must be removed from the marketplace.
We don’t get to vote on it. We don’t even get notified that it was going to happen. Our dear leaders simply waved their hands (or pushed their green buttons) and Le Viola…no more evil food. And under their learned guidance we have grown into a far greater society of lovely healthy people. No more obesity. No more cancer. No more heart attacks. And all thanks to their heroic efforts on our behalf.
I for one embrace our vaunted, democratically elected, overlords.
But I want my old bacon back, and I am betting that you want your old bacon back too. So I went to every place that sold bacon searching for what I was hoping still existed. And guess what; it doesn’t. Nobody wants to sell the old bacon. They all sell the new fangled, foaming in the pan, white goo emitting style of healthy bacon. No matter how much I paid for it, always the same result. So finally I gave up. I stopped buying at the supermarket. I stopped buying at the specialty meat markets. And I went right to the source. I found a tiny little butcher in Santa Paula and he makes bacon the old fashioned way. People bring him their pigs and cows. He kills them and butchers them and smokes them or cures them as it should be done. He is proud of his tiny shop by the airport and he is proud of his products and I am happy to drive the 40 miles to his little outpost of happiness to take back just a little control over the food that I eat.
No industrial farms. No abused pigs in tiny cages. No steroids or antibiotics. No billionaires sticking it to you to make that next payment to the yacht company so he can finish his huge boat. And no celery salt, no foam, and no white goo. But it takes the effort. You don’t get the good if you want to waddle down to the Piggly Wiggly. That’s not where the good is. You get the good at the local farm stand. And if it isn’t good, you tell the farmer and he apologizes, walks over to the field or into his house and brings you the good for your hard earned money. He does this because he knows you. He does this because he knows what good is and he is proud that he has the good. He does this because he likes you and he wants you to come back. And you come back because you get the good.
You don’t get the good from the billionaire. You don’t get the good from the industrial farm. You don’t get the good from Walmart and you don’t get the good from Whole Foods. You get the good when you get out of your chair and make the effort to find the people who love what they do, and then you support them with your money. You see, this is not about bacon. It’s about making the effort to create and support a community of people who love what they do because it is better for you. It’s about forming relationships with these people so they can stay in business and it’s about rewarding the efforts of your fellow men and women who strive each day to produce a product that they are proud of.
They make the effort. All that is required is for you to make your own effort to reward their hard work with your support. Seek out the good. Move on if you are not satisfied. Find a friend and find good bacon. This is the true marketplace, not that illusion of wealth that is Wall Street. This is the place where real capitalism exists, where you express your happiness with the product by continuing to purchase it.
By the way. We ordered ten pounds of bacon from Kent and five pounds of sausage because that’s the way he sells it. We don’t know what it’s going to cost and we don’t even yet know if we will like his bacon. I am betting that we will love his bacon and I am making that bet because I want to believe that good food is still available in California. I might lose but I don’t think that I will. If I don’t like Kent’s meat, I will find another little butcher to try until I get my monies worth.
I have already found great carrots. Not those horse carrots that you buy in the market. And I know where to get great tomatoes…right in my own back yard. If I need more than what I can grow I know I can drive to a local farm stand and get produce right out of the field picked ripe and full of flavor. Next is fruit. This may entail a trip up the coast to Goleta for blueberries and of course if you want strawberries Oxnard is only a short drive away. And I can get the ones that are picked ripe, not those hard little rocks that come from South America or Mexico. Those have to be picked green so they can withstand the shipping damage.
So, what’s he on about? Well get out and see your world. Find new friends and make new relationships with people who make products that you can be proud to own because they are proud to produce them. Bring home bags of the good stuff. Eat good food. Don’t settle for bad. Seek out the good, and eat more bacon.