Updated: Sep 4, 2021
Knowing how to find the right price for bacon starts with the ingredient label.
If you listened to the latest episode of Budgeting For Bacon (Bacon and Banking) and you're still not sure what you're looking for from your bacon aisle, I visited my local grocery store to give you an idea.
Be on the lookout for sodium ascorbate and sodium erythorbate
Here's an example of bad #bacon.
The price for this 16 oz. package of Oscar Mayer Naturally Hardwood Smoked is $9.99. This may seem fairly average on the front. It does look nicely fattened, and the $9.99 may even seem to make sense when you consider that it's a full pound of bacon. The back label ingredients tell a whole other story.
What's the first ingredient? Water!! Ingredients are listed in the order that makes up the majority of the package. Notice that they've conveniently left off where pork falls on their list by describing it only with what they did to cure.
Speaking of curing, that second to last ingredient, sodium ascorbate, is required by the USDA when they use sub-par curing practices called "pumping." They did this to save time. That 16 oz. is not only likely fluffed by the water content in the package, they also skipped steps and cut corners.
If you're looking for something that fits your budget and hasn't been messed with, check out this one instead.
This Open Nature Uncured Applewood Smoked Bacon is a much better budget-conscious price of $7.49. The package is 12 oz. and still well marbled. The lovely ingredient list shows the bargain this really is.
Take a look at the ingredients this time. Everything is pronounceable and pork is the first thing listed on the label. Since this didn't go through the curing process and no corners were taken, this has been prepared simply and without the B.S.
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