By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau
Bacon frying in the skillet is still the best way to wake up on a Sunday morning on the farm. It’s the day that’s a bit slower (though chores still have to be done) and Mom and Dad have no plans for us to work the Pistachio orchard or chop weeds in a cotton field at five in the morning. I can almost smell Mom’s cooking just thinking about this childhood memory.
I’m thinking bacon because I just read the American Meat Institute’s (AMI) “Six Degrees of Bacon,” a fact-filled guide that explains, for example, that the bacon lettuce tomato sandwich, better known as the BLT, gained in popularity when fresh lettuce and tomatoes became available year-round after World War II. The guide also strives to answer six commonly asked questions about Bacon.
Considered one of the oldest processed meats in history, the refrigerated bacon category is a $2.1 billion industry, with volume sales up 7.5 percent in the 52 weeks ending January 24, 2010 ─ this despite a downturn. But good food is good food. Millions of people love bacon!!
If you select “pork” in the drop-down menu in the Fill Your Plate searchable directory, up will pop six pork producers. And, one of the more popular stores, The Meat Shop, will sell you fresh bacon and other cuts of pork. They’re completely vertically integrated. In other words, they raise the pork they process and will even customize cuts of pork for you if you put your order in on time. Go to the online directory and learn all about them.
Bacon comes in an amazing variety of flavors and brands. In fact, according to AMI, the top-selling bacon brand is private label at more than $500 million in sales every year. What’s your favorite kind of bacon?
So hungry for bacon now, I think I’ll go make myself a BLT sandwich.