Friday, December 13, 2013
By ROD HARMON Deputy Managing Editor
You could hear the cries from the rooftops, through the valleys, in the thickest of woods and the busiest of busy streets.
A collective "NOOOOOO!!" that echoed across the state, the nation -- yes, even the world.
It was the reaction to the news that a shortage of bacon and sausage in Great Britain would soon be spreading across the globe. A "world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable," came the statement from the U.K.'s National Pig Association.
Apparently, record droughts have resulted in high pig-feed costs that in turn have resulted in shrinking sow herds. In other words: Fewer crops = less piggies = less bacon.
My daughter and I were very distraught at this news. My wife's response was "well, there's always turkey bacon," which was like finding out that the iPhone 5 you were expecting for Christmas turned out to be a BlackBerry. It's not the same, hon. Not the same.
To help save this endangered facet of drippy, greasy goodness, here is an homage to that icon of American life, that staple of breakfasts, that clogger of arteries -- bacon.
FUN FACT NO. 1: In the U.S., bacon is almost always prepared from pork belly, though it can also be made from fatback, which is almost pure fat, and pork loin, which is lean. So by getting regular bacon, you're getting something in between, and a handy excuse: "I AM watching my diet! I'm not eating fatback bacon!"
FAMOUS PIGS IN HISTORY: Porky Pig, Miss Piggy, Babe, Wilbur from "Charlotte's Web," Arnold from "Green Acres," Piglet, that glasses-wearing pig in "Donkey Kong Country Returns" that saves your place in a level but is conspicuously absent on the really hard ones. (Where were you on level seven when I needed you, you stupid porker?)
FUN FACT No. 2: Sir Francis Bacon was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist and all-around busy guy in the 16th and 17th centuries. He died from pneumonia that he contracted while studying the effects of freezing on the preservation of meat. Contrary to popular belief, bacon is not named after Sir Bacon; rather, it's derived from the German word "bacho," or an old French word, which was, um, "bacon."
BACON PRODUCTS YOU CAN BUY RIGHT NOW: Adhesive bandages, bacon lollipops, bacon-scented car air fresheners, bacon-flavored lip balm, wallet, "I Vote for Bacon" T-shirt, bacon-flavored mints, bacon soap, bacon gumballs, Christmas tree ornament, tube socks, playing cards, Mr. Bacon bendable action figure, Mr. Bacon's Big Adventure board game, My First Bacon toddler toy (start 'em early!).
DISTURBING FACT: If male pigs aren't castrated before reaching a certain young age, their pork will taste like urine.
AWESOME PIG VIDEO: A pig at a petting zoo recently rescued a baby goat that was struggling in a pond by nudging it toward safety. (View it on YouTube.) I pitched this for a Page 1 story in the editor's meeting, but it was beat out by boring stuff like the election. Some people claim the video was staged, but who cares? IT'S A PIG SAVING A BABY GOAT.
And that's totally awesome.
Just like bacon.
Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at: