Tag Archives: bacon

Just Say No to Hot Dogs, Bacon, and Cold Cuts

David Katz, M.D. of the Huffington Post  reports today that the online journal Circulation published a study about red and processed meat consumption. The result? While red meat may not increase the risk of heart disease, processed meat apparently does.

According to the Huffington Post, “each daily serving of processed meat raised the apparent risk of heart disease by a relative 40 percent. Each serving of total meat per day was linked to a 12 percent rise in the apparent relative risk of diabetes.”

One factor contributing to the results is that processed meats–in general–have more saturated fat and less protein than pure red meats. But they’re also higher in sodium. (Read my blog post, “Pass the Salt, Please” for my view on the sodium issue.) And they can contain nitrates and nitrites , which are linked to vascular injury and atherosclerosis. (So when you’re craving bacon, get the nitrite-free stuff.)

While the article acknowledges that eating grassfed cattle is more nutritious than grain-fed cattle (hence, my argument for staying a carnivore), it also notes that people who eat more meat are likely not eating enough of the other food categories, which are good for your health:  fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fish. (I’m still questioning the fish topic, however, due to the toxins found in many fish, as well as the bycatch dilemma.)

Katz’s conclusion? “Processed meats — sausage, bacon, and the like — are almost certainly harmful in ways that simple, unprocessed red meats are not. But however you choose to digest the news about meat, chew on this: Red meats are, at best, less harmful; there is nothing to suggest they actually promote health. Plant foods do — for people and planet alike.”

I agree. If you can’t go vegetarian, a simple alternative would be to eat smaller meat portions (of happy, grassfed meat) when you’re feeling carnivorous, and make vegetarian dinners every other night. For example, share a grassfed steak with your spouse or kids and try a frittata for dinner one night!

Pasta with Peas and Bacon

Although I had pasta carbonara on the brain today, I wasn’t in the mood for such a rich sauce. But I was in the mood for peas in my pasta. So I simply Googled “pasta with bacon and peas” to come across Emeril Lagasse’s recipe, Pasta with Peas and Bacon. Don’t you love the internet?

I pretty much followed his recipe, except I used brown rice spaghetti instead of tortellini and rice milk instead of heavy cream, due to Bill‘s allergies; and Greek sheep’s cheese instead of Parmesan. Oh, and I threw a little white wine in after the onions were sautéed.

Of course, the bacon came from our supply of Creswick Farms grassfed, nitrite-free bacon, which is available through the West Michigan Co-op.

Simple. Easy. Pretty good. Both Bill and I felt there was something missing, however. Nutmeg? Garlic? Anyone have some suggestions?

Fingerling Potatoes Two Ways, Cooked Once

Those of you who don’t like to cook–or don’t have time to cook–probably think I’m a maniac because I appear to be spending so much time procuring and cooking food–from unconventional avenues for purchasing (such as a co-op, local farmer, garden, or farmers’ market instead of the grocery store)–to the types of recipes that inspire my cooking.

Really, though, it all just comes down to good planning. I like to spend my time doing lots of other things, too. But I like to eat well. Not just tasty food–healthful food.

Here’s an example of what I mean by good planning:
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For Carnivores, Nothing Beats Nitrite-Free Bacon

Love bacon? Why not find a local grassfed meat supplier who makes it without nitrites?

We get ours from Creswick Farms, through the West Michigan Co-op, at least until we put in next year’s meat order at Lubbers Farm.

It’s cured naturally with sea salt. No chemicals. And it’s delicious.