Though still not extremely healthy, turkey bacon can be a substitute for pork bacon. Submitted photo

By Claire Bullivant

Claire Bullivant
Claire Bullivant

Bacon is to savory food what chocolate is to the dessert world.

If you put bacon into a meal, people’s eyes light up. It has much the same effect as adding chocolate chips to cookies. Case in point – would the lettuce and tomato sandwich have made it to fame without the B in the BLT? Most of us agree bacon’s crispy combination of salty, fatty meatiness is delicious.

Nevertheless, opinions on the health properties of bacon vary widely. Some proponents say about half the fats in bacon are healthy, brushing over the fact that the other half is saturated fats and that 68 percent of calories in these strips of pig are fat.

Research shows eating high levels of saturated fats can be a contributing factor to heart disease and stroke.

I’m definitely in the minority of people who don’t eat pork bacon. But I do offer turkey bacon in my shop in various dishes. Turkey bacon, while not being a superfood by any standard, still has the salty meatiness people crave without so much of the bad stuff. And if a slice if turkey bacon makes that gluten-free spinach muffin go down a little easier – why not?

Despite the apparently healthy fats and nutritional value in the meat, there are some people for whom bacon of any kind is a no-no. According to the Gerson Institute, consuming animal fats and salt is part of a killer combination to create a breeding ground for cancer cells. Dr. Max Gerson discovered that by drinking cold-pressed juices and cutting down on salt and animal fats among other techniques, the body can sometimes rid itself of cancer – that’s what propelled us into bottling cold-pressed juices.

So, should we outlaw this undeniable love affair with salty, fatty meat? The sad fact is, most people will be willing to do it only after they get sick.

Claire Bullivant is the owner of Bead & Berry Coffee Shop.

This column appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.