A tiny taste, a single crispy savory slice, and before you know it, you’re hooked. Bacon is the gateway meat.
Call it meat candy.
Every single vegetarian, vegan, raw foodie I know, including myself and my husband, who has evolved into another way of eating, a more omnivorous way, begins the journey with a slice of bacon.
There are many reasons for becoming a vegetarian. In my case, I became a vegetarian for philosophical reasons, i.e., I didn’t want to eat animals. I like animals. I think they are cute. I don’t like the notion of eating anything that plays when it’s a baby.
But getting back to bacon… Bacon doesn’t seem like meat. It’s a kind of meat that pretends it isn’t meat at all. It’s sort of a yummy undefined food stuff that leads one to more specific animal-derived food stuffs.
Regardless, here’s what I’ve come to believe– The healthiest diet includes meat and animal fat and minimizes carbs and sugars. Now, my diet always included cheese and eggs and butter- never stopped eating those things- because I realized even at the age of fourteen that fat is essential for brain/body health. Fat is essential for proper nerve function. Children of all ages need fat. I was clear about this, therefore I never ever made my children eat the way I do, or rather did, although vegetarian food was always available to them. They ate their fill of eggs, cheese and butter. And I learned to cook meat. I wasn’t particularly adept at cooking meat, but I did it for them and their growing brains.
Here’s what I think, and since this is my blog I can say what I think– And I’ve given the matter a lot of thought.
A raw foods diet is unhealthy. You want to stick to a raw foods diet? Be my guest. You’re entitled to eat whatever you want. I’ve come to the conclusion it is unhealthy, especially for children.
I’ve also come to the conclusion that a vegan diet isn’t especially healthy either, but it’s better than a raw foods diet.
A vegetarian diet that includes plenty of saturated fat and minimizes carbohydrates can be healthy and well-balanced, a vegetarian diet built around pasta and rice and tofu, not so much.
The first meat I ate when I strayed from the vegetarian path was bacon. The first meat my two sisters ate when they strayed from the vegetarian path was bacon. My husband had always eaten a little meat , he simply pretended he didn’t realize he’d eaten meat. Pork egg rolls for example, or moussaka– I’d kick him under the table and say, “That’s lamb. You’re eating lamb,” but he’d pretend he didn’t hear.
The first meat my youngest daughter ate when she became an omnivore was bacon.
Nowadays we continue to eat plenty of fresh vegetables- some raw, some lightly steamed. We eat fruit, but fruits too are full of sugar so we are judicious about our intake. We eat a few whole grains, very little in the way of processed grains like white rice, white bread, processed cereals. We eat beef, pork, lamb, duck, some chicken and turkey, fresh fish. I no longer buy lean cuts of meat – it’s full fat skin on or nothing. I cook with duck fat, lard, and butter and I continue to use olive oil as a dressing or drizzle. Seed oils, aside from sesame oil for flavoring Asian dishes, have been banned from my house.
Saturated fats is the way to go. You’ll see. Conventional wisdom still says one should eat nonfat/low fat. I suspect within a decade conventional wisdom will be turned on its head.
And therein, folks, lies the secret of the French Paradox. It ain’t the wine, people. It’s the fat.