Last May, I posted about the Whole9’s rather hard stance on bacon. As you can see from the comments back on that post, people were not happy about the thought of bacon being taken away from their paleo shopping cart. However, in the time since that post, Dallas and Melissa have become somewhat more moderate and their updated position is available at The Bacon Manifesto.
Note that on a Whole30, only bacon that is free of any sugars would be considered acceptable. Yes, this is not easy to find. From their post:
If you’re on the Whole30, your bacon must be sugar-free. This means no added sugar in any form in the ingredient list – no honey, cane syrup or xylitol, even if sugar is listed as “0 grams” on the label. (And while we prefer all processed foods have as few additives as possible, nitrates/nitrites are not a part of the Whole30 “rules.”) Sugar-free bacon is not easy to find, but it’s out there. You probably won’t find it at your local health food store – you’ll likely have to search producers in your local farming community, or online.
But long term, you should also consider the quality of the pork that goes into making that bacon. When you order a couple strips from the local diner, keep in mind that it’s typically from one of the worst treated food sources we have. I’ve posted before about the deplorable conditions in many of the big “farming” operations around the country. Whole9 elaborates on the situation:
…not all bacon is created equal. The vast majority (more than 90%, based on 2007 data) of the pork sold in the U.S. today comes from the factory farming system. This is the stuff you’ll find at your typical grocery store, from producers like Smithfield, Oscar Mayer, Hormel and Tyson. Pigs are arguably the most abused, poorly fed, sickly animals in the factory farming system.
Whole 9’s stance, that I agree with, is that you should aim to get bacon from organic, pastured pigs. This is going to require some digging on your part to find a local or online farmer that does so. Conveniently, Whole9 just posted that US Wellness Meats (a great place online to get grass-fed and/or pastured meat of many types) now features sugar-free, pastured bacon.
I’d encourage you to read The Bacon Manifesto to see some reasons why bacon shouldn’t be your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in-between.