I don't eat a lot of meat, but my family does. But I do remember from my meat-eating days just how good bacon can taste. I used to love the taste of crispy, thick bacon slices, particularly the Danish kind (since that is my heritage).
Recently, we bought a large bag of Hormel "Real Bacon Bits" at Sam's Club. The packaged promised the "delicious taste of real, fresh premium bacon" and was a good buy for a year's supply (the way it usually goes when you buy something at one of those club stores like Sam's or Costco.)
It was when I looked a little closer that I became concerned about what my family had been adding to their salad and baked potatoes. On the front of the bag I found an interesting slogan, "Made from Picnic Bacon" which caught my curiosity. I don't recall ever hearing that term before, have you? "Picnic Bacon" sounds so nice -- it sounds like a summer outing on a beautiful day, eating a nice BLT sandwich under the trees and watching the ants carry away half of the meal.
Putting aside my winter thoughts of a pleasant picnic, I looked into what this meant. It turns out that "Picnic Bacon" is not a pretty thing. It may have a nice sounding name, but it is really not a meat you should consume. Picnic Bacon turns out to be the most undesirable parts of the pig -- seriously, you don't want to know what parts -- which has been "fabricated" to approach the appearance of bacon. It is just barely considered something fit for human consumption, and it wouldn't be eaten, not by you, me or anyone else, if it didn't have this pleasant little name and the "fabricated bacon" look.
Shame on you Hormel. I wonder how many other surprises there are in the consumer packaged food business? Got any other good ones? Just leave a comment below.
PS -- See my comment in the comments section. I got literally pounded on the usenet after I published this article. I stand behind what I wrote -- I wouldn't touch this stuff. But some people evidently just love "picnic bacon"!