Everyone who knows what Canadian bacon really is raise your hand, and I mean bacon bacon, like from a pig, not the Micheal Moore movie with John Candy. I’ll admit that I didn’t know what it was until this morning so no; not all Canadians are born with an innate knowledge of everything Canada. If I had to guess what it was I’d say bacon from pigs fed a diet of pure maple syrup? Or maybe pigs forced to watch Coronation Street till they died of boredom? Unfortunately its nothing that interesting, it’s some kind of cured ham rolled in cornmeal or pea meal, in the US Canadian bacon is just thick cut back bacon (ham) that you’d find on a Hawaiian pizza or served in a omelet, I can’t say I blame Americans, I don’t know what pea meal is, it sounds gross but I’m up for it.
I don’t know whats going on with bacon lately, everyone seems to be obsessed with it. Its showing up in recipes for everything from bacon peanut brittle to bacon wrapped deep-fried Twinkies. What got me thinking about this was Lady Gaga’s meat dress at the VMA’s (hear the sound of PETA members everywhere collapsing?) and I read a few things here and there about Canada and bacon, must have been a slow news day back home. One study by Maple Leaf Foods found that 43% of Canadians would rather eat bacon than have sex, apparently the way to drive the birthrate up in Canada would be to ban bacon (in February during a snowstorm of course)
The best story though comes out of Guelph, Ontario where the university developed what it calls the Enviropig, that’s a real word and its trademarked to boot. Electric cars, wind power, green buildings, phffft, Canada’s contribution is an environmentally friendly pig. For anyone who wasn’t aware, pigs are the BP of the animal world, they need phosphorus to grow into big healthy strips of bacon but farmers need to supplement their diets with phosphorus as a result of their digestive systems lacking the enzyme needed to extract natural phosphorus from their cereal grain diets. This phosphorus supplement makes its way to bodies of water via the manure where it creates algae blooms and dead zones. The Enviropig on the other hand has a modified gene that allows its salivary glands to secrete the enzyme phytase which reduces the need for phosphorus supplements as well as the amount found in their manure. Lots of people disagree on the benefits and the safety of Enviropig, names like Frankenpig have been thrown around but hey’re not even approved for mass production or human consumption. If it ever is you could order some authentic Canadian bacon rolled in cornmeal knowing you did your part to save the planet. University of Guelph’s Enviropig may not clog waterways but I can’t promise the same about your arteries.
The Bacon Explosion, this is what Chuck Norris eats for breakfast everyday.