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Gonzo Gastronomy: How the Food Industry Has Made Bacon a Weapon of Mass Destruction -- Readers Write

AlterNet readers had a lot to say about a recent article on the health and environmental impact of bacon production.

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But xvictor disagrees:

Bacon may have been great for those living in caves and subsisting on roots and wild berries tens of thousands of years ago. Hunting also burns a lot of calories. Nowadays we go to the supermarket, and our bodies are the worse for it.

raiders757 also argues that bacon should not be eaten in excess:

It's not good for you at all. If your going to splurge on bacon, do so when you cook it for yourself. Make bacon a special treat, not part of your meal or breakfast. It's good on almost everything, but that doesn't mean you should eat more than one time a month.

grmartin writes that our culture has a "don't ask, don't tell" policy about consuming meat that masks the dirty impact of meat production on our environment and our health:

Don't ask, don't tell ... In the old days we could see where our food came from, often from our own back 40, or that of the neighbors'. Not always pretty, but at least the facts were known. Now it comes from huge and complicated systems and industrial sites well out of view. The final product is designed and packaged to conceal any connection to its source and processing. The whole system depends on us not knowing, and not wanting to know, the nasty facts. Mainstream media is of course a pillar of the conspiracy. Enjoy that, Baconator!

donl51 adds that our system of meat production is yet another example of American excess and overindulgence:

In this case especially, in this country, it's called capitalism. Follow the money. We are a nation of overindulgers. How many freaking men's underarm deodorant choices do we really need? We created the fast-food eatery because we're always on the move ... we're going to cram as much in our short lifespans, even if it kills us. And guess what! It is ...

Zeugitai brings up another unappetizing point:

Pig urine and feces make their way into America's rivers all over this nation, along with uncountable tons of other "shit." Iowa has recently "relaxed" its restrictions on what and how much of it can be dumped into its rivers. That is the predictable trend. Commercial interests rule this lousy system of "government," and they always have and they always will. We "elect" the greediest and most duplicitous pigs to govern us. We can expect no better treatment.

"Porcocracy," it should more rightly be called. Government of, by, and for people who have come to resemble pigs in their consuming, myopic lusts for money, food, sex and power. 

Moore Hognutz takes a different tack, arguing that part of the reason many Americans depend on meat from giant plants is that few can afford to buy locally produced food:

Arun Gupta has presented a thoughtful, balanced description of what we eat and why. Most commendable. Bravo, Gupta. I now look for a follow-up describing the barbarity of the meat-processing plants.

Still, the problem remains that locally grown produce and meat costs more in farmers markets than food from 10,000 miles away in the most expensive supermarket (Whole Foods). Eating good food is a luxury fewer and fewer of us can enjoy.

Low-income people do not live as long as rich people because they cannot afford decent food.

ObamaISAmerica writes that although it is sometimes difficult to avoid unhealthy, factory-produced food, there are non-expensive ways to try:

Seriously, there are so many amazing things you can cook using a variety of grains, beans, lentils, vegetables, fruits, nuts. ... I was raised a vegetarian, and my entire family for generations has been vegetarian (we are Indian from India, originally -- the vegetarian part). There are so many easy and filling recipes that are all natural and healthy and so ridiculously tasty that just don't require meat at all. Shoot an e-mail for suggestions!!!

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