BACON has been linked by researchers to high mortality rates among swine.
A study found that the consumption of bacon by humans was a major factor in the early deaths of pigs.
The delicious sliced pork meat, salted and dried and sometimes smoked, is often consumed for breakfast after being fried or grilled. It tastes particularly good when combined with sliced bread and a condiment made with puréed tomatoes, onions, vinegar, sugar, and spices.
But bacon, in addition to other processed pork meats, is said to have huge implications for the health and wellbeing of swine.
A professor who conducted the study admitted her findings were “quite controversial”.
She said: “We visited ten different pig farms and in each case we witnessed the animals either being electrocuted or having their throats cut, prior to their lifeless bodies being slung from a hook, sliced open, and transported to factories where, we understand, processed meats such as bacon are made.
“It seems as if there might be a direct link between the pigs being slaughtered, and the factories which produce bacon.
“Pig mortality is a big issue, with domesticated breeds having an exceptionally low life expectancy. I now believe that the production of bacon is one of the biggest factors in the high mortality rate among pigs.”
Red meat such as beef, lamb and pork can form part of a balanced diet for humans, being a good source of protein and vitamins – in addition to tasting incredible. But because of the negative health implications of consuming red meat in high quantities, government guidelines recommend people eat no more than 70g per day.
A senior veterinary physician said: “With this new study indicating that bacon is unhealthy for pigs as well as humans, it may be time for government guidelines to be updated.
“Unless a way can be found to produce bacon without there being negative health implications for pigs, I’d suggest we stop eating it entirely.
“It might also be prudent to investigate the origin of other meats, in case they also have unacceptable health implications for domestic livestock.”