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Why Bacon?

Few meats, let alone foods, inspire as much fervor and excitement as bacon. But that begs the question: “Why do people like bacon so much?” No matter your personal thoughts on the matter, there's no denying that Americans' love of bacon is real, if not all-consuming. I mean, can you even name another food item that has a big enough fan base to justify festivals across the country, or even a whole summer camp? Probably not. And that's why I figured the best place to find the reason why people like bacon so much was the source: Camp Bacon, a weeklong celebration of all things porky, in and around Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Bacon is healthy yet indulgent

Well, I think it’s somewhat of a response to people wanting to eat healthier and still craving some of the indulgences that only things like bacon can provide. We’re thinking much more in terms of balance. So we like fresh, we like to eat things like more poultry and those sort of things, but we also want to indulge in those things that are really good. And I think bacon fits that niche.

There’s something so grounding about it. This is a quintessentially American food, and of course it doesn’t just belong here, but I do think there’s something about bacon that does feel like a taste of home to people here. I mean, I’m of Indian origin, but I still recognize that connection of something that feels grounded in my history here in the United States. So I think it’s that.

It’s so indulgent, and there’s a little sense of being naughty when you’re eating something that indulgent. I think that brings people together … You’re a little bit crazed. I love Greek mythology as a child, and I think about Dionysus where all these women drink and then they go crazy. That’s kind of how people are when they have really good pork belly or bacon. I think that’s something instinctive and naughty and ecstasy and great about it.

Humans are genetically engineered to love bacon

I think most people like bacon as much as they can because we're genetically engineered to love sweet and salty. But I really think it's that convenience food that you feel safe to leave out and transport and take places. I think the convenience side of it is what makes it so successful as a cured meat, that you feel like you can take out and use everywhere.

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