Just like all store bought foods, bacon is really not bacon. The pigs that are bred for slaughter are not fed for great tasting meat, they are bred and fed for production and profit.
The store bought bacon is pumped with water to create more poundage. That is the reason the store brand decreases in size so much when you cook it. All you are buying is water with a little meat in it.
If you do not know, bacon comes from the belly cut of the pig, hence pork belly. There was a time when I could get this cut for almost nothing. Now at best in my area the price is $2.59 a pound. I can buy already cured and smoked cheap bacon at that cost. One meat market says it is because of the fuel prices and another says it is because all those dang cooking shows are driving the price up as a specialty cut.
We are only one generation removed from doing all this ourselves. Most of our grandparents and even our parents always had a hog or two around the farm to feed up for the winter processing, curing and smoking. They new the importance of stocking up and preparing because their life depended on it. Plus the tastes from fresh homegrown meat is so much more favorable than any other you can buy. The old timers say once you had real bacon you will never buy that store bought crap again.
This is where I might have messed up. Being I could not find pork belly at a reasonable price and being I do not like store bought bacon and also being I am almost out of bacon, ham and sausage from our last pig, I bought two more pigs.
Last time I was able to go in halves on a pig with a friend and my half came to me in real nice little packages. I did not have to feed it, water it, kill it or process it. For the money it was a deal I could not pass up. Now I have two more mouths to feed and a bunch of work to do.
|Meet Red Pig and White Pig|
This was a rookie mistake. I let my pride get in the way on this decision.
"$2.59 a pound, they can kiss my butt. I will just go buy my own pigs" was my attitude last night driving to the sell.
On the way home it was a little different. I realized I did not have a pen and I did not have a shelter for them, I was completely unprepared.
The first and number one rule in animal husbandry is to be prepared for your new arrivals. If I was to practice what I preach, I would not be shooting from the hip. Needless to say, this weekend will be all about pigs.