Our next health food craze: bacon?
March 27, 2006 12:25 PM   Subscribe

A group of scientists have announced that they have created cloned and genetically modified pigs that make their own omega-3 fatty acids. NPR has more on the story, including an audio report from Joe Palca. There are apparently some naturally occuring pigs with their own omega-3 fatty acids, primarily a Spanish breed called Ibérico. Descended from native Iberian wild boar, black-footed Ibérico hogs are raised in specially maintained oak forests, and feed primarily on acorns. Until last September, however, no Spanish producer had been approved to export Ibérico products to the United States, and consumers may have to wait a few more months before they can get their hands on the tasty pork. As the ham is sure to be in short supply, you can put down a $199 deposit now for a ham that will carry a final price tag of as much as $1000. If you're unable to wait for—or afford—the Spanish version, you can treat yourself now to the Bacon of the Month Club, which serves up a different artisanal bacon each month. For more on raising hogs, read James Buchan's account in the London Review of Books. And don't forget the bacon blogs: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5].
posted by monju_bosatsu (27 comments total)
What's your favorite bacon—or other pork—recipe?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:27 PM on March 27, 2006

See also
posted by Pollomacho at 12:29 PM on March 27, 2006

Pig blue?
posted by delmoi at 12:29 PM on March 27, 2006

(or pig green)
posted by delmoi at 12:29 PM on March 27, 2006

The genetically modified pigs may be old news, but the rest of the post is great. I love bacon.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:29 PM on March 27, 2006

Omg. Healthy bacon? My love of the Spanish just jumped ten-fold. My faith in humanity and scientists just turned positive as the promise of healthy bacon may be brought home for us to eat as God intended.

Mmmm.... bacon-wrapped bacon.

If they can genetically create healthy bacon or if the Spanish can meet the demand with their Iberico, then everything I eat from now on will be either bacon, bacon-covered or bacon-wrapped. My cereal will have bacon-sprinkles in it. My granola bar will be wrapped in bacon. My milkshake will have bacon chunks in it.

God bless these geneticists. Godspeed, good sirs. You are doing the Lord's work.
posted by dios at 12:31 PM on March 27, 2006

Can't they just grow juicy bacon in a petrie dish and cut out the middle man-- er, pig?
posted by NationalKato at 12:35 PM on March 27, 2006

What about the other way round? When will they invent a way to make bacon from tuna?
posted by qvantamon at 12:36 PM on March 27, 2006

Pigs with fishy fat? Sounds good to me, so long as there aren't any flipper babies...
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:38 PM on March 27, 2006

Did somebody say tuna bacon?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:39 PM on March 27, 2006

How much omega-3 will it take to undue the damage from the saturated fat in bacon?
posted by caddis at 1:05 PM on March 27, 2006

Have you heard that song by Loverboy? "Pig and earthworm DNA just won't splice."
posted by Cookiebastard at 1:19 PM on March 27, 2006

Pata negra (black foot ham) is something you can't miss if you're in Spain. To call it bacon is to demean it, as much as I do like bacon.

And if you're ever in Madrid and want a cheap lunch, try el museo del jamon. Not for vegetarians (well, you could say that about all of Spain IMO).

Pata Negra is also a great flamenco fusion group.
posted by bardic at 1:40 PM on March 27, 2006

This post is great and this post makes me hungry. Not all great posts make me hungry, but some do, and this is one of those.
posted by OmieWise at 1:50 PM on March 27, 2006

Umm... look down a bit
posted by AstroGuy at 1:51 PM on March 27, 2006

dios's bacon milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:53 PM on March 27, 2006

To call it bacon is to demean it

Bacon is the highest level of complement in the English language of which I am aware.
posted by dios at 1:54 PM on March 27, 2006

What is next, sugar that promotes tooth enamel health? Chocolate that raises IQ scores? What to do for guilty pleasures if they all disappear?
posted by Cranberry at 3:07 PM on March 27, 2006

Kill things, probably.
posted by Richard Daly at 6:22 PM on March 27, 2006

What to do for guilty pleasures if they all disappear?
I've always depended on chicanery and crapulence, there's no amount of gene splicing that can take away the guilty pleasure of those.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:22 PM on March 27, 2006

When cows eat grass they have a 3:1 Omega 6:Omega 3 ratio. And on the corn diet (per the feed lot environment) is it 15:1.

So to hear of pigs being able to be more Omega 3 (and what about Omega 9?), I can believe that. Wonder what diet does for 'em?

(Back to my Flax)
posted by rough ashlar at 7:31 PM on March 27, 2006

Quick, patent it!
posted by homunculus at 7:35 PM on March 27, 2006

I heard the NPR segment. I loved when the reporter asked about the scientists' better success with breeding Omega 3 rich mice and asking if they shouldn't try selling mouse meat. Crunchy mouse anyone?
posted by notmtwain at 8:14 PM on March 27, 2006

I signed my mom up for the Bacon of the Month club for Christmas. She loves it. It's expensive, but the bacon is really really good from what I hear.

Deliciously heart-stopping: Bacon on a Hot Dog.
I want this motherfucking bacon off the motherfucking hot dog!
posted by breath at 10:51 PM on March 27, 2006

Funny, as I stumbled across this post I was stuffing my face with a bit of jamón serrano... Yum!
posted by sic at 12:36 AM on March 28, 2006

I've read that human flesh is tastier, and humans abound. Why haven't I seen any bumper stickers reading "Love animals, eat people!"? (Maybe somebody ought to suggest this to Cory, whoever s/he is.)
posted by davy at 7:24 AM on March 28, 2006

Magic food of the moment. I get suspecious whenever someone tells me some stuff or other will improve your life, especially when that stuff is damn expensive or likely to become so. This has happened so many times: remember oat bran?
posted by JHarris at 9:06 AM on March 28, 2006

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