High Angle View of Cooked Bacon on Paper Towel. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
Is There A Difference Between Cured And Uncured Bacon?
While pork is enjoyed in many forms, many meat eaters think that bacon tops the list as one of the best pork products of all. Bacon is primarily cut from the belly or back of the pig, but meat only becomes bacon once it's been cured, which is why you may be confused to see "uncured bacon" advertised or sold at stores.
There’s actually no such thing as uncured bacon, and all bacon sold for consumption is cured by nitrates, which give the product its color and flavor. These nitrates can either be synthetic or natural, and since the USDA only requires products with synthetic nitrates to be labeled as "cured," any bacon cured naturally can be called "uncured."
For bacon to be labeled "uncured," the USDA says it must have "no nitrates or nitrites added except for those naturally occurring in ingredients such as celery juice powder, parsley, cherry powder, beet powder, spinach, sea salt etc." However, many of these additives can have adverse effects on health, so "natural" bacon isn't really healthier.