Today, September 2, is International Bacon Day! Bacon is such a beloved part of the American diet, even though it isn’t exactly the healthiest thing to add to your day. But the fact is that everything tastes better with bacon, from hamburgers to pancakes to milkshakes.
This Monday is also Labor Day, when many Americans will mark the end of summer with a barbecue. You can also celebrate International Bacon Day with a few strips on your burger.
Here’s a look at the holiday and where you can find some deals.
1. There’s More Than 1 ‘Bacon Day’ in the World, Including Another in December
We love bacon so much that we need more than one day to celebrate it. Travelers Today noted in 2014 that the holiday was credited to a trio of Massachusetts graduate students, Alexa Haflord, Seth Rittenhouse and Evan Salim. But a Bacon Wiki site (yes, bacon needs its own Wikipedia) credits it to CU Boulder graduate students who came up with it in 2004.
In 1997, Danya “D” Goodman and Meff “Human Cannonball” Leonard also created a Bacon Day for December 30. What better way could there be to celebrate the end of the year than with bacon?
Goodman and Leonard wrote on their site that they came up with the idea while trying to figure out some way to celebrate The Simpsons with a funny holiday. Considering their both Jewish and bacon is not kosher, they figured celebrating bacon would be funny.
2. A Serving of 4 Slices of Bacon Has 880 mg of Sodium & 8 Grams of Saturated Fat, So Don’t Eat Too Much
As Time Magazine noted earlier this year, it’s probably a good idea to limit your bacon consumption. Four thick-cut slices of bacon have eight grams of saturated fat and 880 mg of sodium. That’s about 40 percent of the total sodium intake the FDA recommends.
“The reason we recommend a limit on sodium is because it’s associated with a risk of high blood pressure as well as stroke,” Lisa Cimperman, a registered dietitian at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, explained to Time.
While the impact of eating saturated fat isn’t completely clear, Cimperman explained, “What we do know is that diets high in saturated fat have been associated with an increased risk of heart disease. About 68% of the calories from bacon come from fat—and about half of those are from saturated fat—so it’s definitely not the healthiest meat you can choose.”
However, WebMD notes, that it’s a better bet to chose bacon instead of sausage at a restaurant since two sausage links have more fat and calories than three strips of bacon.
So while bacon does have unhealthy aspects to it, eating it infrequently isn’t a bad idea. Bacon Day even lists the healthier aspects of bacon.
3. The Bacon Shortage Scare of 2017 Was Much Ado About Nothing
Earlier this year, a USDA report and a warning from the Ohio Pork Council sparked concerns of a “bacon shortage.” They warned that the supply of frozen pork belly, which is needed to make bacon, in the U.S. reached its lowest levels in 50 years. The council said that there was only 17.8 million pounds of reserves in 2016.
However, The New York Times noted that this was just a concern about reserves and there’s no need to ration bacon. It’s not like the population of hogs suddenly dropped.
“To imply that there’s going to be some shortage of bacon is wrong,” Steve Meyer, the vice president of pork analysis for EMI Analytics, told the New York Times. “There’s plenty of hogs coming. There’s going to be plenty of bacon.” He added that the frozen pork belly inventory is down, but the U.S. is not running out of bacon.
The Ohio Pork Council admitted to the Times that drumming up worries about a “bacon shortage” was just a marketing tactic and they didn’t really want to scare everyone.
The National Pig Association of the United Kingdom did the same thing in 2012 and the shortage was debunked then.
4. The BLT Sandwich Became Popular after World War II, but Recipes Existed Long Before
Bacon, lettuce and tomato between two slices of bread with mayonnaise is considered an American classic, known simply as the “BLT.” It gained popularity after World War II, as the availability of bacon, lettuce, tomato and sliced bread boomed thanks to more supermarkets.
However, recipes for the BLT go back to the early 1900s, since it first appeared in the 1903 Good Housekeeping Everyday Cook Book. That recipe included turkey as well.
Credit.com reported in September 2016, that total U.S. sales of bacon jumped 5.4 percent in 2015 compared to the previous year. The North American Meat Institute reported that total bacon revenue for 2015 was $4.21 billion in the U.S.
5. Some Stores & Restaurants Have Events for Bacon Day
Like many other food holidays, restaurants and stores are using National Bacon Day to have sales or specials. Fro example, PhillyMag.com reported that Devil’s Den is having a full bacon menu for the day.
You can find several other local events on Facebook. The Charlotte Regional Farmers Market in Charlotte, North Carolina is hosting a Bacon Day event, where farmers will help you make great bacon at home and there will be free samples.
If you’re in Seminole, Florida, you can visit Rapp Brewing Company for their event, when the restaurant highlights its bacon cheese stuffed burger wrap.
San Diego might be hosting the biggest event of the day. There, you can attend the San Diego Bacon Fest to celebrate all things bacon.