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Whole30 Approved Bacon is Here

Today’s post is the result of a specific demand within our community – and we’re all about fulfilling our reader’s demands. But this one was a bit tricky, because of the nature of what you’ve been asking us for.

You. Want. Bacon.

Specifically, you want Whole30-approved bacon, with no added sugar in any form. This form of (pork-derived) bacon has historically been really darned hard to find, even on the internet – but that didn’t preclude hordes of you from asking! Over the last year, we’ve receive at least two posts a week on our Whole9 and Whole30 Facebook pages, Twitter feed and blog comments asking, “Where can I find Whole30-approved bacon?” And unless you happened to have a local farm who supplied such a thing, most of you found that you were just plain out of luck – and out of bacon for the duration of your Whole30 program.

Our Bacon Dilemma

Normally, when there’s a cry for a specific Whole30 Approved product, we jump through hoops to help you find what you’re looking for. But bacon… well, you know how we feel about bacon. First, bacon must be pastured and responsibly raised – factory-farmed bacon is extraordinarily unhealthy and unethically produced, and no one should eat it, ever. Two, context matters, and using bacon as your primary protein source isn’t a great idea in general. Three, bacon may prove all too easy to overconsume, and overconsumption (even with a “technically Paleo” food) is never healthy – so think before you eat.

So, we don’t want to encourage you to eat more bacon… but we do want you to have access to responsibly produced pastured bacon without any unhealthy additives, because it’s not our place to dictate what you can and can’t eat. We provide recommendations and guidance, because that’s our job, but ultimately you’re all big boys and girls, and are more than qualified to make your own food choices.

Enter U.S. Wellness Meats.

Pastured Pork, Sugar-Free Bacon

We’ve been working with U.S. Wellness Meats for nearly a year now, and after careful research of their pork sourcing, believe that their products meet our highest standard for conscientious omnivores. It was only natural that we contact them first, to see if they could help us meet our community’s demand in a way that we could feel good about endorsing.

The pork carried by U.S. Wellness Meats is Compassionate Certified Pork, and undergoes third party verified to ensure accuracy. Among numerous requirements, the animals are not allowed to be given any growth stimulants, hormones or antibiotics. Animals are allowed outside as often as they want, and have full bedding available at all times; slot floors and gestating crates are not allowed.

Russ Kremer, co-founder of Ozark Mountain Pork Cooperative

Ozark Mountain Pork Cooperative, co-founded by Russ Kremer, raise the pigs that produce U.S. Wellness Meat’s bacon. Mr. Kremer and Ozark Mountain have a stellar reputation in the industry, and are dedicated to raising their pigs in an ethical, responsible, healthy manner. Kremer allows his pigs to be pigs, expressing normal social behaviors (including wallowing, rooting and mating). Kremer calls his farm a “mini-resort,” saying, “the biggest thing here is space… If the pigs get cramped and confined, they get irritated. You want them to be active.”

For more information on Russ Kremer and Ozark Mountain Pork Cooperative, read this 2008 RiverFront Times article, or watch this Farm Aid video clip from the documentary Fresh.

In addition, U.S. Wellness Meats agreed to revise their current pork bacon recipe to remove the honey powder (which is not Whole30-compliant), and create a new version that fit the requirements of our program.

Squeals of Joy

We are pleased to report that sugar-free pork bacon is now available to all in the 50 United States, courtesy of U.S. Wellness Meats. (And yes, it’s delicious – we got to try a sample a few weeks back.)

If you want to enjoy some pastured, ethically-raised, sugar-free bacon during your Whole30 program, thanks to U.S. Wellness Meats, now you can.  (And remember, U.S. Wellness Meats ships free to all 50 United States, too, provided you meet their minimum required order.) In fact, the product is being featured on their web site home page for the next few weeks!

Please join us in thanking U.S. Wellness Meats for working with us to make our readers’ bacon-dreams come true (in moderation). Post questions, comments or squeals of joy below.


On this site, and with all of our business dealings, we strive for 100% transparency. Since 2011, we have been a U.S. Wellness Meats affiliate. We personally use their products, and we honestly believe they are of the highest quality. We just wanted to make sure you knew that, in the interest of full disclosure.

Comments

  1. Crystal says

    I had my first try of it this morning. It’s different, has less flavor but still yummy. And knowing it’s pastured, no sugar is a sale for me!

  2. says

    Unfortunately it’s still smoked and cured, which can upset a lot of people’s stomachs. Smoked meats give me heartburn. Also, the sci literature on smoked meats and disease is kind of worrying. For my family we buy thinly sliced fresh pork belly. Unfortunately, it doesn’t keep as well as “true bacon,” but I find it much more digestible.

  3. Christie L. says

    We have just been buying “fresh side bacon”, than sprinkling applewood-smoked sea salt and cracked pepper on each piece. Then we freeze them in individual layers. Once frozen, we combine pieces into a freezer bag. When bacon is desired, the pieces go right into the skillet and fry up nicely. Easy-peasy. :-)

  4. drainbead says

    The one thing that is keeping me away from it is not knowing what the meat is fed. Too many people raising supposedly “pastured” pork are feeding them soy and corn, and GMO soy and corn at that.

  5. says

    Melissa: Always nice to see you here. We often recommend pork belly as an alternative to bacon – in fact, we like pork belly better! (This may get us kicked off the island, but Dallas doesn’t eat bacon at all, ever… and I don’t really like it that much.) Thanks for the contribution!

    Drainbead: Almost all “pastured” pigs have a supplemented diet. It’s very difficult to raise truly 100% pastured pigs, as depending on the climate and region, it may be impossible for them to obtain enough nutrition just by foraging. Kremer raises his pigs with grains, corn and soy supplements as well – but we believe that’s par for the course when you’re eating chicken or pigs, both omnivores. (And is one of the reasons we recommend seafood and ruminants over chicken and pork in general.) However, if that makes you uncomfortable, you can certainly try to find a local source for 100% pastured pork. I do know it’s out there.

    Best,
    Melissa

    Best,
    Melissa

  6. says

    You’d be hard pressed to get pigs up to a reasonable weight on “pasture”. First of all, pigs are amazing rototillers and turn land into dirt very quickly.

    We found a source of organic, non-gmo, soy-free feed from Canada that delivers to our house. The chicken feed has no corn but they do put some corn in the pig food. It’s expensive. Our friends paid $4/lbs hanging weight for our pigs and that’s with us not really making any money (we did subsidize the two pigs we kept a little bit) and then there were butcher costs on top of that.

    I’ve heard of people getting surplus apples and almonds and stuff like that to feed pigs but even then that’s not a “natural” diet for a pig.

    At some point you have to balance your desire to eat a healthy animal with your desire to actually achieve the goal of eating the animal. You can get pretty healthy, happy animals and feel pretty good about eating them.

  7. Casey says

    Ha, I’ve been buying this bacon for a while now (I live in the STL and we have a local place that sells it). I didn’t realize it was so hard to find bacon like this in other parts of the country. I guess I took it for granted!
    This bacon tastes nothing like ordinary, store bought bacon. It took a bit to get used to it, but it definitely works great for cooking greens.
    Worse comes to worse, you can always get some pork belly and make bacon yourself.

  8. Chrissy says

    I was SO excited to see this bacon available and was actually going to pay the expensive price for it (as I’m sure the quality makes it worth it!), until I realized that I have to spend at least $75 to try it…

    Broke 23 year old here. Sure, I’ll splurge on a $20 specialty oil or spend $16 on a pound and a half of sugar-free bacon, but spending $75 is just too much for me. :/

  9. Emily says

    Hi,

    My question is off the post-topic–sorry! I posted in the Whole30 section but it’s pretty quiet over there. I can’t wait until there is a forum for those of us not on Facebook!

    My question: someone recently posted a comment on theclothesmakethegirl blog that women often experience weight gain 1-2 years after beginning to eat Paleo. Is this true? Is it common? I’ve only been Paleo for about six months, but I would like to know if this comment reflects an experience others have had.

    Thanks!

  10. Melissa H. says

    Melissa…how do you make the pork belly? I have the opportunity to get my local pig made into sugar bacon or pork belly. I am thinking of going the pork belly route but I don’t know how to make it.

    Thanks!

  11. Jamee says

    Thank you for finding this. I have been following the Paleo way for about 7 months. My diet consists of meat, eggs, veggies and fruit from the regular grocery store. I have made recipes with almond flour, coconut flour and coconut milk. I cook with coconut oil. Lately, I have been feeling “bad” about not being able to afford grass-fed meat and organic vegetables. I have looked into ordering grass-fed meat and it is super expensive. I would love to eat as clean as possible, but when all I purchase at the grocery store is meat, eggs, veggies and fruit; it seems like my already expensive grocery bill will get even higher. My boyfriend is a non-paleo eater. He eats what I make, but he supplements his diet with processed food and does not care to spend $16.00 on a package of bacon. His grand-father is 98 years old and still gets around fine by himself. I know that this is my life and it is up to me on how I want to live, but I guess I am looking for a little balance. Do other people struggle with this? I feel good about cutting out processed food, but I can’t help but feel bad about not taking it to the next level. Grass-fed… and free-range…

  12. says

    Emily, there is absolutely nothing true about that statement. Weight loss is about a whole lot of different factors, but there is nothing about the health effects of a Paleo style diet that “wears off” in a few years.

    Melissa H: I’m not sure about how to make pork belly – try posting on the Whole30 Facebook page? Maybe Robin knows.

    Jamiee: It’s just about where you place your priorities. If you’re spending as much on food as you care to (or are able to), then do the best you can with what you have. Try reviewing our Paleo Poor post to see if you can’t squeeze in a little more quality with your current budget: http://whole9life.com/2011/01/paleo-poor-your-guide-to-the-grocery-store/

    Best,
    Melissa

  13. laura maxwell says

    I hate to put this out there (for fear they will sell out of everything) but this is where I go for the absolute best bacon, pancetta, speck, proscuitto. I’ve tried US Wellness meats bacon and it is ok, but La Querica is AMAZING and worth every penny.

    http://laquercia.us/

  14. Julie says

    I just tried the USWellness Meats Whole30 approved bacon. They don’t use anything in it but hickory smoke – no added sugar or nitrates, or in fact anything with flavor. It was pretty bland. The cuts were almost all fat, and the hickory smell while its cooking has stayed in my house for days. I really don’t recommend it for use in anything besides maybe an add-in to cooking something else. I added some to green beans and simmered for a few hours and it was really good. Their sausage and ground pork are really good too, so I’d recommend trying those.

  15. Joe says

    Only requires that you buy $75 and 7 lbs worth of bacon.

    It would take me months to eat that much bacon. I just wanted a single pack.

    Sigh.

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