How many people does it take to create a window accessory that provides energy savings of up to 25%? The answer is three University of Notre Damn students.
Will McLeod, Mike Stacey, and Ryan Tatzel, all students at UND, created the SmarterShade - an aftermarket window accessory that regulates the amount of heat and light that is allowed through the glass. The SmarterShade actually allows the window to be adjusted from clear to dark (and various degrees in between) using a remote, which ultimately increases or decreases the amount of light and heat let through.
It completely eliminates the need for window treatments such as blinds or curtains and is incredibly easy to install. Homeowners simply snap the SmarterShade in place within any window and it’s ready to be used. Besides the obvious savings from having such an energy efficient window treatment, it’s also easy to clean, keeps you healthy by blocking UV rays and can be applied to any of your existing windows.
The SmarterShade model currently available costs about $200.00 and runs on battery power (for the remote control tint). However, the future of SmarterShades will hopefully run only on solar power. The SmarterShades are a unique and ingenious window treatment that will not only save the homeowner in monthly bills, but also offers a more environmentally friendly solution for heating, cooling, and lighting the home.
For more information on this and other similar products, check out this article and interview of the student inventors as well as their website, SmarterShade.com.
Now that April showers have brought May flowers, summer is finally just around the corner. Unfortunately for us heat-lovers, we’ve still got some time before we can unpack the short shorts and get out our bathing suits.
If you’re having troubles getting rid of the winter blues and think you may not make it until the warm weather finally hits, you can add a touch of summer to your home with these adorable Beach Ball Lamps.
Designed by Toby Sanders, these lamps with their bright blues, reds, pinks, oranges, and yellows will brighten up any room and give you that fuzzy, summer feeling. Made from reused beach balls and non-toxic materials, these lamps not only bring vibrancy to the home, but they’re great for the environment, too.
No matter how glum you are about the rainy weather outside, it’s impossible not to feel good when lounging under these fun and creative Beach Ball Lamps.
Eco-friendly products are becoming mainstream as consumers demand greener versions of everyday items. Manufacturers have finally begun to meet the challenge as more and more eco-friendly products hit the marketplace. And these are not your grandmother’s “green” products that used to be back-breaking and labor intensive. These are cutting-edge products that combine environmental concern and modern day convenience.
The Eco Toaster cooks your toast quicker and with 34% less electricity than conventional toasters. The innovative, auto-close lid keeps the heat in, which makes your toast cook faster. The toaster also has a variable bread width function which means that you don’t have to give up versatility to go green.
Don’t waste energy boiling water that you are not planning to use. The ECO Kettle is composed of 2 separate 8-cup chambers. The first reservoir is a holding chamber which can release anywhere from 1 cup to 8 cups of water into the boiling chamber. This means that you will only boil the exact amount of water you need. The Eco Kettle uses over 30% less energy than regular kettles and could potentially save 50kWh of electricity each year.
Most espresso machines are designed to be left on for long periods of time, thus using lots of electricity. The Presso Espresso Coffee Maker only uses enough energy to boil one cup of water.
The Presso works by filling the steel filter with coffee, attaching the filter to the Presso and pouring boiling water into the cylinder on top of the machine. The water is then forced through the coffee at a high enough pressure to produce café-style coffee within seconds.
The water-powered clock uses absolutely no electricity or batteries. Instead it runs on water or any type of electrolytic fluid, e.g. soda or coffee. Once the reservoir has been filled with liquid, the numbers appear on the clock like magic. What really happens is the internal converter extracts electrons from the fluid which provides a stream of electrical current that powers the clock.
The only maintenance required is to change the water once in a while.
The Eco Hair Dryer uses half of the energy of typical 2000W hair dryers. In fact, if you normally use your hair dryer for 10 minutes a day you will save enough energy to make 7 cups of tea or 11 pieces of toast each day.
The Eco-Heater is designed to be a low-cost heating alternative to traditional space heaters. It uses convection technology to heat an entire room while only using approximately the same amount of electricity as four 100 watt light bulbs.
The eco-heater mounts on your wall, can be painted to match your décor and can be left on for long periods of time without worry.
The Ecolectric Slow Cooker uses up to 44% less energy than competing slow cookers and 66% less energy then a full-size conventional oven. The insulated lid is the key component of the slow cookers low energy usage since it keeps the heat inside the cooker providing more efficient performance.
The Enviro Vac uses 30% less energy and picks up 20% more dirt than competitive vacuums. Its super efficient motor was designed to work as well as or better than competitive cleaners and only use 800 Watts of electricity compared to the norm of 1600+ Watts. Green House Plans
Make your own delicious ice cream or sorbet in 20 minutes with no ice, salt or electricity required. First freeze the Chillfast® cylinder overnight, then add your ingredients and turn the handle. The handle doesn’t even call for constant motion; an occasional turn is all that is needed.
The Solar Mosquito Guard is a pocket-size, rechargeable personal mosquito repellant. It works by emitting a high frequency sound wave that repels pregnant female mosquitoes (which are usually the ones that bite). This means that you no longer need to purchase DEET-filled products which are harmful to you and the environment.
The portable, 6-liter Eco Mini Fridge is energy efficient and can be powered by your car adapter. It consumes an average of 33 Watts of electricity and uses no refrigerant which means that it is completely recyclable at the end of its lifespan. It also converts from a mini fridge to a portable oven with the flick of a switch. And the oven is capable of heating food to 65 degrees Celsius.
The toilet paper roll is the unsung hero of the bathroom. It stoically does its job day after day without any sign of recognition. Firmly keeping the toilet paper in place and making sure it is easily accessible when you need it the most. And then once the toilet paper is gone the lowly toilet paper roll is usually thrown away and forgotten.
But some creative artisans have decided to give the toilet paper roll a new life. The creations range from basic kids crafts to works of art that will surprise and delight you.
As world leaders pledge to reduce carbon emissions and the importance of protecting the environment continues to grow globally, individuals and businesses are searching for ways to decrease their impact on the environment. It’s no surprise then that professional sports leagues are beginning to develop and encourage ways in which they can become more environmentally friendly, too.
This comes as a great relief to environmental critics, especially considering one baseball game can produce 760,000 bottles and cans that are discarded in the trash rather than recycled, one football stadium can produce about 100,750 tons of carbon dioxide per game, or that NASCAR’s total fuel consumption for an entire season has been estimated at 2 million U.S. gallons.
The decision for national sports teams to promote green initiatives is an important step. Not only will it positively effect the environment while the teams are on the field, but it also has the potential to influence their millions of fans to be green off the field.
1. Major League Baseball
With 30 teams, 162 games per season, and on average, 80 million spectators, Major League Baseball (MLB) certainly provides its fair share of the negative environmental impact caused by professional sports.
However, due to initiatives over the past few years, the MLB is quickly becoming one of the greenest professional sports leagues. Last year, the MLB partnered with the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) to create a Team Greening Program.
This was the first league-wide environmental protection program and aims to organize and support environmentally sensitive practices. The Team Greening Program plans to:
- Create club eco-committees.
- Provide information on how to offset carbon emissions from the team and fan transportation, as well as, facts and resources to assist each team in assessing their environmental impact and how to reduce it.
- Create an official environmental policy.
- Add environmental policies and language to contracts.
- Reduce the use of paper in offices and switch to recycled paper products.
- Work towards renewable energy use.
- Encourage fans to make environmental changes in their own homes.
The MLB has also made significant changes to their baseball parks across the country. They now have recycling bins for plastic cups and bottles and the vending machines are being made more energy-efficient. Solar panels have been installed to provide some of the energy used for games and even the grounds crew is switching to more environmentally friendly cleaners.
Not only are changes being made for the league as a whole, but individual teams are taking the green movement into their own hands. The Atlanta Braves have built the first ballpark stadium that meets standards created by the U.S. Green Building Council, the Pittsburgh Pirates are using corn-based cups, soy-based ink, and recycled toilet paper, the Boston Red Sox have installed solar panels and the Seattle Mariners recycle food waste, paper and plastic.
2. National Football League
The MLB is certainly tackling the environment dilemma from all angles, but the National Football League (NFL) is also doing their fair share to make football a green sport.
Although the NFL has had an environmental program since 1992, it wasn’t until recently the league has begun making key improvements, particularly when it comes to the Super Bowl. The program has been working to:
- Improve solid waste management at all NFL facilities.
- Develop environmental guidelines for all contractors and vendors.
- Donate food and leftover building material, office supplies, and sports equipment.
- Make any Super Bowl event carbon neutral.
For the 2008 Super Bowl, the NFL committed to planting 2,700 trees to help offset gas-emissions and the Tampa Electric Company provided renewable energy for 100% of the electricity needs for the game.
At the team level, the Philadelphia Eagles have taken the greatest responsibility for the environment and developed ways to decrease their environmental footprint.
In 2007, the Eagles developed an ambitious program that rewarded all Eagle employees who signed up for Wind Energy. The employees are then reimbursed by the team so there is no out of pocket cost. In 2008, the Eagles purchased 14 million kilowatts of wind power to help the team run on 100% renewable energy at both their Lincoln Financial Field and their training facilities.
As a result of their initiatives, the Eagles have managed to switch 25% of the team’s energy use to renewable sources, avoided 65 tons of greenhouse emission and 2 billion BTUs of dirty energy generation, and also saved 100,000 trees.
3. National Hockey League
Although hockey is sometimes considered a cleaner sport than others due to shorter schedules and smaller arenas, there is a still a huge footprint left behind from this sport.
In 2007, the National Hockey League (NHL) partnered with The GreenLife Organization to develop solutions to help the league go green. The program focuses on:
- Creating green initiatives.
- Identifying areas that need improvement.
- Offsetting carbon emissions.
- Switching to renewable energy.
- Generating public awareness and promote green living outside the sport.
Like the MLB, the NHL has also been working with the NRDC to provide advice and resources to reduce each NHL club’s impact. The league has also had much success with the NHLPA Carbon Neutral program that encourages players to take action to decrease their footprint on and off the ice.
The program was developed by the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) and the David Suzuki Foundation. So far, the program has helped offset more than 4,200 tonnes of carbon emissions this season and 420 NHLPA members have signed on for year two.
4. National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association has also teamed up with the NRDC to develop programs and events that will help generate awareness and funding to protect the environment.
While the NBA’s partnership with NRDC isn’t as extensive as the MLB or NHL, they are still taking positive steps toward preserving the environment.
The inaugural NBA Green Week, which was held between April 2 and April 10 2009, is a week-long event that engages all 30 teams in auctions, community service programs, and public service announcements. They are also working to create a new micro-website, www.nba.com/green that will feature green tips for fans.
Noted environmentalist and actor, Robert Redford was involved, as well as Addidas, who pledged to outfit players with 100% organic shirts. The NBA store will also host Recycling Dreams, a footwear drive to collect gently used athletic shoes.
Beyond public awareness events, the NBA is working with NRDC to offset energy usage and waste in offices and arenas. Green modifications that are currently underway include:
- Installing solar panels and wind-powered energy sources.
- Installing water-saving fixtures.
- Using organic food in concessions.
- Encouraging public transportation.
- Creating a recycling program.
- Purchasing energy credits.
Understandably, a sport that involves very fast cars with low miles per gallon, circling a track 500 times is a hard sport to make environmentally friendly.
However, where others may choose the easy road, NASCAR has decided to take the green road and make an effort to reduce their negative impact.
In 2007, NASCAR partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency and announced that they would switch to unleaded racing fuel by the start of the 2008 season. NASCAR’s environmental services provider, Safety-Kleen has also begun collecting the 240 million gallons of used motor oil to re-refine and reuse. Beyond the obvious benefit of reusing the oil rather than throwing it out, re-refined oil also uses 85 percent less energy than making new oil.
NASCAR also participates in National Car Care Month where they help promote better car maintenance, which in turn increases vehicle performance and reduces fuel consumption.
Even some speedways are getting involved to help make a difference. The Michigan International Speedway preserves 200 acres of wetlands and is looking to use wind and solar energy within the next 10-12 months.
While many argue these steps don’t entirely negate the negative impact professional sports can have on the environment, the initiatives do make a difference. If you consider how many professional sports teams there are, simply making even the smallest step can have a massive affect not only on the environment, but also on the millions of fans who watch them.
Easter will be hopping upon us in just a few days and what’s Easter without a cute little bunny?
Ruby Re-Usable has created this lovable little WonderBunny out of plastic Wonder bags, bubble wrap and clear packing tape. Wonder Bunny is a festive way to reuse those old bread bags and create something new and adorable. But if you aren’t creative enough to make one of your own, then check out Ruby’s Etsy store to purchase one of these colorful creatures for yourself.
Televisions are no longer a luxury item like they once were. Now, they are so commonplace that it is not unusual to find several under the same roof. And although today’s LCD TVs use less energy than the old CRTs (inch for inch), once you upsize to a larger screen, all of those energy savings are lost. Still there are some simple and easy ways to make your TV just a little bit greener.
Turn the TV off when you aren’t watching it
This may seem obvious but many people like the “background noise” that a TV offers. However it is a seriously wasteful practice and turning the TV off is a great way to save some money on your energy bills.
Unplug the TV once it’s off
This takes the first suggestion one step further to save even more energy in your home. Most people think that once the TV is off it is not using any energy, however this is not true, as televisions continue to drain small amounts of energy even when they are turned off.
Don’t sleep with the TV on
Lots of people like to fall asleep to the lulling sounds of their favorite late-night infomercial. However, not only does this waste energy, it’s also not very good for you. Scientists have determined that gadgets in bedrooms such as computers and TVs are fuelling poor quality “junk sleep”.
Turn down the brightness on your TV
Most TVs are much brighter than they need to be. Some TVs even have a home setting and a store (or showroom) setting. Make sure your TV is set to the home setting and this will reduce your TV’s energy usage. If your TV does not have these settings, turn down your brightness and possibly your contrast to reduce your TV’s energy consumption.
To test your TV energy consumption knowledge, take this fun quiz by the Sierra Club.
It is the most revered, the most loved, the most desired and most delicious of all the meats.
In honor of this smoked gift from heaven, we have painstakingly compiled everything bacon into this Compendium of Cured Meat, this Handbook of Hog, this Pandect of Porkbellies. It doesn’t matter how you slice it, thick or thin. This is the one, the only, the absolute, Baconcyclopedia: The Ultimate Bacon Reference of Baconic Proportions.
Bacon Days of Yore
The phrase “bring home the bacon” comes from the 12th century when a church in Dunmow, England offered a side of bacon to any man who could swear before God and the congregation that he had not fought or quarreled with his wife for a year and a day. Any man that could bring home the bacon was highly respected in his community.
Prior to the 17th century, bacon or bacoun was a Middle English term referring to all types of pork. The word bacon comes from the French word bako, German bakkon and Old Teutonic backe, which all mean “back”.
- Bacon is one of the oldest meats in history dating back to 1500 BC.
- The earliest reference of bacon was in 1560 by a London Cheesemonger.
- In the 16th Century, European peasants would proudly display the small amount of bacon they could afford.
- The Yorkshire and Tamworth pigs are bred specifically for bacon.
- 70% of all bacon in the US is eaten at breakfast time.
- More than 2 billion pounds of bacon is produced each year in the US.
Bacon – The Fifth Food Group
Bacon Snack Attack
There is an overwhelming selection of bacon-flavored snacks that any bacon worshipper can stock their cupboards with.
There are bacon chips and sticks, bacon and cheddar crackers, bacon squares, and Baconzitos - just to name a few. Every brand, every crisp, chip, stick, fry, ring, puff and cracker is available in bacon flavor at your local grocery store to help curb your bacon craving. And for those of you who have an adventurous lust for bacon, you can now broaden your cultural horizons with Bacon & Cheese Crickets. *chirp chirp*
You can even buy Gourmet Bacon Popcorn.
Everyone knows that pig is the new cow and with Bacon Jerky you can enjoy your favorite dried-meat snack with a punch of smoked pork.
Its not just for humans, either - puppies even get to join the fun with these Bacon Pet Treats.
Bacon is Meat Candy
The good folks at Udder Delight have added Bacon to their bold and creative list of ice cream flavors and for a more complete breakfast, you can try Bacon and Eggs Ice Cream at the Fat Duck restaurant.
HHere’s more meat candy for you to salivate over:
- Vosges Mo’s Bacon Bar with applewood smoked bacon, alder wood smoked salt all covered in deep milk chocolate.
- Of course, Vosges could have called it quits right there and returned back to dark chocolate and nuts, but they decided to create another pork and cocoa masterpiece, the Flying Chocolate Pig. Yes, it is exactly what you are imagining – a pig-shaped milk chocolate confection filled with applewood smoked bacon and alder wood smoked salt.
- Chocolate-Covered Bacon is another favorite for any bacon lover. You can purchase it at specialty stores or simply make your own using your choice of chocolate.
- For a light, airy, melt-in-your-mouth bacon sensation, try Bacon-Flavored Cotton Candy, available at McCrady’s Restaurant in Charleston.
- Scientific study after scientific study has conclusively proved that maple bacon is downright delicious and with this in mind, Lolliphile decided to take it one step further with their Maple-Bacon Lollipop.
- Most of you are probably familiar with the bizarre line of jelly beans that let you enjoy such culinary delights as rotten egg, vomit, grass, and moldy cheese. Thank god they’ve finally redeemed themselves and their product line by introducing Bacon-Flavored Jelly Beans.
- Smack on a juicy piece of Bacon-Flavored Gum Balls.
- And for those of you who are not true baconnoisseurs but want to jump on the wagon, you can try Uncle Oinker’s Strawberry-Flavored Gummy Bacon.
Check out our Bakin’ with Bacon section to find out how to make your own Candied or Chocolate-Covered Bacon and Bacon-Flavored Ice Cream.
Everything Tastes Better With Bacon
Chef David Burke has a line of naturally-flavored cooking sprays that come in 35 sweet and savory flavors. The best flavor, of course, is his Bacon Spray. A few sprays from this little pump bottle will allow you to literally taste everything with bacon. The best part? It has zero calories and zero fat! Indulge in the irresistible flavor of bacon without any of the guilt.
Currently available in Original, Hickory, and Peppered as well as Limited Edition Flavors such as Applewood, Jalapeno, Mesquite, Cheddar, and Maple Redux, BaconSalt is perfect for any food that you like salty and full of bacon flavor. There’s even an entire site called IHeartBaconSalt that explores all the possibilities of this holy product, including snorting it up your nose.
And from those same bacontrepeneurs, the ultimate bacon-flavored spread, Baconnaise, lets you make every sandwich, every sauce and every dip deliciously bacon-y. Available in regular and lite.
Finally, for all those spam loves out there that believe it’s perfectly acceptable for meat to come in can form – Canned Bacon. Yum!
Bacon Not Stirred
Bacon Beer. This German ale called Rauchbier literally translates to ‘smoked beer’, but beer critics can’t help but notice the distinct bacon flavor this German ale has.
For a more authentic cured taste, there is also a real Bacon Beer made from American Pale Ale infused with lean bacon that’s so far only available at the Front Street Ale House in Washington.
Even some vineyards prefer their bubbly to have a hint of bacon essence. You can sample wines perfumed with smoked bacon with loam and chocolate, with earth and black plum, with black pepper, coffee and wild blueberry, and with black cherry.
Unfortunately the rumors of a bacon soda, Diet Coke with Bacon, seem to be too good to be true, but you can get the lifeblood of Mother Nature flavored in bacon. Molli Brands INC has a non-carbonated, filtered, vitamin-enhanced water that comes in several meaty flavors including our favorite smoked pork belly.
(Technically, this water is for your pets, but if you dream of living entirely on bacon products, your dream can now be realized.)
Check out the Bakin’ With Bacon Drink section to learn how you can make your own bacon booze.
As unfathomable as it is, there are those who voluntarily choose to not eat meat. Yes, it’s practically an abomination that they willingly deny themselves this succulent food group but it’s certainly no surprise to fellow carnivores that even the strictest of vegans still crave a rasher of bacon.
Smart Bacon by LightLife is a popular bacon substitute that still packs a bacon punch. However, supporters don’t deny that it doesn’t even remotely look like the real thing.
MorningStar Farms has a line a veggie meat including Veggie Bacon Strips made from tofu. It’s low in fat and cooks as fast as regular bacon but has a very play-doh-esque look.
Also, Yves Veggie Cuisine has Canadian Veggie Bacon that’s fat free and made from soy. It’s still recommended to not actually look at it while you eat it.
There’s also a wide variety of sauces you can purchase at local health food stores that will give any dish that salty, smoky taste reminiscent of bacon like Marmite, Bragg’s Liquid Amino, Tamari (soy sauce), and Torula.
Of course, even the most dedicated vegans find bacon difficult to resist, like Mandydale who recently gave up her vegetarian ways and embarked on 30 days of Pork .
If Bacon Is Wrong, I Don’t Want to be Right
Bacon is often toted as an ‘unhealthy’ food and it leaves many wondering how something so undeniably good could ever be bad?
Sure, there are studies that say children who eat cured meat may have a higher risk of leukemia, and nutritionists have linked bacon to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, type II diabetes and high blood pressure, but Bacon Lover Mike Nelson vowed to eat bacon for the entire month of February and much to the naysayer’s surprise, he didn’t die. Actually, Mike felt great during the 28 days of nothing but bacon. He had no cravings, his blood pressure went down, and he even lost some weight.
Then there’s Gertrude Baines, the world’s oldest woman who at 114 believes that a diet including bacon is the key to a long, healthy life.
And an amazing trio of Canadians set a new record for fastest trek across Antarctica, thanking a steady diet of deep fried bacon and butter.
Furthermore, there have been studies in the last few years that have suggested cured meats are actually healthy! They have shown to have a protective effect on damaged heart tissues post-heart attack.
The Reese brothers have seen the future and they say it tastes great! For the past decade and a half, they’ve been working on creating ‘super bacon’ that would taste the same but be even better for our bodies.
This is the ultimate how-to guide for makin’ everything bacon. In this section, fellow citizens of baconation can learn the finer points of how to prepare, smoke, cook, weave, cure and store bacon so that it is at it’s culinary finest.
- Dave from BSBrewing ordered a 12 pound slab of ‘proto-bacon’ from his local meat market and went about cutting, flavoring, and smoking his own bacon in his backyard.
- If you don’t have a smoker, here’s an easy way to smoke your own bacon using your BBQ. Just pick the kind of hardwood chips you want to use, like maple, apple, oak, cherry, or hickory to flavor your bacon.
- When craving a few slices of fried bacon, there’s nothing worse than trying to thaw the frozen slab before your stomach eats itself. Using some baking sheets, you can freeze your bacon in singles or smaller sections for easy access when that craving hits you. Tip: You should freeze bacon within a week of purchasing it and you can keep it frozen for up to two months.
- It’s the latest bacon cooking trend to intricately weave bacon slices upon bacon slices to make a masterpiece fit for a king. Use these steps or watch this video to learn how to weave your own bacon.
- If your grandma ever made you learn how to knit a scarf, you can put those skills to good by knitting bacon. It serves no real purpose other than another awesome way to enjoy unnecessary amounts of bacon.
- There’s curly fries, why not curly bacon?
- And, if you cut your bacon just right, you can compete with this guy for the World’s Longest Bacon.
For those bacon purists who prefer to get hands on, you can even learn how to raise your own pig to enjoy homegrown bacon.
So you want to raise your own bacon? It makes sense. Everyone wants the freshest, juiciest, most succulent bacon at their disposal and what better way than to raise your own swine?
First off, you need a pig. A baby pig can cost you anywhere from $20 - $65 and they take about 5 - 6 months to reach their most edible weight of 200 – 225 lbs. Now 200 lbs sounds like a lot of pig but think about it like this.
One 200 lb pig will produce approximately:
- 24 lbs of ham
- 20 lbs of bacon
- 17 lbs of pork roast
- 18 lbs of picnic shoulder
- 7 lbs of pork chops
- 8 lbs of sausage
- 7 lbs of “miscellaneous” cuts
- 6 lbs of salt pork
- 31 lbs of lard
Mmmmm… porky goodness. I can hear you salivating already. But if 200 lbs is good then 400 lbs must be better right? Well, not really. Once a pig reaches approximately 225lbs, they start “making pigs of themselves” by eating more food and putting on less weight. Plus they start to get fatty, and since you are going to the trouble of growing yourself some healthy bacon, you might as well do it right.
Tips on buying your piglet:
- Purchase your baby pig in the spring when it is about 6 – 8 weeks old.
- Get your piglet inoculated and wormed before purchase. (You may need to continue to de-worm your pig every 4 – 6 wks.)
- Buy your pig from a reputable breeder or a farmer with clean, disease-free stock.
- Do NOT buy a cute, little runt.
- Choose a long pig – fat pigs produce lots of fat (there’s a big surprise).
- Pick a young sow or a castrated male pig (a barrow).
- The breed doesn’t matter – all breeds have been developed to produce yummy, meaty deliciousness.
How to feed your pig:
- Your pig is not a picky eater. It will be happy eating grain, wheat, grass, corn-on-the-cob, table scraps, leftover garden veggies and even garbage. But, do NOT feed old garbage to your pig, pigs like fresh garbage.
- Pigs reared on fresh greens and plenty of exercise will produce lean, healthy and, (most importantly) juicy pork. Your pig should gain about 1 pound/ day.
- You can use a trough for your pig’s food. However, make sure that you secure the trough so your pig does not tip it over.
- Observe your pig’s eating habits so that you can make sure your pig is getting enough food and still keep waste to a minimum.
- Use a wall-mounted water bucket. This will keep your pigs dirty hooves out of the water and reduce spillage. A growing pig can guzzle 3 gallons of water a day so make sure your pig has a fresh supply at all times.
Your pig is a simple creature and only needs a simple house. But make sure it’s sturdy because pigs like to push and prod and could knock their home down. (And don’t forget about the big, bad wolf, his huffing and puffing is sure to knock down any shoddily built house.)
All your pig needs is a 3-sided shed, approximately 8 x 6 feet, 5 feet high in front, 3 feet high in the rear, with a tar-paper roof. Leave the front open (to let the smell out) and build it in a shaded area to keep your piggy cool in the summer.
Pigs love to roam and forage and keep their snout to the ground. They are also known to be expert escape artists. This means that any fence will need to be well-constructed at ground level to keep your sneaky pig in otherwise your neighbor may be the one dining on free-range pork.
Once your pig is big enough to eat, it is probably easiest to get a professional to slaughter your pig for you. Your feed dealer will know someone who can dress your pigs, smoke the hams, bacon, make sausage, hog’s head cheese, liverwurst, mmmm…. Or if you are feeling adventurous you can do your own curing and smoking once the pig has been slaughtered and dressed. (Refer back to Makin’ Bacon)
It is also an option to slaughter your own pig but make sure to do it when the weather is cool. You don’t want the pig to freeze so 40 – 50 degrees is the perfect temperature for pig killing. Then hang the carcass for at least 24 hours to ensure all of the pig’s body heat has dissipated.
The final thing to remember is that your pig is not your pet; you are raising it for food. Pigs can be fun and entertaining but don’t get too attached to it or you’ll never be able to enjoy the fresh bacon that you worked so hard to raise.
Most people prefer to cook bacon in a cast iron skillet (or at least a frying pan) on low heat. But people have also been known to bake bacon, grill bacon and microwave bacon. And since there are so many ways to cook bacon, guess what? There are also all kinds of special bacon-cooking equipment available for your bacon-cooking needs.
The 2 most important things to remember when cooking bacon in a frying pan are to use a cold skillet and to keep the temperature on low to medium while cooking. Starting with a cold skillet will keep the bacon curling to a minimum and the low temperature will prevent burning, both of which are pretty important when you are trying to show off your bacon prowess. Here’s some tips on how to keep your bacon from shrinking when cooking it in the frying pan.
Of course there are some gadgets to help out when you need that extra flat bacon like the Bacon Press.
This pig-shaped cast-iron press flattens your bacon strips for fast, even cooking with minimal shrinkage. Fits most 10″ skillets. Can also be used on an open grill.
Grilling your bacon doesn’t take any special skill. Simply preheat your grill. Place your slab o’ bacon on the grill (you don’t even have to separate the slices), grill for 3 - 4 minutes then open the grill and turn the bacon. Close the grill and continue cooking until desired bacon-y crispness.
Bacon is yummy when baked in the oven and the oven produces flat slices (perfect for bacon-o-licious BLTs).
To bake your bacon:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place a rack inside a baking sheet.
- Lay out your bacon-y slices of goodness and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on desired doneness.
- You can also use a broiler, but the splatters make a huge mess and can also cause fires!
However, if you are a risk taker and would prefer to use a broiler, watch Rachel Ray and she’ll tell you how.
Some people actually prefer their bacon cooked in the microwave. (I’m not sure who these people are but apparently they have reasons). The #1 reason for cooking bacon in the microwave is that it cooks the bacon with out making a huge, greasy mess and still produces nice crispy strips. People also say that their bacon is healthier this way, but come on, it’s bacon…
There are several fancy contraptions to help you cook your bacon in the microwave but as long as you have a glass dish and some paper towel you are ready to get cooking.
Follow these simple steps from StartCooking.com to make perfect microwave bacon every time.
Lay 2 paper towels on the plate. Spread the bacon out in a single layer not overlapping on the dish.
Now lay another paper towel over the top.
Depending on your microwave, this amount of bacon should take about 4-6 minutes to get nice and crispy.
Using pot holders, very carefully remove the dish from the microwave.
Be careful! The dish itself will be very hot.
The paper towels will have absorbed all the bacon fat. With some tongs, put the bacon on a serving dish.
Now just throw away the paper towels and enjoy.
However, if you are interested in some special microwave bacon cooking equipment – we have some for your perusal.
Bacon Cooking Equipment
Sales Pitch: Use the Wow Bacon to make as much freshly-broiled bacon as you want without the usual mess. Your bacon will be healthier and you will never have any unsightly, burnt-tasting dark spots on your bacon. Dishwasher-safe.
Sales Pitch: The Bacon Wave will produce faster, healthier and crisper bacon with no mess. Enjoy bacon with less fat, less cholesterol and fewer calories. The Bacon Wave cooks 14 yummy slices of bacon at once and is dishwasher safe.
Sales Pitch: The Bacon Genie cooks 12 strips of delicious, crispy bacon in seconds. No more grease or paper towels, Bacon Genie makes great tasting bacon every time and is dishwasher safe.
Sales Pitch: The microwave bacon tray’s ribbed surface allows bacon fat to drain away while cooking. This tray is durable, freezer to oven to table use, and dishwasher safe.
Sales Pitch: The Presto PowerCrisp is the easy and delicious way to make crisp bacon. Bacon cooked in the microwave is leaner than pan fried bacon as the special cooking racks allow the fat to drip down into the base leaving healthier bacon for you to enjoy.
Sales Pitch: This great microwavable duo will let you prepare your breakfast with speed and ease. Keep your microwave free of grease with the bacon grill splatter shield.
For more Bacon Cooking Tips.
The Different Sides of Bacon
Bacon is generally cut from the belly or loin of the pig which produces the most common kinds of bacon: streaky and back. However, certain types of bacon can come from other areas of the pig such as collar bacon (from the shoulder area) and gammon (from the hind legs.)
- Streaky Bacon comes from the belly of the pig and is the most common kind of bacon in the US. It is generally very fatty with long veins.
- Back Bacon comes from the loin in the middle of the back of the pig. It is a much leaner cut of meat with a very ham-like flavor. It is also referred to as Irish or Canadian bacon.
- Jowl Bacon is the cheeks of the pig, cured and smoked.
- Collar Bacon is taken from the back of the pig near the head.
- Middle Bacon is similar to back bacon but is cheaper and fattier.
- Cottage Bacon is from the pig’s shoulder and is thinly sliced and lean.
- Picnic Bacon is from the pig’s shoulder beneath the blade and is fairly lean but a bit tough.
- Gammon is from the hind leg of the pig.
- Canadian Bacon is a thicker cut of bacon from the pork loin and most resembles ham.
- Pancetta is Italian bacon that is a type of dry cured meat. This bacon is made from pork belly that has been spiced and salt cured, then dried for three months.
- Ventreche is French-style pancetta.
- Proscuitto is gourmet Italian bacon that has been dry-cured, aged and spiced.
- Serrano is Spanish bacon very similar to Proscuitto.
- Guanciale is unsmoked Italian jowl bacon that is rubbed with spices and cured for three weeks.
- White Bacon, also known as salt pork, is pork belly that is unsmoked and cured with salt.
- As well as many other Gourmet flavors.
Bakin’ with Bacon
As Dan Phillips of the Grateful Palate so eloquently put it, “Bacon is sex in the skillet. It’s the ultimate aphrodisiac for all living things. Except pigs, of course”.
While there are many wonderful ways to enjoy bacon in your life the best, nay, only way to truly experience this delectable and succulent, smoked meat is to simply eat it.
And not just by sprinkling some bacon bits on your salad, but by excessively adding bacon on top of more bacon to every mouth-watering spoonful that touches your unworthy mouth.
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, you can make sure your three meals a day have the savory, smoky crunch of bacon.
Sandwiches & Burgers
Soups & Chilis
Snacks & Sides
And of course, bacon wrapped anything is always hit, like Bacon Wrapped Bacon Wrapped Bacon Wrapped Bacon. Just pick your favorite food, wrap it in bacon and viola!
Of course, if you don’t have a knack in the kitchen, restaurants and fast food joints are quickly catching on to the bacon mania, like Wendy’s Baconator. Plus, other joints are usually very willing to add as much bacon as you’d like.
There’s no better way to end a bacon-filled meal than with a helping of sugar-drenched bacon.
There are lots of ways to substitute bacon into your favorite dessert recipes.
Wash your meals back with some home brew infused with everyone’s favorite cured meat.
Finally, if you’re ever having troubles deciding what you’re in the mood to eat, let this useful Bacon Flowchart help you decide.
Bacon Best Sellers
For those who are truly passionate about bacon and wish to incorporate its savory goodness into their daily lives as much as possible, here are some ‘must-reads’ in bacon literature.
- Everything Tastes Better With Bacon : 70 delicious bacon recipes, plus storing, buying, handling and cooking advice
- The Bacon Cookbook : More than 150 bacon recipes from around the world
- Seduced By Bacon : Recipes & Lore about American’s Favorite Indulgence
- Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing
- Sex And Bacon : Why I Love Things That Are Bad For Me
- Bacon: A Love Story : A Salty Survey of Everybody’s Favorite Meat
- 36 Ways To Serve Bacon
- Eat What You Want and Die Like A Man : The World’s Unhealthiest Cookbook
- Home Curing of Bacon and Hams
- The Best of Bacon Cookbook
- Meat Smoking and Smokehouse Design
- Bacon Cookbook on CD
- Bacon Magazine
- Bacon Haikus
- How to Make a Bacon Tiling Image in Photoshop
Bacontarians the world over have united under one common passion: to promote the consumption and unfaltering love for the most blessed of foods, bacon. And so, on this, the holiest of days, The Holy Church of Bacon was born.
The Holy Church of Bacon doth not judge nor discriminate. Anyone who doth seekith the bacon-y truth may join in this, the Holy Quest of Baconage. The Holy Book of Bacon, or the Bacon Bible, is the holiest of bacon texts and serves as a personal guide to Baconlightenment (Baconirvana). This sacred scripture includes the most important works in Baconic history:
To practice Baconism, one must worship and revere this blessed food as the way, the truth, and the life.
Bacontarians must also recite the Pig Prayer:
May bacon be with you.
Patron Saint of Bacon
Saint Anthony, Patron Saint of Bacon is regarded as the intercessor and advocate of the most sacred of foods, bacon.
Sadly, despite how deliciously sacred bacon is, there are those who choose to go against the bacon lords and participate in deviant and sinful behavior. They are called the Bacon Haters.
Their senseless hate may be strong, but their numbers are small. Bacon Lovers Unite!
Get out your calendars and mark these bacon celebration dates down! You won’t want to miss out on hours of fun devoted entirely to nothin’ but bacon. A couple you just missed but there are some coming soon to a city near you.
Where: El Bait Shop and High Life Lounge, 200 S.W. Second St., Des Moines.
When: Saturday, Feb 28, 2009
Where: 500 3rd Street, Suite 510, San Francisco, CA
When: March 21st, 2009 - 1-5pm
Where: Radegast Hall & Beer Garden in Williamsburg, Brooklyn - 113 N 3rd St
When: Sunday March 29 at 5PM.
Time: September 5, 2009 from 3pm to 7pm
Location: Santa Barbara
When a person truly falls in love with bacon, it’s simply not enough to just eat it. You want to adorn yourself with it. You want your entire being surrounded by its smoky flavors. You want your essence soaking in its salty grease. You want I Heart Bacon written across your ass.
If you want to announce your love for bacon, you don’t have to scream it from the highest roof top. Just dress yourself from head to toe in baccoutrement.
Real Bacon Bling for the adventurous type.
You can get a complete, matching Bacon Jewelry Set that includes earrings, bracelet, necklace and ring.
Just For Fun
Bacon Bikini (NSFW)
Zazzle has a whole Bacon Shop full of shirts, shoes, hats, aprons and more. CafePress even has a bacon boutique to get your favorite bacon slogan printed on your shirts, and of course, you can’t forget Baconshirts.
Bringin’ Home The Bacon
As the aroma of crisp bacon saturates the air, bacon itself, is saturating our entire homes. No longer limited to the kitchen frying pan, bacon can now be found in the bathroom, the living room, or even the bedroom, providing us with delicious products to gaze upon and adore.
Cleanliness is next to Godliness and since bacon is God’s meat, it seems a natural choice to want to soak, lather, and moisturize your body with as much bacon as humanly possible.
Tend to your most delicate parts with Bacon Toilet Paper.
Get sudsy with Bacon Soap.
And don’t forget to freshen your breath with Bacon Mints.
Wake up every morning surrounded by total baconess with these bacon home products. From scented candles and placemats to magnets and lamps, let bacon seep its greasy way into every room of your home.
I love Meat Stickers (includes Bacon)
Not that any baconthusiast needs a reason to celebrate with bacon, but you can go all out over the holidays and spread a little bacon cheer with this seasonal bacon items.
Baconians know how much pure joy and pleasure a forkful of moist, salty, just-out-of-the-frying-pan bacon can bring. But now bacon-fun goes beyond just your dinner plate with these toys, games and action figures all made in an ode to bacon.
There is tons of Bacon Play Food like this Felt Breakfast Set, Bacon, Egg and Pancake Set, Breakfast Buddy Playset, Knitted Bacon Strip, Plush Baconman, Baconoki, Plastic Bacon, Bacon & Egg Jellyfish,
Some awesome baconny goodness just doesn’t seem to fall under any other category. So here is a little bacompilation of bacon music, comedy, superheroes and whatever else we could find that was on the odd side of the pig.
The Case of The Missing Bacon
Bacon Boy SuperHero
Austin Winters created Bacon Boy at the age of 10 while he was being treated for leukemia in Portland’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. He was inspired by painter Frank Etxaniz who encouraged him to come up with a character to draw.
What started as a simple drawing, morphed into a superhero of Baconic proportions. Bacon Boy was born, along with his friend Sgt Sausage, who together fought off the evil Fry Guy and his minions, Knife and Fork. Fry Guy’s main goal is to cook his enemies but he hasn’t gotten Bacon Boy yet.
Bacon Boy has a hat, cape and multiple delicious superpowers to fight his enemies.
- Being able to shoot bacon bits from one hand and grease from the other.
- “Meat Vision” that lets Bacon Boy propel sausages and corn dogs out of his eye sockets.
- Powerful suction to upload various things, such as, water and grease.
Bacon Boy was entered into a children’s art contest and after winning, became transformed into a glass version for a permanent collection of kids’ art in the Tacoma Museum of Glass.
Austin made drawings of his characters, created iron-on images, t-shirts, did animation and shaped Bacon Boy in clay.
Austin lost his battle with cancer on September 18, 2008. Buying one of Bacon Boy’s t-shirts will support the Austin Winters Fund and the Children’s Healing Art Project.
If there’s Bacon Boy, then there must be Bacon Man!
Make Bacon Not War (NSFW)
Don’t forget your Bacon Rolling Papers
Beyond the delicious fifth food group, there are many famous Bacons that aren’t as tasty, but definitely hold a place in any bacon-loving heart.
Roger Bacon (1214–1294)
An English philosopher and Franciscan friar who was seen as a modern experimental scientist, a man before his time. He is sometimes credited as one of the earliest European advocates of the modern scientific method.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626)
An English author, philosopher, scientist, lawyer and statesman. He served both as Lord Chancellor and Attorney General of England. He fell out of political favor when he was found guilty of accepting bribes.
Kevin Bacon (born 1958)
An American actor who has been in many popular films and stage shows. He formed a band called the Bacon Brothers with his brother Michael in 1995.
Canadian Bacon – The Movie (1995)
A comedy about a satirical cold war between Canada and the US, directed by Michael Moore. Canadian Bacon was the last film to be released starring Canadian actor, John Candy after his death in 1994.
The Bacon Bizarre
Bacon Hypnosis : “You are getting hungry. Very, very hungry”
Rotten Bacon : For those who truly love all forms of bacon
Bacon Cat : “And people thought I was kidding”
Bacon Hitler : the Bacon Nazi
Bacon Beats Fries : State Senate Results
Larimer County: State Senate District 14 Results
Bob Bacon vs. Matt Fries
100% reporting ( 69 precincts )
Bob Bacon (Dem) 62% (43,893)
Matt Fries (GOP) 37% (25,893)
“You can make biodiesel out of any triglycerides(fats and vegetable oils) If you eat bacon, save the grease in a jar. After you get a jar or two full, take one out of the fridge and put it in a pan of hot water to melt it.
The water and solids will go to the bottom. Pour off about 500ml of the bacon grease, titrate, heat, and mix with the methoxide as you would with veg oil. I tried this about a year ago and the oil titrated at 3.25 and made the prettiest light yellow biodiesel you ever saw.
And it doesn’t go back solid at room temp like bacon grease would. Biodiesel out of 100% pig fat.”
Is there anything bacon can’t do?
The End of Bacon
Finally, The End of Baconmania. We don’t like to think of bacon as a trend, but rather a way of life. So, if you are a true bacon lover then for you, this ‘baconmania’ will never end. And for those of you who stay true to your bacon beliefs, you shall be rewarded in the after life, when you go to Bacon Heaven.
For Another Helping of Bacon:
Looking to add a bit of nature to your home? Do you prefer a natural, earthy look instead of a sleek, modern design?
Homeowners looking to decorate their home with elements of the outdoors can sometimes find it frustrating to find unique pieces that will reflect their creativity and style without looking too contemporary.
If you’re having trouble finding the right pieces, check out the amazing sculpted furniture by David Delthony. Meticulously crafted from wood, these beautiful and polished pieces of furniture will add an organic and breathtaking element to any room in your home. Check out his website for more information.
Big beautiful windows are perfect for letting in lots of natural light, but windows that are old and drafty can be a major source of heat loss in the middle of winter.
Replacing those drafty, leaky windows with new energy efficient windows is the ideal way to stop wasting your home heating dollars. The savings in your heating bills should pay for the cost of the new windows within a few years. So not only will you reduce the amount of energy you use, you’ll save money too.
Choosing energy efficient windows can be a confusing task. Do some research to learn how to choose the right window for you.
If new energy efficient windows are not in your budget, then consider some less expensive options to keep your small leak from becoming a wind tunnel.
- Install quality storm windows to reduce heat loss.
- Apply low-e window film to your windows. Low-e window film reflects infrared rays and keeps heat in during the winter and keeps heat out during the summer.
- Caulk around your window to reduce drafts.
- Purchase window shades with insulating qualities. Suitable window coverings can drastically reduce the amount of energy you use in your home.