Back to learning this week as we are off to discover the wonderful world of bacon production from someone whose family have been producing it since the early 1990’s.
Whether you eat meat or not, there is something about bacon. Perhaps it’s the smell as it cooks, or the fact that it’s an integral part of the full English. But has our long-term familiarity of this staple grown a bit of contempt?
Sausages seem to have a higher status: more and more breakfast menus mention the provenance of their Cumberland and chipolatas. But all too often, bacon is just categorised as ‘bacon’, so you have no idea where it’s come from, how it’s been produced and whether or not it’s been plumped up with salt and water.
Then there are concerns around nitrites, with the NHS reminding us that ‘eating a lot of red and processed meat probably increases your risk of colorectal cancer’ and the market is currently being disrupted by a nitrite-free newcomer.
Ellen Streatfeild is well aware of how bacon falls in and out of favour. Since 1994 her family’s farm has stuck to their principles of giving bacon the care and attention it deserves, whilst growing their weekly production from 50-100 kg to 10 to 12 tonnes!
This programme explores how you find the sweet spot between maintaining your standards and surviving commercially, in the face of some very tough competition.