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Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

Mandy Nolan’s Soap Box: Confessions of a bacon eater

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A few weeks ago the World Health Organization delivered some cheery news – apparently bacon (along with ham and sausages) is carcinogenic. Can’t the WHO deliver good news for a change? Must they always be the Grinch that stole Christmas?

Part of me suspects that this was perhaps the masterplan of some smug vegan scientist in the WHO who timed the release of information to coincide with the annual upsurge in ham consumption, ie Christmas. I don’t care if bacon gives me cancer. I am not giving it up. I love bacon. And frankly a life without bacon is not worth living, so bring on the cancer.

Stuff the cancer prophesiers – they can go stick organic carrots up their polyp-free butts. They can’t have bacon. They’ve taken everything else that gives us joy. They’ve taken cigarettes. They’ve taken alcohol. They’ve even taken the bloody sun.

There was a time in my life where there was nothing I loved more than to sit on the beach smothered in baby oil, smoking a ciggie and drinking champagne. Now I’m in a sun-shirt, under an umbrella, covered in sunscreen. Hang on, the sunscreen may contain nano-particles that could be like the asbestos of the future. Okay, so I’m not wearing sunscreen; I am inside on a sunbed. Hang on, that emits ultraviolet radiation and causes skin cancer. Alright, I’m inside looking at a postcard of someone on the beach getting cancer while enjoying some lovely bottled water.

Hang on, is that plastic bottle BPA-free? If not I could be drinking harmful toxins that have leached into the water from the plastic. And the water, it’s telling me it’s from some ground-spring… but does it contain arsenic? Is the ground-spring near a coal seam gas mine? Okay, so I’ll drink tap water. But that could contain fluoride.

I might have to drink Coke. Oh, that’s right, they took sugar as well. Maybe I should just lick the can. But that’s aluminium. And aluminium gives you bladder cancer. I’ll just slump down next to this wall… hang on, this wall… it’s made of… asbestos!!

Everything gives you cancer. Chemicals give you cancer. We know that. Yet we continue to allow them to be sprayed on our food. We continue to use them to preserve our food. Lots of medications can give you cancer. Even contraception. Definitely hormone therapy. That gives women breast cancer, but they don’t get angry and wrinkly and their vaginas don’t dry up so I guess there’s an upside?

Bex gave people cancer. They certainly got the ‘good lie-down’ that the manufacturers promised.

Cadmium and similar compounds used in tattoos will give you cancer. Air pollution will give you cancer. In fact there’s not much out there that won’t give you cancer. The World Health Organization are certainly lining up and should put themselves as the number one on the list of things that will give you cancer.

Perhaps the WHO should think about giving their message a more positive spin and release information about everything that won’t give you cancer. That’s a list I’d like to pin to my fridge. I guess that list is too small, or they just haven’t found out it gives you cancer yet. Maybe that list would be blank because in the end I suspect the simple act of being alive is a terminal illness.

So, bacon, my dear cancer-producing friend, I have decided to let you stay. I have decided to embrace you. I have accepted the dysfunctional nature of this toxic relationship, but that’s what bacon addiction is. It’s delicious. You can tell food that doesn’t give you cancer, because it’s generally not delicious.

My intention to persist with bacon eating has redefined me. After all these years of having pegged myself as a neurotic, it turns out that I am a risk-taker. Sure I’m scared of heights, spiders, snakes, sharks, flying… but I eat bacon. I’ve still got my edge. My edge has bacon on it. Crispy, caramelised bacon.

And while sticking with bacon, I’m defending ham and sausage. They’re staying on the plate. You can’t just swoop in and take a person’s preserved meats. I mean what would the old fellas serve outside Bunnings? Carrots? No, I’m sticking with the cancer-sizzle.

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  1. Dear Mandy,
    I think the non-bacon-eaters are wrong. The most dangerous places in the world at present are where no bacon is eaten. Rather than discourage us from eating the stuff we should ensure ALL peoples in the Mediterranean region are fed bacon regularly to bring peace to this part of the world.

  2. To supply the bacon you are so addicted to requires the brutal murder of someone at least as smart, aware and sensitive as the coolest dog you’ve ever known. If that isn’t enough to put you off it, then cancer is not the worst of your problems.

  3. Mandy
    I agree with you about bacon addiction something I just can’t give up. I imagine being incarcerated in a torture cell with the smell of freshly cooked bacon wafting through the aircon…I think I would soon break… Ironically although I find it hard to give up bacon I now can’t bring myself to eat pork…Hmmm hypocrite!
    I know the crackling!
    We were at ‘The Farm’ recently where a hipster dad was explaining to his young daughter that the beautiful little piglets and their mum that were running around before her were in fact what she’d just had for lunch.
    Turkey bacon anyone?


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