back to article Booze and bacon sarnies: A recipe for immortality?

Earlier this week, a chilling and extremely newsworthy report established a link between fried meat and Alzheimer's disease. "Bacon is particularly problematic," doomwatched the Daily Mail, a noted proponent of the "if it's tasty it'll kill you" school of scientific killjoyery. Neil Cardy's massive bacon sarnie from a cafe on …


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  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Bacon is a vegetable

    Beer is a vitamin.

    1. Cubical Drone

      Re: Bacon is a vegetable

      And beer is chock full of vitamin P!

    2. Euripides Pants

      Re: Bacon is a vegetable

      No, bacon is Meat Candy!

  2. WillbeIT

    Whatever happens please do not let the trail of truth run cold elreg. Keep up the good quest for enlightenment.

  3. Red Bren

    Unproductive January

    I think you've uncovered the causal link between a reduction in productivity and an increase in dieting and detoxing that occurs after the new year!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Danger of scientific papers

    I heard that if you consume more than one scientific paper on health a week, you can reduce your life expectancy by 5 years due to resulting stress and worry.

    So, less science, more dubious meat products and alcohol. If you get the balance right the end result will be the same, just one way is more fun.

    1. Scroticus Canis

      Re: Danger of scientific papers

      "if you consume more than one scientific paper on health a week, you can reduce your life expectancy by 5 years due to resulting stress and worry"

      Not only that but it really bungs up your bowels thus leading to a heightened risk of stroke straining to get it out the nether end.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    20g of "processed meat"

    What exactly is processed meat? Do they mean cooked? I can't imagine eating raw meat is going to do any favors for one's lifespan, unless you're super careful about preparing it to avoid catching nasty diseases. Damn those cavemen for discovering how to make fire!

    Or do they take "processed" to mean something that is bought precooked, so somehow buying it raw and cooking it myself isn't bad for me? If so, there should be some list of preservatives that are bad for you, and could be avoided, similar to how we learned the evils of trans fats and as a result they've been mostly removed from processed foods.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: 20g of "processed meat"

      Fresh meat - straight from the carcass is usually fine. And, if you can overcome your inhibitions damn tasty (the palate is hard-wired to respond positively to raw protein). There are exceptions, of course, but in general you can eat anything freshly killed.

      Our propensity for cooking stuff has as much to do with using fossil fuels to do some of the work of digestion as any safety considerations. Boiling water is another matter.

      1. William Hughes

        Re: 20g of "processed meat"

        Not really a good idea. Pork and chicken may have parasites that are killed by cooking, it's risky to eat them raw. Beef and lamb are safe but beef in particular does need to be hung for a few weeks to decay a bit to be at it's best, as does venison which is my personal choice here as it's a very healthy meat and deer can't be farmed in the same way as cows, pigs or sheep - no putting into lorries and trips to abattoirs for Bambi's mum.

        1. Elmer Phud

          Re: 20g of "processed meat"

          " deer can't be farmed in the same way as cows, pigs or sheep - no putting into lorries and trips to abattoirs for Bambi's mum."

          Erm, there are deer farms.

          Not on hillsides, either.

      2. Tyrion

        Re: 20g of "processed meat"

        >Fresh meat - straight from the carcass is usually fine

        Yes if you like contracting diseases like Taenia Saginata. The same applies to fish as well. Always freeze / cook that stuff well folks.

    2. murri

      Re: 20g of "processed meat"

      Processed meat is that which can flow out of a faucet...

      1. Omgwtfbbqtime

        Processed meat is that which can flow out of a faucet

        How do I get Northumbrian Water to pipe bacon into my house?


    3. Grey Bird

      Re: 20g of "processed meat"

      I don't know about where you are, but here "processed meat" would be things like bologna, hot dogs, and other things where bits and parts are ground up and mashed into something people will eat. So to me, bacon is _not_ processed meat. Smoking, salting, etc. doesn't constitute processing since it just improves the bacon and doesn't dilute it with lesser cuts of the pig.. Neither does just grinding, like hamburger, since it's usually particular cuts like chuck roast that are ground.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 20g of "processed meat"

        "So to me, bacon is _not_ processed meat."

        That's because, quite regretfully, you do not know enough to say otherwise.

        Bacon is FAR more processed than simply "smoking, salting, etc.". Store-bought bacon has nitrates, which currently has a likely link to pancreatic cancer

        The more you know, the more you'll find out what will kill you.

        Dying by pancreatic cancer is NOT pleasant so please save yourself the nightmare: a 5% survival rate for 5 years, that's the statistic, the worst of all the cancers.

        1. gotes

          Re: 20g of "processed meat"

          >Bacon is FAR more processed than simply "smoking, salting, etc.". Store-bought bacon has nitrates, which currently has a likely link to pancreatic cancer

          I guess it depends which store you bought it from.

          You heard it here first, bacon gives you cancer!

        2. gotes

          Re: 20g of "processed meat"

          Result of a quick web search:

  6. Sartori

    Nobel prize incoming

    How can we nominate El Reg for a Nobel prize for coming up with this recipe for heightened awareness and glorious health?

    Also, can we get bacon classed as a 'superfood' somehow please?

    Happy Friday :)

    1. Code Monkey

      Re: Nobel prize incoming

      Bacon is a superfood, but let's keep it quiet. As soon as the Graun set get hold of this, prices will rocket.

  7. AndrueC Silver badge

    Cutting out all the tasty and naughty things doesn't make you live longer. It just feels like it.

  8. ISYS

    Test subject

    My father, although now not a heavy drinker, was a keen homebrew wine producer and consumer for about twenty years. He enjoys bacon sarnies, beef dripping on toast, vast quantities of cheese, butter not marg, coffee by the bucket-load and red meat every day - he does not like garlic.

    We celebrated his 80th birthday in December by going for a slap up meal in a pub!

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Test subject

      Mmmm beef dripping. That was so yummy when I was a lad. Maybe because I didn't get it at home, only at a couple of friends' houses (whose Mums were more old-fashioned than mine). I've not tried it in years though, as I suspect it would be horrible now.

      Almost all nostalgic food trials I've done in the last few years have been horrible. Crisp sandwhiches (prawn cocktail Walkers) didn't work, Dandelion & Burdock is horrific and makes your teeth furry, Spangles and Chewits are icky and cream soda tastes over-sweet and bitter simultaneously.

      Admittedly eggy-bread (french toast) is still the food of the Gods on a Sunday evening. You can feel it doing your arteries good.

      I also don't think I've ever had bacon sandwiches with anything other than tea, water or fruit juice. Perhaps that needs to be tested. What's the appropriate drink? Beer, a chilled white wine, a robust red?

      1. jai

        @I ain't Spartacus Re: Test subject

        Crisp sandwhiches (prawn cocktail Walkers) didn't work

        you're doing it wrong

        using cheese&onion or beef crisps. also add Heniz Sandwich Spread to the sandwich.

        tastes like mana from heaven

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Test subject

      "We celebrated his 80th birthday in December"

      Average UK lifespan is 81 --- so he's currently, err, less than average.

      1. ISYS

        Re: Test subject

        "Average UK lifespan is 81 --- so he's currently, err, less than average."

        It is now - but not when he was born ;-)

        Be careful how you use statistics.

      2. Dr Who

        Re: Test subject

        Firstly a rather crass remark that you've made. Secondly, it's just under 80 for males, and only for males that are born today. For males born 80 years ago the life expectancy was considerably lower, so I think in this case, he is well ahead of average.

        My old man smoked like a chimney, drank like a fish, ate like a king and died at the age of 69 - a very happy man!

      3. Corinne

        Re: Test subject

        "We celebrated his 80th birthday in December"

        Average UK lifespan is 81 --- so he's currently, err, less than average.

        Maybe - but is that the overall average lifespan in the UK. Women live on average about 4 years longer than men, so he's already above the MALE average lifespan.

  9. Blofeld's Cat

    10 Years from now...

    "That depends", said the furtive figure at the street corner, "what exactly you are after..."

    "What have you got?" said the man wearing the baseball cap.

    The figure opened his tracksuit top slightly, revealing two plastic packages. "Smoked or streaky? I've got both"

    At this a van screeched to a halt and the figure was wrestled to the ground. One of the armed officers searched him and held up a small packet of white powder. 'Salt', he said triumphantly.

    The man in the baseball cap shook his head.

    "Kids today - why can't they just stick to blue meth like everyone else?"

  10. Anonymous Custard

    Who wants to live forever?

    Booze and bacon sarnies: A recipe for immortality?

    No, but you'll enjoy your life so damn much that even if it's briefer, it'll seem like immortality

  11. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    Bob Hoskins

    Did Bob try it too, or just stick with the pint?

    Anyway, I don't get hangovers, and don't eat bacon... I'm going to be doubly-immortal!

  12. jonnycando

    I'm game

    Pint of Guineas and two rashers please!

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: I'm game

      "Pint of stout, Sinbad, and no egg in it!"

  13. The Jon

    To paraphrase a well known curly-haired motoring journalist..

    Bacon: the only known cure for vegetarianism.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A great start...

    While your initial experiments are commendable and your preliminary results are very encouraging, I think you now need to move to a long term, wide reaching study, naturally I will selflessly volunteer for this ground breaking study, no matter what the risk.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: A great start...

      Good man. We'll add you to the list.

  15. Elmer Phud

    George Foreman - hero!

    I didn't realise until now that George Foreman is one of the saviours of the human race.

    The article clearly states 'fried' -- With George as our saviour we can grill all we like.

    (but I bet mopping up the bacon juice with doorteps of bread might negate things a bit)

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: George Foreman - hero!

      I've got the original George Formby grill...

      1. Dr Dre

        Re: George Foreman - hero!

        Every meal 'Turned out nice again'

    2. IT Drone

      Re: George Foreman - hero!

      We have the Tefal version of the grill in the house. Makes the best crispy bacon I have ever tasted. (Mind you a proper bacon sarnie is not made with crispy bacon but thick, juicy, fatty bacon smothered in HP sauce between two slabs of white bloomer...)

      There is a lot of speculative or even contradicting twaddle from health professionals fuelling the journarselists space-filling articles - BMC says salt and chemicals in bacon, BHF says it is the fat. Boffins at Harvard say avoid creating nitrosamines or heterocyclic amines during cooking.

      All I know is if the choice is no more bacon or an early death, well...

    3. Frumious Bandersnatch

      Re: George Foreman - hero!

      I didn't realise until now that George Foreman is one of the saviours of the human race.

      Whenever I use the George Foreman grill at home I remember how it's supposed to be good at fat-free/fat-reduced cooking. Then I slather* the outside of two bits of bread with butter and put a good melty cheese (like brie*) inside with some processed meats (chorizo* + something else, usually; chorizo goes great with anything) and toast up a delicious, fatty grilled sandwich. The contents of the drip tray** can be drizzled over subsequent sarnies* eaten in the same sitting.

      Purported health benefits of the grill: easily and tastily subverted. Stick that in your metaphorical pipe, George :)

      * for some reason Firefox is putting wiggly red lines under these words. I'd call it a conspiracy (to unword only delicious and unhealthy things), but since it also redlines "Firefox", "unword" and "redlines" but not "epicurean", the reason for the omissions is probably plain boring(ness).

      ** any of the brie that oozes goes a bit like crispy Czech Smažený sýr, another delicious invention. I dare say that the GF grill would be good at making that too.

  16. Dr Dre

    Looking good.

    It has to be said, that this lifestyle and diet is keeping Jose María Pita looking good for a man in his early 20's.

    1. ian 22

      Re: Looking good.

      My thought exactly.

      Have an up vote.

  17. Dabooka

    I call foul!

    That is not Newcastle, the crowd have jackets on.

    1. Scroticus Canis

      Re: I call foul!

      Yeh and no deep fried Mars bar on the placard. Can't fool us eh?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: I call foul!

        "deep fried Mars bar"

        That's Scotland, not Geordieland you plonker!

        Drink more alcohol and get your IQ back up to the norm.

        1. JPeasmould

          Re: I call foul!

          It was invented in Bristol and certainly used to be available in a couple of chippies in Newcastle.

          I've never actually seen a deep fried Mars for sale in Scotland

          Now a deep fried pizza - there's heaven in a chip-wrapper.

  18. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I like the pipe ...

    completes a holy trinity of bacon, booze and tobacco

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge

      Re: I like the pipe ...

      Maybe a more appropriate icon would be ->

  19. Scroticus Canis

    Daily Mail

    Bit ironic for the Waily Mail to warn it's readership about the dangers of dementia and Alzheimer's, poor sods are probably remembering a time when it was nearly a newspaper.

    1. Adrian 4

      Re: Daily Mail

      If the Daily Mail's reporters are following their own advice and giving up bacon, booze and tobacco, it's hardly surprising the paper's going (even more) downhill.

  20. 45RPM Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Top journalism

    Now that's what I call quality journalism - and backed up by a well thought out hypothesis too! Well done, Lester - that's good enough for me.

    I plan to perform a practical experiment to prove this hypothesis this evening - a pub crawl followed by kebabs and a fry up, heavy on the bacon, tomorrow for breakfast. I'll do a full write up (if I remember) and, if your hypothesis turns out to be wrong and I end up a drooling imbecile or dead, at least I'll have had a bloody good time.

  21. earl grey


    It's what's for dinner.

    And lunch, and breakfast, and snacks, and....

  22. Dr Dre

    Six degrees of separation

    We are all within 6 minutes of a bacon sandwich - I can prove it - I am in Brighton, and there are 4 cafe's selling bacon sandwiches and bacon related savoury snacks (cheese and bacon slice a speciality) within a 6 minute walk of my office.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Six degrees of separation

      Such draconian working conditions... I'd complain to HR or, if they refuse to relocate, find a job within a more reasonable distance of a source of bacon!

      Where I work, there are 3 sandwich shops within a 60 second stroll.

      1. Dr Dre

        Re: Six degrees of separation

        "Where I work, there are 3 sandwich shops within a 60 second stroll."

        You truely are the wind beneath my wings.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > the "Baco-Booze Harmonious Feedback Loop"

    This is a discovery of the same magnitude as the Cat/Buttered-toast perpetual motion engine. Now we have infinite energy *and* eternal life! The singularity is here!

  24. Splodger

    I salute El Reg's bleeding-edge boffinry!

    However, your vital nutri/life-enhancing research needs to move out of the shed. I suggest a kickstarter to fund a Large Hadron Collider Headache Provider - an epic pub crawl to discover the true nature of the elementary beer particle - the Glugs Boozon.

    Begin immediately, I say!

  25. Yugguy

    As I don't eat bacon or red meat every bloody day I'll not worry, and carry on enjoying them when I do.

    I HATE the Daily Mail. I wouldn't use it wipe my backside.

  26. Mark 85

    Anecdotal evidence to the contrary?

    All the geezers I know over 80, drink at least two beers a day and eat bacon at least once a day, sometimes twice. And not little portions either. I suspect that beer and bacon are a secret kept by the illuminati and they want it all for themselves.

  27. Oninoshiko

    I'm not sure we can declare this true yet

    but I'm will to offer my body to science to try!

  28. Chris G


    For the busy young executive who has little time to correctly prepare his essential daily ration of delicious porcine goodness and has even less time to frequent an intellectually heightening alehouse for his/her encephalic elucidation, we have combined the two into a cerebrally nourishng elixir of life! Porcopop!

    Here in Ibiza the locals have a tradition of killing the family pig each year at a get together called a matanza (killing or slaughter). Every part of the pig is used including the cleaned intestine as sausage skin for the chorizo and morcilla a Spanish version of black pudding.

    There are old Ibicencos here who daily quaff alchoholic beverages and pork products for breakfast, eat plenty of meat at other meals and many of them look positively ancient but still spry.

    My landlord is approaching ninety and he is out working on his veggy patch nearly every day year round and in the evenings strolls off for a game of cards and a few bevvies with his mates.

    Not a bad advert for this type of diet.

    Most of the bacon here id streaky but usually a bit leaner than in the UK, wonderful stuff!

    Worth a read: a Texan mate put me on to this.

  29. C. P. Cosgrove

    Re : The Jon - The only known cure

    That curly headed correspondent is correct ! Much to the aggravation of one of my sisters, her junior son on his 11th birthday declared he was vegetarian. This lasted about 8 months, until one Sunday she was making herself a couple of bacon sarnies.

    "Mum, can I have one of them, please?"

    Instant return to omnivore status !

    Chris Cosgrove

  30. Vociferous

    Live forever, or die trying!

    Beer&bacon is what I refer to as the "GLHF" diet.

  31. Lallabalalla

    All this bacon talk - Won't somebody think of - the beer!?

    And I have it good authority that, according to chemistry, alcohol IS a solution.

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