It can be confusing when bacon is labeled as “uncured,” as it implies that it hasn’t undergone the curing process. But it’s important to note that all bacon undergoes some form of curing (per Healthline).
The process of curing bacon starts with pork belly, which is then coated with a blend of salt, sugar, and either sodium nitrate or sodium nitrite. This process helps to preserve the bacon, keeps it fresh for longer, and gives it that mouth-watering flavor. However, some people worry about the potential health risks associated with nitrites. One of the main concerns is the formation of nitrosamines, which can occur when nitrites react with high cooking temperatures. This concern has prompted many people to seek out uncured bacon alternatives.
Uncured bacon is a more modern and natural approach to bacon production. It emphasizes the use of plant-based sources of nitrates, such as celery juice powder or other naturally occurring nitrate-rich ingredients, instead of synthetic curing agents like sodium nitrate or nitrite (per the USDA). It’s worth mentioning that nitrates are converted to nitrites in the body (via the EPA), so both cured and uncured bacon contain nitrites in some form.