Baconator Monday

Shrove Tuesday Eve seems an appropriate occasion to remind my readers to eat bacon, for it will not be an option for observing Catholics, starting Wednesday. Let me remind them that bacon is deliciously savoury, and an abundant source of glutamate, and moreover let me add, that the one fact follows from the other. Our “umami” neurotransmitters not only broadcast taste throughout our central nervous system; glutamate is necessary to keep the brain functioning.

All vertebrates could benefit from this knowledge. It is why the herbivores never win Nobel Prizes; why deer are so often caught in headlights; and why vegetarians tend to recede, intellectually, to the level of budgerigars.

I argued against dieticians so recently as Saturday, but must now present two seemingly paradoxical assertions. I do not argue against those who tell us not to ingest demonstrated poisons. And, neither will I dispute with those who promote excellent and healthy foods. They serve an object, like art criticism.

The best food writing, by nuance, provides an irresistible argument for fasting and abstinence — the precise contrary of alimentary reasoning. You don’t fast because you don’t like bacon (unless you have perverse tendencies). You fast in despite of this, until Sundays, when plenitude will be permitted again.