Turning plants into bacon…

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In my ongoing quest to find better signage, I’ve finally uncovered a winner in the most unlikely of places…

Like most people, I adore the taste of bacon. I say “most people” because many vegetarians I know speak wistfully of it. In fact, I even knew a vegan whose guilty pleasure was the semi-annual BLT sandwich she (rarely) enjoyed for lunch.

Bacon offers umami, the so-called “fifth taste” in addition to the better known quatrain of sweetness, sourness, bitterness and saltiness. Discovered by Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda in 1908, umami (a Japanese word meaning “pleasantly savoury”) is also evident in Parmesan cheese, ripe tomatoes, prosciutto and Worcestershire sauce.


When I buy bacon, I try to get the organic stuff where I know the pigs have been treated kindly and not factory-farmed. I usually buy it at my regular neighbourhood grocery, but some clever signage has me rethinking this plan.

A smart butcher in my area has been putting out what I find to be ingenious signs about his bacon. A couple of my favorites include “Super Pig: Turning plants into bacon every day” and  “I want to grow my own food but I can’t find any bacon seeds.”

Isn’t that comical? I’ve been trying to analyze why these signs make me want to buy bacon from the guy and here’s what I’ve concluded: If someone is amusing and clever about what they do — if they don’t take themselves too seriously — I trust them more.

His signage makes me think he’s a good guy who would have nothing to do with factory farming and who would treat his customers fairly and honestly.

Does that even make sense? Perhaps not. But I know that putting clever expressions on a chalk board is probably one of the least expensive forms of advertising that exists on the face of the earth.

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