Ever heard of peameal bacon? If you haven’t, you’ve joined the “sizable minority” of Canadian citizens in the dark about this foodstuff.
Why do I know this? Because the federal government polled Canadians on their “awareness and views” of the cured pork loin.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency spent over $35,000 last spring to survey Canadians’ attitudes on food labelling in this country, including a section devoted solely to that style of bacon.
The poll also indicated a majority of Canadians frown on labelling foods with ingredients not used in the actual product (strawberry lollipops with no strawberry, honey-dipped donuts with no honey). They consider it misleading.
Still, we’re not so easily fooled.
While over 60% of us expect cream to be in cream puffs and butter to be in butter tarts, just 29% would be disappointed to learn there’s no wine in wine gums. (17% think hamburgers should contain ham).
But back to peameal bacon.
According to the EKOS survey
“Respondents were informed that while historically peameal bacon was prepared with ground dried peas or “pea meal”, modern preparation methods do not involve the use of peas. They were then asked whether they believe it is acceptable for producers to continue to use a name like peameal bacon, even if it no longer accurately describes the product. Respondents seem to favour the use of the traditional name, with six in ten (59 per cent) saying its use is acceptable. One-third of respondents (36 per cent) disagree with its continued use, and five per cent offered no response.
What’s with the sudden federal interest in peameal bacon and its monikers? It’s actually on the government’s radar because of the border action plan in the works between Canada and the U.S.
The naming of meat cuts matters according to an early release on the work towards more regularity cooperation.
For example, in the U.S., terms such as “peameal bacon”, “chicken tenderloin”, and “flatiron steak” are widely used, however these terms are not permitted in Canada.