Joanna Blythman

When poison is the cure: examining today’s processed meat

Guillaume Coudray deplores the modern use of nitrates in charcuterie – compared with the simple, age-old treatment of salt, air and time

A plate of prized Jamon Iberico ‘Pata Negra’. Credit: Getty Images

Who Poisoned Your Bacon Sandwich? is a much more sophisticated read than its lurid English title suggests. Guillaume Coudray’s book was first published in France in 2017 as Cochonneries, a play on words that better reflects the nuanced nature of his argument.

Cochonnerie means rubbish, or junk. Derived from cochon — pig — it’s a clever title for a volume that examines, with impressive historical and scientific depth, a group of chemicals extensively used to manufacture processed meats.

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