Our weight loss contributor, dietitian and author Tammy Beasley, just did a piece for MyRecipes about Danish scientists making bacon from pigs' stem cells in an effort to create a more environmentally-friendly way of producing pork products. Clearly we need to be developing ways of livestock production that are not harmful to the environment, but come on, bacon in a petri dish? I say, "None for me, thanks".

I prefer the real thing and I prefer it often. As far as I'm concerned, most dishes are a little better with some bacon added. And it's not really that bad for you. One strip of bacon ranges from 35-55 calories and 2-4 grams of fat, depending on the brand. And the sodium content ranges from 146 to 220 milligrams per slice. In the January/February 2010 issue of Cooking Light, they rated the best bacons and selected the Top Pick (Dakin Farm Cob-Smoked Bacon), Best for Breakfast (Niman Ranch Uncured Applewood Smoked Bacon) and Best for Recipes (Benton's Hickory Smoked Country Bacon). Cooking Light's stance on including bacon in a healthy diet is to use it as flavor enhancer rather than as the main ingredient and to "buy-best, use less".

OK, so it's not one of the top most nutritious foods, but what could be more satisfying than a BLT or a bacon cheeseburger or bacon-wrapped scallops, or just scrambled eggs and grits with two strips of bacon? I don't intend to open the door for arguments about stem cell research, but surely there are better things to use pig stem cells for than making bacon. I'm sticking with the real stuff. What about you? I'd love to hear about your favorite ways to use bacon. Real bacon, please.