What does ‘Australian made bacon’ really mean?
The Australian pork industry want you to know that it doesn’t mean much.
Apparently as long as your bacon is processed (cured, sliced etc.) in Australia it can be labelled as Australian made even if the entirity of the meat was raised elsewhere. Australia imports well over $400 million of pork per year, and the pork industry worries that the lack of clear labelling on one of our favourite pork products will eventually put them out of business.
As someone who always reads the labels I can say with great confidence that product origin labelling is extremely frustrating. Not only can the information be hard to find on the packet, but the term ‘made in Australia’ can mean that anywhere between 50% – 100% of the cost of the product is attributable to Australia. It’s tough.
If you want easier to read labels write to your local MP. But if a change in legislation is coming, it’s not coming for a long time. So in the interim I’d recommend two simple steps to increasing your chance of buying 100% Aussie bacon:
- Read up on the legislated definitions of ‘made in Australia’ and ‘product of Australia’ in this helpful article.
- Look for this pretty pink label which guarantees that your pork is Australian.
And when you buy that delicous Australian pork, you might like to follow my tips for the perfect pork crackling, recently tried and tested at our Christmas in July (which actually happened in August):
- Score the rind in a diamond pattern, taking care not to cut all the way through the fat to the meat;
- Rub in salt, getting right into the cracks. This will help to dry it out, giving it that crunchy, puffy texture;
- Cook it on the highest heat to which your oven will go for the first 20-30 minutes, then turn back down to 180ºc until the meat is cooked through.