Pittsburgh’s Boy Mayor Strikes Again With Yet Another Tax Idea

It seems that not a week goes by that I don’t see Mayor Luke Ravenstahl on TV declaring that we need some kind of new tax. What has he decided to tax this week? Well, it has come to the attention of Lord Ravenstahl that there is a deadly substance that people come in contact with everyday and that the people of Pittsburgh, not being as smart has him, need help avoiding. What is this toxic substance that could lead to your untimely demise be? Sugar.

That’s right, sweet delicious innocent sugar. To be more precise it’s the sugar that is contained in all beverages we drink, and the only way to stop us from killing ourselves is tax it. This tax would cover all soda, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

The way it would work is this: For every 2oz you will be charged $0.02. That means 24 more cents a can, 40 more cents a bottle, and $1.35 more a 2 litter. That is a pretty hefty increase when you also consider that in Allegheny County we already have a 7% sales tax. That means if you go down to your local 7-11 and buy a bottle of soda that normally costs $1.00 it is now going to cost $1.47. That’s almost 50% in tax!

[Read the rest of this post at the Pittsburgh Observer]

By Sean Brett

Editor Note: I published Sean’s rant on MrBaconpants because we brought up the Sugar Tax on Bacon Live last week. I thought it helped add context to why we were so fired up about it.

Sean Brett is a Proud Bacon Snob


As I look back on the relationship I have had with bacon in my life, I have noticed that my outlook on the amazing meat treat has changed a few times.

When I was young, around the age of 5 or 6, I loved bacon. Until I found out it came from pigs. At the time pigs were my favorite animal. The thought of one being killed and slaughtered just so I could enjoy my breakfast seemed wrong. I declared to my entire family that I would no longer eat any meat that came from a pig.

I told my dad that it wasn’t fair for a cute little piggy to lose its life and I would no longer support such a barbaric practice. The next morning my whole family gathered around the picnic table for breakfast (we were camping). My dad flopped two large pancakes on my plate. As I smother them with butter and syrup a plate of bacon stacked high was placed in the center of the table, directly in front of me. It looked so good grabbed a hand full and put it on my plate.

My dad sat down and noticed that after a whole day protesting for pig rights I was now about to consume fried pork belly. My dad said, “I thought you weren’t going to eat pig anymore.” To that I responded with, “F the pigs, bacons to damn good.” As I slammed strip after strip into my chubby face I decided there and then to change my favorite animal to something we don’t eat, the three toed sloth.

After that small waiver in my bacon faith I felt like I had to reprove myself to the bacon gods. I ate bacon at every opportunity for the next 20 years. It didn’t matter if it was good or not, as long as it was bacon. I would eat cheap fatty bacon, microwave bacon, fast food bacon, it didn’t matter.

For that reason when Jason started Mrbaconpants.com I thought it was a great idea to devote a site to something so beautiful. Then when he asked me to come aboard as a writer and co-host “Bacon Live” I was pumped. I started having dreams of being trapped in a room filled with bacon that I would have to eat my way out of, only to be greeted by Cameron Diaz at the exit holding yet another plate of bacon.

I thought my knowledge of bacon was pretty good. I soon found out I was very mistaken. There are so many different styles of bacon and bacon products my head was left spinning. Then I realized that, just like me, many bacon lovers around the world had never known anything but subpar store brand bacon.

As my eyes were opened to exactly what bacon could be, I began to look down on the lesser bacon. Before, whenever I saw the word bacon on a menu I would immediately order the item and consume it like a starving animal. But now I am more hesitant to order such items like Wendy’s Baconnator or the Arby’s Bacon Roastburger. I have even found myself, when given the choice between a bacon or sausage breakfast sandwich going with the sausage because the bacon just isn’t good enough.

If it is true that I have indeed become a bacon snob, I think it’s a good thing. If everyone started being as demanding as me when it comes to the quality of their bacon, there would be no market for the bad stuff. Companies would be forced to give the bacon loving people of the world what they really need, and that’s high quality amazing bacon. So I will say it loud: I am a bacon snob and I’m proud!

By Sean Brett

Barack Obama Possibly Hates “Bacon LIVE”


Is it possible that Barack Obama is secretly plotting against Mr. Baconpants? As the fans of this site know we do a weekly video podcast called “Bacon Live!” every Wednesday night at 7 pm ET. But we have been having some issues with it lately.

To broadcast our show we use a web site called uStream.tv. This site is supposed to a way for normal people with a low or no budgets to broadcast whatever they want to the world. But here at Mr. Baconpants we have noticed that all the large news channels like CNN, NBC, and FOX have been using it to broadcast their news stories.

The problem with that is, every time something big happens, the news outlets eat up all of the bandwidth on uStream making the rest of the broadcasts crap out. This has happened to us on numerous occasions. Every time our show has been interrupted was because of Barack Obama.

The man loves to give speeches, but particularly he loves to give them on Wednesday nights at 8pm ET. That gives us about 30 to 45 minutes to do our show because the news stations start their coverage around 7:30pm.

I used to think this was all just bad luck on our part but now other things have come to light that make me believe it goes deeper than that. This past Tuesday the 15th we decided to go out and promote the Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour. It tuned out that is the same day that Obama decided to come to Pittsburgh to give a speech to some union reps. This tied up traffic and made people want to just stay home, that made it hard for us to hand them flyers.

If that’s not enough proof, there is one more thing. The Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour stops in Pittsburgh on September 26th, guess what’s going on in Pittsburgh the days leading up to it… the G20 Summit. That’s right; our fair city is going to be bombarded with protesters that more than likely will destroy everything in their path, leaving a shell of a city that no one will want to be in.

Even though the summit ends on the 25th we all know that protesters don’t have anywhere to go in a hurry and will probably continue to march through the weekend.

But I think we can throw a curve ball in to the secret plans of Obama, here’s how. Next week whenever you see a protester, don’t yell at them. Instead of saying something like, “Get out of my way and go get a job you dirty hippie!” Invite them to the Bacon Tour. We would gladly accept anyone. Remember bacon does not discriminate. I believe we could settle all of our differences over a few bacon cup cakes. Let us all enjoy bacon!

By Sean Brett

Bacon’s Unexpected Side Effect


Today’s bacon lovers are tired of thin flavorless strips that some places try to pass off as bacon. They have demanded that companies provide us with top quality, thick cut, flavorful bacon strips. Now, many companies have stepped up to the table with various flavors like pepper, apple wood, jalapeño and maple.

This new breed of bacon done right is filling the kitchens of America with the delicious aroma of bacon, but there is one catch…. the smell never leaves.

Reports have been coming in to Mrbaconpants.com from across the country all with the same complaint of happiness: After one fries up a big old batch of maple thick cut bacon you continue to enjoy its smell for days.

One man told me he cooked up some maple bacon he purchased at the grocery store Aldi’s. It has now been four days and his kitchen still reeks of yummy.
Continue reading “Bacon’s Unexpected Side Effect”

We need to Stop the Bacon Hating Propaganda


It seems the hot new thing to write about is how the food industry is killing us. Alternet.org posted an interview with Dr. David Kesslar the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. The interview is very long and repeats itself constantly, but the bottom line is that we will all die of obesity if something’s not done.

Kesslar goes on to say that the food industry knows that when you combine sugar, fat and salt it becomes an addictive drug and that’s why people overeat. Dopamines are released making the eater feel happy and want more. Then the food is advertised in an appealing manner that gives the food addict the cue to eat it.

But don’t worry if you overeat because according to Kesslar you are addicted. So I guess being fat is now a disease like alcoholism. If that’s true then we need to be more sympathetic to our fellow large citizens and provide a 12 step program for overeaters. (Not like any of them could even make it up 12 steps.)

Then the discussion turns to government regulation and comparing your favorite McDonalds meal to tobacco. Kesslar is in favor of all food providers legally having to show the nutrition facts of everything they serve. I see a couple problems with this:

  1. This is just another form a government control that we don’t need, this isn’t Russia.
  2. If we are truly addicted to this wonderfully fatty food then knowing the sodium content isn’t going to stop anybody from eating it.
  3. Most real restaurants with real chefs cook specials with produce they purchased that day and don’t have the time or money make accurate labels.

Then the interview gets weird because out of nowhere Arun Gupta shows up. (This is the guy who wrote “Bacon a Weapon of Mass Destruction” and has been all over the internet and printed media) The interviewer then pulls out a Mcgriddle that he apparently had been hiding somewhere.

Then they talk about it like it just hit the market yesterday and we’re all supposed to be shocked that it contains sugar and fat. Gupta goes on to slam bacon yet again and then calls the U.S. Government basically drug dealers for helping out the farming industry and getting people hooked on bad food. He says the Government should have stayed out of it and we would have been better off, but he’s ok with the Government poking its nose in if it’s to enforce things he agrees with, like labeling food and banning advertising towards children. (which is ridiculous, because if your kid sees a commercial for fudge covered lard and you can’t say no then that’s a parenting issue not a Government issue.)

The real reason fat laden food exists is because that’s what people want. People know this stuff isn’t good for them and they have the right not eat it if they choose. And by writing story after story about how it’s the companies fault and not the consumers you are giving people a pass to blame their obesity on the restaurants when it clearly falls on their shoulders. We don’t need more laws regulating the private sector. What we need is more personal responsibility. Enjoy Bacon!

By Sean Brett

Food Inc: a Documentary about the Food Industry


It was bound to happen. Yet another documentary is coming out all about how the food in this country will kill you. It’s called “Food, Inc.” and it’s brought to you by film maker Robert Kenner with significant contributions from Eric –Don’t eat anything unless you grew it in your back yard using fertilizer you gathered from your own cow that you feed and organic diet – Schlosser (he’s the fast food nation guy for those of you not in the know.)

Now I haven’t seen this movie yet but I have read an article about it that the Associated Press did. According to the article the movie is about how the genetically modified food will make you sick or worse kill you. Of course it would have to be about that, because the only way you can get people to watch a documentary about the food industry is to tell them they might die if they don’t watch it.

But after reading the first couple paragraphs I was still somewhat interested. Then I got to the part where they compared it to Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, and lost all interest. By comparing this to Gore’s film you’re telling me it’s nothing but a pack of lies.

The article goes on to describe some parts of the movie that include families struggling to get by so they have to buy food from the dollar menu and shots of baby chicks having there cute little heads smashed against equipment as they ride on a conveyor belt at the processing plant.

This just seems like another anti big business movie showing how corporate greed keeps the little man down. But there is no doubt that the hippies will line up around the block for it and probably give it an Oscar.

Even when a large company tries to help promote this film the film maker throws a tantrum. The Mexican fast food chain Chipotle (which is owned by McDonald’s) is sponsoring free screenings of the film. But the makers of the film are now crying saying that it’s an empty gesture. Even though Chipotle holds its meat processing to high standards, they say they don’t pay enough for their produce, and that forces farmers to get paid less and become exploited.

Nothing these companies do will ever be good enough for these people. If Chipotle started paying 50% more for tomatoes, they would just start bitching about their wages, their calorie content, or how many trees are killed from their paper towels.

Even though it seems like I have already passed judgment on this film I will still watch it with an opened mind. Who knows maybe they will change me and I’ll give up bacon and start eating nothing but organic veggie chips that cost $7 a bag. It’s very doubtful, but hey it could happen.

By Sean Brett

Editor Note: I know Sean hates when I do this but I just wanted to give my quick two cents. I watched the trailer for the movie and I am already pissed. But like Sean said I am going to watch this movie with an open mind. I also hope to get the Pork Association’s and real farmers views on this movie.

Review of What the English Call Bacon


Last week I traveled to England for my brother’s wedding. I had never been there before and was not sure what to expect. I knew they drive on the left side of the road, call police Bobbies, and eat beans for breakfast, but I didn’t know the answer to the most important question of them all. What is English bacon like?

When I checked out the local cafés and pubs I found something that you never seem to find in the U.S. There was bacon everywhere: bacon and eggs sandwiches, BLTs, bacon baguettes, bacon flavored crisps, and bacon and toast. My mouth was watering just looking at the menus.

I went to a café for my first taste of English bacon. I got the classic English breakfast that consisted of: 2 eggs, 2 sausages, 2 strips of bacon, beans, black pudding, toast, and a cup of tea. The waiter set it down in front of me and my heart sank. There next to my eggs were two large strips of what can only be described as ham. That’s right, it was none other than the dreaded back bacon.

I couldn’t believe it. I asked some of the locals about this and they told me that back bacon was “proper bacon.” To which I said “there is nothing proper about this.” It was like I was in my own private hell. So I went on a quest to find pork belly.

I went to a bunch of different places and with each order my hatred for the England grew. But the thing that pushed me over the edge was when I ordered a BLT. It came with lettuce, tomato, and two large slices of back bacon. When I started to force it down, I realized it was missing one key ingredient, mayonnaise.

I walked up to the counter and asked for some and was told that they didn’t have any. All they had was ketchup and brown sauce (a blown liquid that tastes like a sweet A1 sauce that the Brits seem to put on everything).

As I think back to history class and the reasons for the American Revolution, (oppression, and taxation without representation) and can’t help but think I was lied to. The real reason the states wanted to break free from British rule was pork bellies and mayo. No longer did the colonies want to eat mayo-less back bacon sandwiches. As I did more research into the subject I found that the original plan for the Boston tea party was to throw pigs overboard to show their outrage. But it was decided that the pigs never did anything to harm them and it would have been a waste of precious pork belly. So they decided that since only Brits, women, and girly men drank tea (real men drink coffee) they would use it to get their point across and the rest is history.

I did come across some real bacon over there but it was somewhat disappointing. It was a single chewy not fully cooked strip wrapped around some green beans.

Other than the lack of real bacon the trip was great and if I ever go back I’ll be sure to hide some Hickory Smoked in my carry-on.

By Sean Brett