Sadly, this is not a post about bacon, or bacon-flavored ice cream, for that matter. However bacon is a good segue into the science I AM going to toss your way and that is antimicrobials. Why do you think such a salty, blood-pressure destroying thing was invented (without knowing how delicious it would be)? Salt-cured meats are HIGHLY resistant to spoilage via microbes and fungi. The salty environment sucks moisture from microbial and fungal cells, making them so hypertonic (thirsty and shriveled) they die.
Yet salt is not the only antimicrobial seasoning out there. In hot, tropical climates, a lot of salty food is a very bad idea unless you enjoy severe dehydration. Instead, hot, tropical cooks employ various spices containing compounds that naturally reduce spoilage by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, yeasts and mold. Now for some anthropology/microbiology crossover action: a study examining the use of 43 different spices…
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