A serial in which we compare manufactured vegetarian meat substitutes to the real thing. This week's contender: Lightlife Smart Bacon, the most botched attempt at "fake-un" (you know, fake bacon) I've come across yet.
Our subject: Lightlife Smart Bacon. You can bake it or fry it; I chose to fry, since that's what one normally does with real bacon. I chose to try this product because I love this company's faux sausage so much, and I figured there was a good chance the company would know their way around some fake bacon as well. Sadly, I was mistaken.
There are two: soy protein and wheat gluten. Neither of which are doing this stuff any favors.
Calorie count: There are 20 calories in one 10-gram slice of "fake-un," 10 of which come from fat. And yet, that manages to provide a whopping 140 mg of sodium. In a real slice of bacon (that is approximately 7.9 grams), there are 42 calories, 29 of which come from fat. And 191.8 mg of sodium.
Price: It cost a whopping $5.29 for all of five ounces of "fake-un," while our all-natural, home-cured bacon ran us about $3.50 for 12 ounces.
The omnivore says:
Do I absolutely have to take a bite of that? *picks up dog treat strip, takes a tiny bite* Wow, that's gross. I've had good fake-on and this is, like, the worst kind ever. We should continue this experiment with some other brands, because I know I've had better veggie bacon than this.
The vegetarian says:
Yeah...this stuff is really terrible. I'm throwing it away. I mean, it looks like those rock-hard jerky-style dog treats you can buy at the grocery store. Also, in spite of all that sodium, this stuff is still really bland.