How Bacon Can Save You From Flesh-Eating Parasites

“Nah, I ain’t Jewish, I just don’t dig on swine, that’s all.” —Jules Winnfield explaining why he doesn’t eat bacon, Pulp Fiction (1994)

In A Nutshell

Bacon therapy might sound delicious, but it’s actually pretty nasty. The treatment involves doctors placing strips of greasy meat over human tissue infested with parasitic larvae. If all goes according to plan, the bacon fat either smothers the maggots or lures the worms to the surface in hopes of a snack.

The Whole Bushel

Bacon is one of the greatest success stories of our time. Once considered filthy and rejected by the likes of Moses, Mohammad, and Jules Winnfield, this pork product has become a pop culture phenomenon. It’s shown up in every form and fashion imaginable, from milkshakes to deodorant to . . . medical treatments. Doctors are now helping patients with a bizarre remedy known as “bacon therapy,” but it has nothing to do with pigging out and everything to do with smothering flesh-eating parasites.

The procedure originated in Central America where locals have to deal with bot flies, particularly nasty insects that lay eggs in their human hosts. When victims feel the larvae wriggling under their skin, they stuff little chunks of meat into the punctum, the holes that allow the little monsters to breathe. With their flesh snorkel plugged up, the larvae have no choice but to crawl to the surface. Or sometimes the little beasts get a whiff of the meat and decide to have a snack, thus vacating their human hiding places.

This unappetizing procedure recently made its way to the US where doctors discovered bacon’s effectiveness in combating the larvae of the notorious screwworm fly. This monstrous creature lays hundreds of eggs in open wounds, and its offspring are bristly, tusked worms from hell that grow up to 2 centimeters (0.8 in) long. Fortunately for Americans, screwworm flies were eradicated by the US Agricultural Office, but tourists who visit South American countries might end up on the fly’s hit list. For example, in 2007, a young Connecticut girl returned from her Colombian vacation with an extremely painful swelling in her scalp. Doctors investigated and found she was hosting a parasite party, and they decided to treat the infection with bacon. The fat would draw out all the screwworms whereas oils and larvicides would leave creepy-crawly corpses under the skin. The strips worked like a charm, and three hours later, the doctors removed 142 larvae from the girl’s head, proving that bacon is much more than an Internet obsession. Now, who’s hungry?

Show Me The Proof

Smithsonian: In Bacon Therapy, the Meat Isn’t for You: It’s for the Bugs Eating Your Skin
Discover Magazine: The Special Brand of Horror that is the New World Screwworm

  • Western Sydney

    bork bork bork~

  • Hillyard

    Once again Baconman saves the day.

  • Lisa 39

    Bacon is the best! There’s a donut shop im my city that has maple bacon donut’s. There good but the maple’s really sweet so i eat maybe 3 a year but i enjoy it!

    • Tommy Ly

      Voodoo doughnut?

      • Lisa 39

        No, it’s the donut something, i don’t remember the name but i know where it’s at lol

      • Ashleyy Shaw

        That’s what I was thinking! Now I want some voodoo.

    • Exiled Phoenix

      I love ordering bacon on pizza!

      • Lisa 39

        That’s the best!

      • Lisa 39

        I forgot to mention the blt pizza!

  • JRHatt

    Nice Pulp Fiction reference.

  • The Nutshell was info enough, oi.

  • Guest

    Ugh. Now every time I see bacon, I’m going to think of it teeming with squirming larvae…

  • Darien Mirzoev

    Listverse brought me here

    • Lisa 39

      It does that every day!

  • Errkism

    I went into this excited to read about bacon, I left being scared shitless of flies planting eggs inside me.

    • Lisa 39

      Focus on the bacon errkism, put everything else out of your mind, repeat after me, bacon is good, bacon is our friend, bacon is in a lovely food group of it’s own, bacon deserves a crown and thone! Make that your mantra, i promise you’ll be ok!

      • Errkism

        I think I just need one of those maple bacon donuts. It sounds so good. Even if I have eggs planted in my body at that point, at least I’d have that donut.

        • Lisa 39

          You should google & see if there’s any near you. The maples good but i think glaze would be better. Down side to that is id eat more than 3 a year. WAY MORE! Lol

          • Errkism

            The donut shop you get them from, is it a chain? Like Krispy Kreme or Dunkin donuts? Or is it a small business.

          • Lisa 39

            Very small business. Are you in ohio?

          • Errkism

            I am in California. I have many small business donut shops in the area but they only have the basic ones.

          • Lisa 39

            I think i would go to all the shops and tell them about it. Maybe someone will start making them!

    • Lisa 39

      Hey, my bacon mantra rhyme’s!

      • Errkism

        That’s now you know the mantra will work. That rhyme is what gives it it’s power.

        • Lisa 39

          I didn’t even have to whip put my cauldron! Which is good because that thing’s heavy lol

          • lbatfish

            “Whip put your cauldron”? Is that like the “shot put”, but in the Kitchen Olympics? 🙂

          • Lisa 39

            That would be entertaining lol, no that’s just me doing everything on my smart phone with my thumb and forgetting to check my spelling, i fixed it!

  • Sweet-Sativa

    Coming soon: Bacon flavored pot.

    • lbatfish

      Actually, bacon might be a very good “delivery accompaniment” for ingested week, for two reasons:

      1. The frying process would provide the heat required for activating the THC,

      2. The fat would be able to soak up the THC (which is fat-soluble) to enable it to pass more readily through the intestinal lining.

      I’ve usually done my weed-cookery with pizza or spaghetti sauce, which provide the same benefits as brownies, cookies, etc. but are a better match tastewise. But bacon might work just as well. One unknown — would the much higher heat involved in frying bacon start breaking down the THC? If so, then maybe the weed would need to be added near the end of the frying process.

      • Sweet-Sativa

        Dude your a genius I never thought of this. Iam concerned as to the high heat of the bacon cook temp though. I too have made weed pizza and sauce but yes the bacons fat would get it into your system awesomely. Time to experiment!

        • lbatfish

          Let me know how it works. I’m going to be moving in a few months, probably to a state that permits at least medical marijuana. 🙂

          • Sweet-Sativa

            When you do move, may I suggest my home of colorful Colorado. Not just for the legal weed but also for the mountains with endless forests and hiking trails. Plus much more. I live in a town called Estes Park Colorado. Check it out sometime.

  • Patrick Marsh

    Not even duct tape can solve a medical problem.

    Is duct tape being challenged as the sollution to anything? Other than “kill it with fire” of course.