THE BLOG
05/11/2013 10:52 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

Do You Love Bacon Because It Tastes Like Humans?

Apparently it's British Sausage Week! So naturally the first thing I pondered when it was brought to my attention is our love for the great British fry up... and if we're all cannibals at heart.

It has actually been on my mind of late. Not consistently, (I have a lot going on up there) but I had a really vague memory of once reading that humans are genetically closer to pigs than apes. I was wrong. A quick bit of Sausage Week inspired research revealed that in xenotransplantation - the controversial (and so far unsuccessful) practice of transplanting animal organs into humans - pigs are considered to be the best donors. But not because they're genetically closer to humans than apes, quite the opposite, nonhuman primates are too close, which increases the risk of disease transmission. Pigs on the other hand have similar size organs to ours but are an increased phylogenetic distance away (yup, whatever that means), and as they've been living in close proximity to humans for generations there is less risk of infection. However, our immune system rejects animal transplants all the same. Well. How strange! Hope they work something out... *coughs*

Further research found that a robot once identified a reporter's hand as bacon. No blood spilled, but when Researchers at NEC System Technologies and Mie University revealed a new wine-tasting robot back in 2006, the reporter let the little tin man have a chomp (what a wise guy). The cameraman was then identified as prosciutto. Does that mean he was sweatier? Yuck. Okay, but do we actually taste like bacon?

Well, prepare your stomach, because it didn't take long to come across an account of someone eating human flesh:

"Alright I'll own up, I ate human flesh. First some background: friend of mine had some scarification done (kind of like a tattoo but done with a scalpel to carve symbols into the flesh) and he got to keep the skin. Me, him and a couple of others fried it up and ate it. [...] It tastes like bacon, like exactly like bacon, which is why I don't eat pork anymore."

So there you go, curiosity got the better of a group of friends... and we taste like bacon.

British Sausage Week runs the 4 - 10 November 2013. Enjoy.