As a society, we love bacon. We also love cheap food. So therefore, we must really love cheap bacon.
I bought middle of the road bacon from the clearance from last December. The package was about $6 for a pound of bacon, a little more than you might pay for a mainstream grocery store bacon but a lot less than bacon you would buy from a local farmer.
The sale was 2-for-1 bacon and the store had 50% off the food. So the cost of 4 pounds of bacon was about $6. Yes, imagine a pound of bacon for $1.50.
We'll wait until you fix your drool problem.
Could you imagine anything better than a pound of bacon for $1.50? Yes, good bacon.
The bacon was okay, somewhat typical for mainstream U.S. bacon. Lots of fat, doesn't keep its shape well during the cooking process, not a lot of flavor.
This is bacon that is certainly not worth $6/pound. You could argue and win for a $3/bacon cost, and obviously do really well with a $1.50/pound price. But you still feel unsatisfied.
Paying $6/pound for bacon feels expensive, but $9/pound for bacon seems crazy. As much as we like bacon, we might not buy it because it's expensive and really struggle with paying an even higher price.
But when I switched back to the well-grown bacon, I found bacon that had more meat in the slices, kept its shape well while cooking, and was bacon to savor. This was really good bacon.
We all have a number in our head for each product category for how much more we might pay for a better product. For bacon, can't imagine that the number is very high. If you take the example of the typical $6 bacon and compare that to a $9 bacon that is demonstrably better, the ratio is 1.5. Most consumers would pay that for cereal, but not bacon.
As expensive as mainstream bacon is, we know that the costs are artificially low, given what thosee pigs eat, how they're raised, and what else is pumped into their pig bodies.
So we have a food product that (virtually) everyone loves, but they think it's too expensive even in an inferior form. So cheap bacon would make (virtually) (virtually) everyone happy. Those who don't eat meat aren't in this equation except for the effects of how the pigs are raised (e.g., factory farm runoff). But relatively cheap mainstream bacon doesn't leave you feeling as satisfied as the better product, except possibly in the wallet. And even that mainstream bacon makes a dent in the wallet.
You can often find steak cheaper than mainstream bacon, which says something about both steak and bacon in the modern setup. So if that mainstream bacon can be found for $4.50 or $5, we'll jump on that faster than a pig on, uh, never mind.
No wonder that we love bacon-related food items to give us the sense of taste or smell to allow us "bacon" at less than bacon prices. The problem is that isn't bacon.
You might find that paying $9 for a pound of bacon is beyond your comfort level. Understood. But you will find if you give locally well-grown bacon a shot to win over your mouth, you might find that really good bacon is a treat worth having.
And you can still buy cheaper bacon every once in awhile. If nothing else, you'll get a good supply of bacon fat to use for cooking other foods.