Yesterday, Gizmodo post a picture of a slice of nipple bacon, i m sorry is, rather literally, a slice of bacon with a nipple dangling turn off of it. For this reason naturally, I began asking myself a lot of questions around nipple bacon, and pigs in general. Questions that I never thought I’d be asking, choose how plenty of nipples go a pig have? how do girlfriend even end up with a part of bacon v a nipple on it? What need to I perform if i do find a part of bacon v a nipple on it? Is this simply some Redditor trying to troll united state all right into never eat meat again or is this a real, honest-to-goodness nipple?

If this questions have actually been swirling about your head all night, too, don’t worry. I’m below for you, since I desire to—nay, I need to know the answers. Therefore I took to the so-called professionals of Reddit, and also fact-checked mine online study with man Ratliff, the founder and also head butcher at end Meat in Brooklyn, new York, to uncover out, once and also for all: What’s the address nipple bacon?

The factor there is a nipple on this slice of bacon is due to the fact that all pigs have actually nipples. “As someone who has actually cured and cleaned pork bellies to do bacon,” wrote Redditor jkwilkin, “I am having a difficult time wrapping my head around the disgust in this thread. If friend buy belly skin on, it wall always have nipples. Nipples are located on the bellies of pigs.”

Even though jkwilkin's pork credentials are unverified, this entirely checks out, since when I proved Ratliff the photo of the nipple bacon, he seemed unfazed. “Every single pig has this,” that said. Pigs’ nipples are situated on their belly—also dubbed the navel area—and toward the pig’s backside, not the ribside. Ratliff even pulled out a slab that pork belly to display me, saying, “You’re walk to discover nipples in ~ the base of every pork belly. There’s no myth-busting fact here.”

According to a website about lactation biology native the university of Illinois, written by Walter L. Hurley, a professor of pet biology in ~ the school, pigs have actually six or 7 pairs of nipples. That’s 12 to 14 nipples, depending upon how lucky the pig gets.

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You don’t normally an alert pig nipples on your bacon since the skin has actually been removed; Ratliff showed me a slab of bacon from end Meat that had the skin fully removed, and though you might see clues of whereby the nipples when were in the fat, choose faint, ring bruises, they definitely weren’t standing at attention. The reason the nipple on this slice of bacon appears so prominently is since the skin, sometimes called rind, wasn’t pulled back.

According come one Redittor theBoxy_Butcher, who states they “spent two years working for a cost-free range pork producer,” we’re looking at a masculine nip. “It will be native a castrated male.” and also though this nipple definitely could’ve come native a masculine meat pig, as Ratliff explained, there’s no means to understand for sure if this part of nipple bacon come from a male or a female pig. “The mrs meat pig and also the masculine meat pig, they look almost identical. Lock both have nipples,” and also the only foolproof way to phone call the gender of a pig slated because that slaughter is by spring at your genitalia, no their nipples.

Ratliff assured me that the possibilities of recognize a nipple the looks like that on mine bacon is no very good because, “You don’t eat the skin of bacon. You take it the skin off.” and also at ends Meat, that skin is fried into crispy chicharrones.

But also if you’re eat commodity bacon, you’re likewise unlikely to find a full-on nipple, because, as Ratliff explained, “Generally, the commodity bacon, the skin gets taken off and also thrown away or it gets rendered,” a process where the fat gets cooked the end of these undesired bit and occasionally turned right into household commodities like candles.

“For anyone who can get upset around this, allow me state for the record that the is not dangerous come eat the nipple, it's entirely edible,” composed Reddit user Liontta. “It just serves as an unpleasant reminder of wherein food actually comes from, yet is otherwise harmless.” Ratliff agrees. Nothing walking to happen if friend eat nipple bacon, and also since the navel glands aren’t energetic when the pig is slaughtered, the nips space basically just fat.

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So walk ahead and also eat nipple bacon to her heart's content—I swear it's natural, though it may cause you come question everything you assumed you knew about bacon.