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Mmmm...The science of craving bacon

Find out what makes this sizzling pork product so popular with foodies and hungry meat eaters everywhere. AsapScience breaks down the facts of why we desire these crispy meat strips.

Anyone for some sizzling bacon? Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

What is it about bacon that makes some of us salivate when we hear it sizzle in a frying pan?

We already know why bacon smells so good thanks to science, but there are many things besides its savory, smoky scent that make us want it added to everything.

A video called "The Science of Bacon" from AsapScience reminds us that even though bacon has a lot more calories and fat than apples and broccoli, the average American still consumes 18 pounds or 8 kilograms of bacon every year, and 43 percent of Canadians would choose bacon over sex, according to one survey.

We also learn that Canadians get their bacon from the loin of a pig, whereas the British get their bacon from the shoulder cut and Americans prefer bacon from the belly.

Baconmania has invaded everything from toothpaste to condoms to motorcycles, and some of this, according to the video, can be attributed to the chemical reaction of sugars and amino acids that results when bacon is heated. Those reactions, plus the melting fat, release around 150 "volatile organic compounds" that fill the air and make you want bacon, bacon, bacon. More bacon!

However, even though bacon seduces all our senses, it is harmful to the body thanks to the chemical sodium nitrate, which is used to keep the meat looking fresh. The nitrates react with amino acids during cooking forming nitrosamines, which are known to increase your risk of developing cancer.

So what's a bacon lover to do? AsapScience suggests eating bacon in moderation, and adding some antioxidant fruits and vegetables into your diet for good measure. But if you really want to stay healthy, perhaps you should just watch videos of bacon sizzling instead.