How Bacon Was Used To Make Explosives In World War II

Bacon is a crispy and delicious snack in the right hands, but in the wrong hands, chaos can be unleashed. Disasters include wafer-thin slices of meat and inappropriately fatty edges. However, in the midst of World War II, the excess fat produced from cooking bacon had a more surprising — and deadly — purpose. Bacon fat as a weapon seems like a bizarre concept, but there was great demand for innovation during World War II, and bacon fat emerged as an unlikely player in the effort to produce explosives for the U.S. military. The American Fat Salvage Committee was formed during the 1940s in order to collect excess cooking fat that would then be given to war experts to turn into explosives. So, why was bacon fat so important for making bombs? One pound of fat could be converted into a tenth of a pound of glycerin, which in turn made up one-fifth of a pound of nitroglycerin — a component of gunpowder and dynamite. Once a pound of fat had been strained, it could be taken to one of 250,000 butchers in return for 4¢, and the butchers would then turn it in to the government. The fat was then used to make explosives — it was a win-win for everybody involved.