Can a Scratch and Sniff Patch Fight Your Bacon Cravings?


We’ve entered the last week of January, which means the finish line is in sight for those brave enough to embark upon “Veganuary” or a meatless New Year’s resolution. While some will plan to push on with their new plant-based eating habit once the calendar turns over to February, 31 days without meat isn’t enough to kick some of those cravings entirely.

If you find yourself experiencing those meat withdrawals, a new scratch and sniff patch might be just what you need to shake your bacon habit once and for all. According to the Telegraph, plant-based food producer Strong Roots has teamed up with an Oxford professor to produce a wearable patch that gives off the aroma of bacon, aimed at those who want to give up on meat.

Not unlike how nicotine patches help quitting smokers fight their urge to light up, Oxford professor Charles Spence’s working theory is that the smell of bacon is enough to trick our brains into believing we’ve actually eaten the crispy, cured pork, thereby fending off withdrawals.

“Studies have shown that scent can reduce food cravings,” Spence told the Telegraph. “Our sense of smell is strongly connected to our ability to taste therefore experiencing food related cues such as smelling a bacon aroma, can lead us to imagine the act of eating that food.”

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Though it certainly seems silly, Strong Roots says that the patch fits a real need and serves a vital purpose. A poll of 2,000 British adults cited by theTelegraph suggests that meat is harder to quit than both cigarettes and alcohol. Twenty percent of respondents said that of the meats out there, bacon is the one they’d miss most.

“It’s Veganuary and we know that more people than ever are trying to adopt a plant-based lifestyle this year,” Strong Roots founder Samuel Dennigan told the Telegraph. “So we wanted to offer a helping hand, and have developed the world's first ever meat-patch. We hope it goes some way to supporting all the meat-a-holics out there."

The patches are currently undergoing trials in the English cities of Reading, Leeds, Liverpool and London, and the brand has tapped Love Island runner-up Tommy Fury to act serve as a plant-based poster boy for the scratch and sniff product.

There’s always the fear that having easy, consistent access to the smell of bacon would only encourage us to seek out the real thing. But if you’re desperate to give up meat without truly giving up bacon, just know that you don’t have to quit cold turkey.


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