Photo: Ohio Pork Council

It’s come to our attention that the Ohio State University now features a bacon vending machine. The technology was installed in the Animal Sciences Building at the university’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, and it dispenses servings of ready-to-eat bacon for $1 each. These basic facts have led me to ask a lot of questions about what’s really going on.

The bacon vending machine is very real, by the way. The Ohio Pork Council is responsible for installing the marvel, and the organization told me in an email that the machine has “been very well received on campus.” But still, my questions.

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1. How does it work?

Based on the available information, it looks like you put money into the machine and get ready-to-eat bacon in return.

2. Is this real bacon?

It is. The bacon has been provided by Sugardale Foods, Hormel Foods, and Smithfield Foods.

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3. Do vending machine customers have to cook the bacon?

Apparently not. The Ohio Pork Council says that the bacon is ready-to-eat. Bacon enthusiasts will know that this is not a revolutionary invention. Pre-cooked bacon has been on the market for quite some time. It’s great on salads, in sandwiches, and as a snack. You can even buy ready-to-eat bacon in bulk on Amazon.

4. How much bacon does $1 buy?

More than you might think. For $1, customers can select either a box of 12 bacon slices or a pouch of bacon bits.

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5. Who benefits from this bacon vending machine?

While the machine was installed by the Ohio Pork Council, all proceeds from the bacon vending machine go directly to the Ohio State Meat Sciences program.

6. Who maintains the bacon vending machine?

Students from the Ohio State Meat Sciences program are responsible for stocking, restocking, and maintaining this delicious meat machine.

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7. What does Ohio State think of all of this?

Well, obviously, the university has supported the addition of a bacon vending machine on campus. “The meat science program is excited to partner with the Ohio Pork Council through the Bacon Vending Machine project,” Lyda G. Garcia, an associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences, told local news outlets. “Excited” might be an understatement for local bacon enthusiasts.

8. Is the bacon vending machine permanent?

The bacon vending machine presently installed at Ohio State is a temporary treat. The machine will be on campus until December 13. However, the Ohio Pork Council told Gizmodo in an email, “The future of this bacon vending machine is still unknown—we may see it again, or maybe not. Time will tell!”

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9. Why is this happening?

Why hasn’t it happened in the past?


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