The Earthworm Express


The Earthworm Express is entirely devoted to great stories from food science and technology.  Meat science and pork in particular.  Here I track the development of bacon and curing technology through the ages.  I interview the greats in the food industry and write about the greats from the past.  I feature the frontiers of new technology that seek better quality products, “produced more naturally,” and with greater processing efficiencies.


Latest Express Article:

Regulations of Nitrate and Nitrite post-1920:  the problem of residual nitrite

nitrate and nitrite

In South Africa commercial curing brines are still being sold that contain both nitrates and nitrites.  In Europe and America, this is not allowed.  I examine the historical context and the health concerns that gave rise to limiting residual nitrite since the 1920’s  and following the N-nitrosamine hysteria of the 1970’s, the introduction of ascorbate or erythorbate in nitrite brines and the fact that it was made illegal to use nitrate with nitrite in certain classes of bacon.


Ascorbate/ vitamin C – its discovery, functionality and mechanisms

Dr Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Articles dealing with the discovery, features, and functionality of ascorbate.




Bacon and the art of living

from httpccffcw.clicforum.comt3095&minussign&Tablier.htm

In June 2008 I created Woody’s bacon in Cape Town.  In January 2009, Oscar Klynveld joined me and we formed Woody’s Consumer Brands (Pty) Ltd.  I decided to use selected events from the story of Woody’s, re-cast them in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and tell the story of the creation of bacon.



The Codex Alimentarius Austriacus


The engaging stories of the origins of food safety and quality systems.



The Future of Food Processing


The latest research into food ingredients and processing technology.  The history of its development and the science underlying its functionality.





History of Bacon, Ingredient’s and related technologies


Traditional functional ingredients that complete the matrix of meat ingredients.





Interviews with food people and articles about legendary food companies

sir-david1.jpgHere we honour and celebrate some of the great men, woman, companies and other organisations who contributed or continue to contribute to the food industry.  In the picture to the left is Sir David de Villiers-Graaff, the grandson of the man who created the Imperial Cold Storage and Supply Company Ltd. whom Eben interviewed in 2014.




The Master Butcher from Prague, Ladislav NACHMÜLLNER


Articles related to the first successful inventor of a commercial curing brine containing sodium nitrite.






Nitrite in food: the veiled history, functionality and mechanisms

One of the most exciting stories in bacon is that of saltpeter (potassium nitrate) and sodium nitrite.


My memories

Site Mascot:  

Photos of our site mascot, Big Yellow Bacon Man.  🙂


Social Media

Earthworm Express on Facebook

Earthworm Express on Twitter  (@earthwormexprss)

Earthworm Express on Google+


Research and contact

Any comments, suggestions or contributions, please email Eben at

Site in pictures

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