For bacon lovers everywhere, the decision by the World Health Organisation to classify bacon as a carcinogen - right up there with smoking and asbestos - has to come as deeply concerning.
Ever since the first bacon Internet meme appeared more than a decade ago, there's been one consistent truth embraced by bacon fans - just about any product, service or concept could be made better by adding bacon.
Think of bacon as a secret sauce - the one ingredient that could turn just about any banal, run-of-the-mill product into a world-beater. Bacon wasn't so much a product category as it was a frame of mind. You don't just bring home the bacon - you fry it up in a pan. Bacon, let's face it, has innovation sizzle that other food products don't. And certainly, the type of sizzle that's hard to replicate with any vegetarian options.
It's no wonder that the number of bacon-inspired products released every year seems to follow the same type of rapid growth curve so beloved by technology enthusiasts.
On any given day, you could wake up with a bacon alarm clock, brush your teeth with bacon toothpaste, put on bacon-themed apparel, wrap your iPhone in a bacon-themed case and even carry a bacon-inspired briefcase into your office. After work, you could use a bacon-themed dating app for your iPhone to find a fellow bacon lover and then meet to have a bacon-inspired meal.
That's just the tip of the bacon iceberg - America's entrepreneurs have launched bacon cologne, bacon soda, bacon beer, bacon massage oil, bacon lip balm and bacon chocolate.
It's hard to spend a day on the Internet without seeing a reference to bacon. Thanks to Bacolicio.us, it's possible to add a slab of bacon to the top of any page on the Internet as easily as you might share a story on social media. In fact, there are literally more than 1,000 things you can do with bacon, all of them legitimate.
However, now that bacon innovators are on the wrong side of history - at least, according to the WHO - the question becomes: What's next for the bacon-obsessed Internet?
Given that the WHO decision is more of a guideline than an absolute rule and comes with the high probability of a counterattack by the powerful red meat lobby, we're not likely to see any immediate changes to America's bacon landscape. The bacon coffee shops will still exist, as will the restaurants serving bacon menu items and the bars serving bacon-infused cocktails.
Given that the WHO decision is more of a guideline than an absolute rule and comes with the high probability of a counterattack by the powerful red meat lobby, we're not likely to see any immediate changes to America's bacon landscape.
We will still see the bacon blog updates, the bacon tweets, the bacon pins, the bacon memes and the jaw-dropping (and mouth-watering) bacon innovations on Reddit. But, slowly, over time, just as smokers were kicked to the curb and turned into symbols of a broader health menace, the same kind of thing could happen to America's bacon junkies.
And, just as cigarette companies now must plaster their products with warnings, perhaps it could be the case that every bacon product would be forced to come with a warning label of sorts.
Once a symbol of American ingenuity and the classic example of how any product could become even better, bacon may have peaked. As a result, America's bacon innovators may have to turn to another food product for inspiration.
The good news, of course, is that the adoption of just about any new food product as a symbol of creativity might lead to another great wave of American innovation. That's because - you guessed it - bacon innovators can make any product better, even seaweed.
This summer, in case you missed it, Oregon State researchers patented a new strain of red algae - dulse - that tastes like bacon when cooked and comes with twice the nutritional content of kale. Bacon innovators may be down, but certainly not out.