I'm having trouble with this one. In this day and age with modern refrigeration and knowledge of internal cooking temperatures is it really necessary to cure pork belly to make bacon? Rather than going through the whole curing process, I would like to smoke the pork belly with a basic rub of salt/brown sugar, maybe syrup or honey then eat it within a few days. My understanding is the curing process, using Nitrates/Nitrites is to prevent Botulism and for preservation, but if you store it correctly and cook at the proper temperature then I would think you can skip curing. Can anyone shed some light on why it is still necessary to cure? Thanks in advance.