Pork is the culinary name for the meat a pig which is usually less than a year old. Pork is a very popular meat among the Chinese, Japanese, Europeans and the Americans.
Pork eating dates started as early as 9000 years ago when pigs were domesticated. Their adaptable nature and diet allowed early humans to domesticate them much earlier than other forms of livestock, such as cattle. Pork eating has always been popular. However, the 1970s witnessed a drop in pork consumption as people became conscious about its high fat content. The pigs today have much less fat due to improved genetics, breeding and feeding.
Why should I be aware of this?
- Pork is a form of red meat.
- Traditionally pork has a high fat content. Its blood has a high percentage of cholesterol.
- Pigs reared in factory farms live in conditions that weaken their immune systems and make them carrier of disease causing viruses and bacteria.
- Intensive farming of pigs is usually detrimental to the environment.
- Pork is rich in nutrients and protein.
- Flesh of the pork is hard to digest and may lead to chronic digestive disturbances.
All about pork
Pork is generally produced from young animals (6 to 7 months old) that weigh from 175 to 240 pounds. Most of the pigs' meat is cured and made into ham, bacon and sausage. Uncured meat is called "fresh pork."
Pork roast is one of the most popular main course meats in the world today. There are hundreds of recipes for the meat with different origins involved. There are five primary sections to pork meat. They are divided into several market-ready cuts such as roasts, chops and ham.
Both Muslim dietary laws and Orthodox Jewish (Kashrut) dietary laws forbid pork
Pork a red meat
When fresh pork is cooked, it becomes lighter in color -- leading to the confusion over its classification.
Pork is classified a "red" meat because it contains more myoglobin -- the protein that stores oxygen -- than chicken or fish. All livestock are considered "red meat."
Be careful not to eat too much pork. Other than the fat content, it also has a high amount of cholesterol. This should especially be watched by those who already have elevated levels.
Free range pork
There is no legal definition of ‘free-range pork’ but it refers to pig who are raised in humane conditions with access to open space. Free range or organic pork is becoming popular as health and environmental concerns associated with pig farming are on the rise.
Pork and health
As pigs by nature like to scavenge and eat any kind of food, including dead insects, worms, rotting carcasses, excreta (including their own), garbage, pig's bodies might contain many toxins, worms and latent diseases. They can be crriers of diseases such as
- Influenza (flu)
Some consider pork a healthy alternative to beef
As compared to beef
- Pork is low in fat
- It is rich in nutrients
- It contains high levels of some essential B vitamins like B6, B12, niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin. In addition to the B vitamins.
- Pork also contains high amounts of other nutrients such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
- A three ounce portion of pork provides nearly half of the daily requirements for protein.
Pork and the environment
There is a widespread misconception that Muslims abstain from eating pork because pig is sacred and is worshipped as God in Islam. Abstention from eating pork is a measure to safeguard their health.
- One in every four pounds of pork traded in the world originates from the U.S. The U.S. exports the equivalent of 49,500 market hogs daily.
- China’s pork production is roughly 5.5 times larger than U.S. production and number slaughtered is 6.8 times larger. Sow beginning stocks are over 8 times larger than U.S.
- Free-roaming hogs were famous for rampaging through the valuable grain fields of colonial New York City farmers. The Manhattan Island residents chose to block the troublesome hogs with a long, permanent wall on the northern edge of what is now Lower Manhattan. A street came to border this wall -- named aptly enough, Wall Street.
- The Ancient Chinese were so loath to be separated from fresh pork that the departed were sometimes accompanied to the grave with their herd of hogs.
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