The Great Pork Debate


by Daniel Dowling December 21, 2016

Hold on to your stomach for this post. 

Pork chops, sausage, ribs, pepperoni, bacon, ham—these are all beloved American meats. And according to the US Department of Agriculture and World Health Organization, all come from an animal bred in diseased conditions. 

The USDA and WHO report that the US hog industry cultivates a diseased animal, starting first with filthy slaughter plants. A common violation is pest control issues on the kill floor. A typical slaughter plant visually inspects 19,000 pigs a day for parasites, inflammation, swelling, and masses—all of which are important indicators of disease. But inspectors routinely permit diseased pigs to be sold, and they neglect to label contaminated pork parts.

All of this puts you at risk. But it’s not just the diseases you have to worry about…it’s the toxic substances used to prevent sickness in swine.

Today's pig is farmed under unnatural conditions and pumped with countless drugs, many of which are hazardous for human health. Specific drugs include antibiotics, anti-parasitics, fungal drugs, vaccines, heavy metals and additives in feed. 

An Unhealthy History of Pork

Pigs have long been synonymous with filth because they eat…well…filth. During the Shakespearean era, they were notorious for dining on human flesh from executed prisoners that were left unburied on the streets. That’s why cultures have avoided using pork products for millennia.

Pigs are also biologically similar to humans. The same pathogens that affect pigs affect us—specifically Trichinosis and Hepatitis E. Trichinosis is caused by eating raw and undercooked pork infected with Trichinella spiralis, a parasitic worm. After humans ingest pork infected with T. Spiralis, the larvae escapes into the new host’s intestines. Hepatitis E is very common because it is easily spread by contact and is also caused by ingesting undercooked pork.

trichinella spiralis

Is There a Safe Way to Eat Pork?

The Weston A. Price Foundation did a live blood analysis after participants consumed four types of pork: Cooked pastured pork, apple cider vinegar-marinated pork, uncured pastured bacon, and uncured pastured prosciutto. Rapid degradation was noted in the latter two.   

After consuming the pork, subjects were allowed to leave the lab, instructed to not eat anything else and return five hours later to the lab for a post-meat blood test.
Blood test results fives hours after consumption:

Unmarinated Cooked Pork: 

  • shows negative effects on the blood
  • extremely coagulated blood
  • red blood cells clump, making the blood sticky 
  • presence of clotting factors

Marinated Cooked Pork:

  • blood shows a slight stickiness or tendency to clump
  • blood is largely unchanged from before
  • blood appears normal and healthy

The most effective method of cooking is marinating in apple cider vinegar, followed by salt-curing, and then smoke-curing. Salt-curing includes table salt, sodium nitrate, and sometimes sodium or potassium nitrate to make bacon and ham. Salts improve flavor, prevent rancidity of the meat and food poisoning. This acidic treatment of pork may also kill parasites. 

Conclusion

Research shows you may want to avoid pork products entirely. But if you are dead-set on eating them, go with the scientifically verified Weston A. Price method. Curing pork with salts and marinades makes pork safe for consumption by inactivating parasites and killing bacteria that may cause food poisoning.




Daniel Dowling
Daniel Dowling

Author

Dan Dowling is the founder of MillennialSuccess.io, where he shares action steps and inspiration for millennials and their employers. You can find more of his work on Fast Company, MindBodyGreen, and Fitbit.com.




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