In many religions eating pork is forbidden. They consider this meat to be “unclean”. Is there appropriate explanation to this statement? Is the reason something more than just religious showing?
It seems that after all, there are proves that show this religious punishments for using pork actually have some kind of background.
Pigs are scavengers. This means that they would eat almost anything: spoiled food, feces, urine, and even unsafe growths. Unfortunately, their digestive system cannot discharge these aggregated poisons for those 4 hours that are needed for processing the food they have eaten. This time is insufficient to expel all the poisons ingested, so they are aggregated in the fat cells and their organs.
A research by the Consumer Reports says that 69% of the tested raw pork (of about 200 samples) is adulterated with dangerous microorganisms – Yersinia enteroclitica. These microorganisms can cause gastrointestinal sickness, fever, diarrhea, spasms and vomiting.
The chances for the pork to be adulterated are bigger for ground pork than for pork slashes. The pork that was tested also contained contaminants, one of which is ractopamine, a questionable medication that is banned in Europe and China. The huge numbers of microorganisms found are very resistant to the known anti-microbials, so the treatment of the illness you might get can be made very difficult, risky, or even deadly.
Pigs often have parasites, other creatures, infections, and many of them can be transmitted to people. Some of them are:
- taenia solium – intestinal parasite that can cause contamination of the tissue and loss of appetite
- menangle infection – infection with symptoms like fever, chills, sweating, migraines.
- Trichinella – it is a type of warm, a parasite that causes myalgia, edema, malaise and fever.
- Hepatitis E – a virus that causes nausea, weariness and jaundice, sometimes even liver fibrosis or cirrhosis.
Sometimes, when the food processing is done correctly, you can get rid of these parasites, but, there is no temperature that will guarantee that the pork is safe to be consumed.
In case you decide that besides everything, you’re still going to eat pork, follow these rules for your own wellbeing.
- When cooking pork, use a meat thermometer that will ensure that the meat has reached the best possible inward temperature that will help in getting rid of the microorganisms: this is 145 degrees F for entire pork and 160 degrees F for ground pork.
- Keep the raw pork and its juices separately from other nutrients, like serving of mixed greens for example.
- Make sure your hands are clean before you start preparing the crude meat
- Try to use pork and other meat that haven’t been treated with medications. Buy natural pork exclusively, from pigs raised without ractopamine or anti-toxins.
- Be careful not to buy meat from pigs treated with antibiotics. Look for tags that say “no anti-infection agents utilized”. Some names like “Creature Welfare Approved” or “Certified Humane” show that anti-infection agents for treating diseases have been used.
- Some marks can be misguiding, go you need to watch out. “natural” does not mean that antibiotics haven’t been used or that the creature was raised naturally. The labels “no anti-microbial residues” on packages of Sprouts pork sold in Arizona and California were found to be unapproved, as well as the labels “no anti-microbial development promotants” on the Farmland brand sold in a few states. Those were cases we reported to USDA in June 2012, and in November the same year we noticed that the case was removed from the packages of Sprouts meat.
What about organic pasture raised pork?
This type of pork will surely be improved for your utilization, but not totally safe for your wellbeing. For example, this kind of meat is liable to Trichinella spiralis, or the “pork worm”. This parasite is a standout between the world’s parasites and can cause many damages to your overall health. The cooking process can destroy this parasite, but you should still watch out and follow the rules for processing we wrote about before.
Pigs spend their lives, which are pretty short, on cement and steel grates. With the food they eat, they are also given anti-microbials and the meat becomes even more dangerous.
That’s why you can notice a CAFO swine operation from quite big distance, much before you see it. Some operations like Joel Salatin’s are unnoticeable, because the pigs are raised naturally and they, as well as the land, are managed cooperatively.
Surprisingly, the American standard is bringing animals up in CAFO’s. For some of us, it is the only pork available.
Honestly, moderate use off pork is fine, if you exclude some of the dangers, but, the longer you consume this meat, the greater the chances are that you will get some kind of disease.
If the pressing health concerns are not enough
In the USA, 97% of the pigs are raised in factory farms. These pigs never run on grass, breath outside air, they never play in the sun. These pigs are confined into huge stockrooms and feed with nutrients that also include many medications, anti-infection agents and other chemicals to keep them alive and to make them develop faster.
In case pigs lived in a satisfactory space where they could eat on one place and rest on a different one, it would be a different story. But in the plant ranches they are forced to live in their own defecation, urine and vomit. Because of this, one fourth of the pigs suffer from mange, an unbearable rash that doesn’t go away.
These conditions in which pigs are constrained to live make them breath lethal gas, like ammonia for example, which is a result of the urine and the feces. This gas harms their lungs to the point that about 80% of the pigs raised in the USA have pneumonia.
The things we mentioned here about the great horrors the pigs on ranches live daily are only one small part. The main terrors and the truth are kept in secret, away from public attention, and the worst part is that they continue on and on.
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