Pork is the culinary name for domestic pig meat, consumed both fresh and preserved. Dating back to 5000 BC, it is the most popular meat in East and Southeast Asia, very common in the Western world and the most consumed meat worldwide. It is greatly prized in Asian cuisines for its fat content and pleasant texture. And interestingly, ounce for ounce, pork tenderloin has less fat than a chicken breast, as per research and food scientists are even finding ways to make it leaner further. Want to know more about your favorite meat, its pros and cons? Read below.
Forms of Pork:
You get it either in cured or uncured forms: two ways in which meat is preserved.
Cured meats: Uses chemicals and additives and have nitrates.
Uncured meats: Uses natural salts and flavorings. They are paler as compared to cured meats.
It’s either sold fresh or in the form of ham, bacon, smoked pork, gammon and sausage in preserved form. Charcuterie is a special division of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, many from pork.
Pork is a wonderful source of protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins and minerals. It also has more unsaturated fat than saturated fat and contains conjugated linoleic acid, considered good to protect your body against cancer or cardiovascular disease.
Three interesting facts about Pigs:
Pigs have an excellent sharp memory and are considered as clever animals, even better than dogs. They have complex social networks and have a brain-capacity of a 3 year old human.
A pig doesn’t sweat:
Remember the famous saying: “sweating like a pig?” Well in fact, pigs can’t even sweat and that’s the reason they bathe in either water or mud to keep themselves cool. They are also considered to be very clean, though it’s hard for us to believe this fact.
Worst side of Factory Farms:
The situation in any factory farm is worst. The mother-pigs are locked in tiny “gestation” crates, which is too small for them to even move around. Further worst, they are time after time impregnated until they are slaughtered.
The new born piglets are taken away from their mothers only when they are just few weeks old, chop their tails, clip their tooth, and even castrate the males, all this without even giving them any painkillers.
There are high chances of uncooked pork carrying parasites or latent diseases. One such possibility is Trichinosis that can be contracted (though this is rare to happen). It is a parasitic disease caused by eating raw pork infected with the larvae of a species of roundworm “Trichinella spiralis”, commonly called the trichina worm.
Besides this, there are changes of facing the following diseases as well:
Pork contains bacteria which pose high risk of infection and viruses, causing fever, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and dehydration.
Heart Disease Risk
Saturated fat is one of the major risk factors for heart disease and which is found in high content in any form of pork. It’s also responsible for bad cholesterol levels or overweight issues.
Bladder Cancer Risk
It also increases your risk of bladder cancer if you eat well-done or burnt pork often. According to a survey, patients who eat pork and other red meats well-done have a considerably higher risk of bladder cancer.
Pork consumption and Religion:
Some religions worldwide like Judaism and Islam, as well as some Christian denominations, prohibit pork consumption strictly. Even selling pork is illegal in many Muslim countries, particularly the ones following the Sharia Law, and is also sternly restricted in Israel, the only country with a Jewish majority.