Consumption of pork is forbidden in many religions around the world that consider the animal unclean. According to recent experiments, this religious sentiment towards pork may be a fact.
Pigs are scavenger animals which will eat anything – even spoiled food, feces and urine. The average pig’s digestive system processes food in about four hours, which is hardly enough to uproot the big amount of toxins. They are then stored in the pig’s fat cells and organs.
Traditionally, pork is prepared by salt-curing and smoking, or marinating the fresh pork meat in vinegar before cooking it. Today, people cook pork without giving much thought to the preparation. A recent medical study found out that 69% of 200 pork samples tested were full of toxins and microorganisms such as Yersinia enteroclitica, which can cause serious health problems such as fever, gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea, vomiting and cramps.
According to the study, ground pork is more exposed to spoiling than solid pork, and it tested positive to different contamination types and substances like ractopamine, a dangerous compound which is banned in Europe and China. The amount of these substances in pork was shocking, and getting rid of them includes risky procedures.
Various harmful parasites are present in pigs, and many of them can be transferred to humans. Here’s what parasites are commonly found in pigs:
An intestinal parasite that can contaminate the tissue and cause lack of appetite.
This infection causes chills, migraines and sweating.
A parasitic roundworm that causes edema, myalgia, fever and general malaise.
A viral irritation that can cause nausea, jaundice and weariness. Severe cases of the condition cause fibrosis and cirrhosis.
Cooking pork properly can reduce the risk of infection by these parasites according to a study, but there is still a small chance that they survive. If you decide to eat pork, follow these guidelines in order to protect yourself from the harmful toxins and microorganisms:
- Use a thermometer while cooking pork to make sure you’re cooking it on a proper temperature. 145 F is for regular pork, while ground pork should not be cooked under 160 F.
- When storing raw pork in the fridge, make sure you keep it away from other foods.
- Wash your hands after handling raw pork.
- But pork and meat in general that hasn’t been treated with medications. Try finding organic meat and pork.
- Try to find a label on the product regarding antibiotic use. If you see a label that says “No anti-infections against used”, it means that the product is more reliable than others. A “Creature Welfare Approved” or “Certified Humane” label shows cautious use of anti-biotic agents on the animal.
What about organic pork?
Organic pork is of course better for digestion, but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain dangerous microorganisms in it. Field raised pork is powerless to trichinella spiralis contamination, also known as “pork worm”. Trichinella is a very dangerous parasite that can lead to near fatal condition. However, properly cooked meat can effectively destroy the parasite.
Pigs spend their lives on cement and steel filled with waste. Pork producers feed the pigs anti-microbial with their food and create even more waste. This is probably the main reason why you can notice a CAFO swine operations from miles’ distance. In operation like Joe Salatin’s, this won’t happen. These pigs were raised in a natural way and were managed cooperatively.
CAFO operations have become pretty common in the USA. It’s a shocking fact that CAFO pork is our main alternative. Consuming pork is fine when prepared properly, but still far too dangerous for a meat that is taking up a big part of our diet.
The disgusting way pigs are conventionally raised
97% of the pigs in the USA are raised in CAFO farms, meaning that they will never feel grass under their feet, and will never breathe fresh air or bask in the sun. The pigs in CAFO operations are swarmed in stockrooms and put on an eating regimen in order to gain weight. They are constantly fed with meds and anti-infection agents in order to support fast development.
Pigs should have enough room to run, eat and sleep. These farms don’t offer them that space, so they sleep in their feces and urine. 1 out of 4 pigs experience mange – an agonizing and dangerous rash that’s hard to treat.
Clearly, the conditions on these farms are not ideal for pigs. They live in terrible conditions and breathe dangerous gasses such as ammonia that originates from their own urine and feces. This gas damages the lungs and causes pneumonia of 80% of the pigs in the USA prior to slaughter season.