Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pork! The other white meat?

I don't think think so. If it hasn't been said before, I grew up on a small farm where we did lots of our own butchering. There was also a period in time while I was in 4-H that we participated in meat judging. From both of these experiences, I was always tought that beef and pork was red meat. Needless to say, I was a little curious as to how the pork board was getting away with this. I checked some dictionaries back around that time and sure enough, the definition of red meat is meat that is red before it is cooked. Same went for the definition of white meat as well. I knew that pork was red before it was cooked and also that it was a bit lighter in color because of an increased amount of fat in the muscle tissue.

Fast forward to now. Being tired of repeatedly running into this everywhere, I decided to put some cold hard facts here in my blog and straigten this out once and for all.

My first stop was a couple of online dictionaries. It would seem that they are on the fence about the subject. The ones that I looked at gave the basic definition as I stated above and cited examples of both white and red meat. However, none of them placed pork under either definition.

Need to move on further I guess. Time for my favorite resource of all. You guessed it, wikipedia.com.

There seems to ba a little bit of "on the fence" type difinitions there as well. It vaguely calls young pork white, but further says the following, and in my opinion is the most accurate of descriptions.

Red meat does not refer to how well a piece of meat is cooked or its coloration after cooking. A steak or hamburger is a red meat whether it is served rare, or cooked until it is well-done; pork is also red, though it turns to a whitish color when cooked. According to the USDA all meats obtained from "livestock" are "red meats" because they contain more myoglobin than chicken or fish.

By definition, the USDA says that pork is red meat based on scientific criteria. That must be the truth. After all no government entity would ever think of lying to us right?

My work is done here and the pork board should be ashamed of themselves for trying to tell the country that pork is as healthy as chicken. While there may be some cuts that are leaner than chicken, as a whole it is probably a less healthy alternative than chicken. Did I just say that? Yep.

Now I want to see the chicken council sue the pork board and make them stop using that slogan. Or better yet, let's see their CEO's dish it out in a pig slop mud wrestling match and let the winner take all.

Don't get me wrong. I think pork fat rules as much as the next guy, so eat up and enjoy, just don't fall into the hype.

I think I will go and get me some peppered pork sticks right now. YUMMS!


Anonymous said...


Greg said...


Anonymous said...

Close your eyes and you really can't tell the difference!

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