Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
9 Aug

The Great Pig Conspiracy

Busted at last!

It’s time to dispel a myth, apples. Rather, let’s chop it up and fry it until it sizzles. There’s nothing like a post well-done.

Pork Avoidance: So Much More Than Mere Myth

Mark and your Bees have received several emails asking about the safety of pork. Although Sisson addressed this briefly a few months back, the question deserves attention because new evidence has come to light. Apples, we at Mark’s Daily Apple have friends in high places. Also, a few dark alleys. And these friends inform us that the common assumption that pork is unhealthy is far more than mere nutrition myth – it’s a calculated and cunning conspiracy. Today, we blow the lid off the Great Pig Conspiracy. And then we roast it with a side of applesauce.

We all know that pigs are smart. Apparently, they’re not only more clever than dogs, pigs are even sharper than the dolphin, that most cerebrally-endowed of all God’s creatures. According to our informant (nom de oink: Greasy Spoon), those mendaciously witty oinkers have pulled the cashmere over our eyes in what is perhaps the greatest intraspecies conspiracy theory. Ever.

After scrappy half-pint Laura and golden-curled Mary squabbled like boys over the sizzling pig’s tail in Little House in the Big Woods, the pigs were fed up. Such effrontery! Such disrespect! Such insult! The underground Porcine Society for the Advancement of Other Meats (PSAOM) was born. Being that the United States is a traditionally Judeo-Christian nation, the setting was ripe for the conspiracy to take hold in the hearts and minds of Americans. The dastardly oinkers (G. Spoon’s term, not ours) played right into the unclean concerns of unsuspecting Americans.

Within a few short years, chicken was all the rage. “A chicken in every pot”? That popular postwar prosperity promise was carefully crafted by a covert operative masquerading as a certain unfortunate-looking politician. I don’t think I have to name names here. The hamburger love affair of the 1950s? Ray Croc was no fool – who would turn down the kind of sizable bribes an organization like PSAOM could offer? And let’s not even get started on E.B. White. By the 1980s, all you heard anywhere was that beef was what’s for dinner. The great popularity of fish these days – well, let’s just say for once it’s not the Vatican.

Aha! What of the “Other White Meat” campaign? There’s a hole in the conspiracy theory!

Tsk, tsk, are you really so easily fooled? This marketing campaign was one of the finest examples of effective counter-marketing ever designed. Divide and conquer, if you will. Hey, hungry folks, I’m almost like something you want! Wow, that’s compelling. Who wouldn’t want something that’s almost what you want, especially when what you do want is, well, cheaper? I can’t wait for the car that almost runs and the boat that almost floats and the roof that almost doesn’t collapse or the cat that actually stops meowing when I give it a treat already. Can you see the devastating craftiness of PSAOM, my friends?

The truth is, pork is one of the cleanest, healthiest meats on earth. Now, no factory farm raising any livestock is a place of great cleanliness (all the Virgos work in technology, which just makes no sense), so we recommend buying organic, local, grass-fed, you know the drill. That said, pork is not an “unclean” meat. That myth started in Egypt. Remember the Egyptians, those death-obsessed people? For the first hundred dynasties or so, before Egypt jumped the shark, pigs were revered. In fact, the Egyptians even started thinking the stars were piglets in the sky (and we thought the Beatles were a little nutty). Pretty soon Egyptians were sacrificing pigs to the mysterious Osiris, the god who was apparently really heavily involved with things like life and death. After a few more dynasties (seriously, that empire was like the Energizer Bunny of empires), pigs were associated with life and death, and it doesn’t take a psychologist with a penchant for identifying pathologies to figure out which part of that equation the Egyptians started focusing on. By the time Mesopotamian cultures entered into the mix, pigs were just considered scary and kind of, well, carcassy. Underwordly, really. And thus the unclean myth was born.

Meat is tissue, and it doesn’t matter if it comes from a pig, a cow, a chicken, or in some cultures, a rat – meat is meat is meat. There are only slight genetic differences between all living creatures, and while a few percentage points on the old DNA-o-meter mean the difference between a person and a pig, or a cow and a capibera, flesh is flesh.

How’s that from bringing home the bacon, baby?


Other porky myths

An actual journal study about pork myths (this is serious stuff, folks)

Salt Lake Tribune dispels pork myths

This person is really, really into pig history

Further reading:

Smart Fuel

Why the Atkins Diet Works

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. No longer do I have to be ashamed of eating pork … wonderful pork… I think I’ll grab some chops for the grill to celebrate!!

    Brian wrote on August 9th, 2007
  2. Lies, all lies! I’ve known many a pig, and they are dangerous, deadly creatures. Little known facts about pigs:

    1. Pigs eat children.
    2. When children eat pigs, they grow snouts.
    3. Pigs never look both ways before crossing the street.
    4. Pigs always use your laundry detergent without asking.
    5. Pigs have 30 minute orgasms. Unfair.

    Bradford wrote on August 9th, 2007
  3. Great Post Sara! (Funny Pic ..L.O.L.)
    I do admit that I’ve eaten quite a bit of pork in my time over the years. I think it’s pretty good. I’ve heard many people say that a pig is a filthy animal and you are what you eat, so don’t eat a pig. “I” say hey-if a pig is fed correctly-grass fed, that’s clean meat, no harm in eating it. Has anyone ever heard of a Conchon’ De’ Lait’. (Now I’m NOT suggesting this) But, in Louisiana, what some do is they take the pigs skin and deep fry it-it’s called cracklins. Now that, I won’t touch with a 10 ft. pole. Just my preference not to eat it because I don’t eat deep fried foods. Anyway, yeah, sure, I see eating the better “white meat” as OK. as long as it’s grass fed!

    Brian, a grilled pork chop sounds great, go ahead, indulge! I think i’ll grill one myself, also!(As i occasionally do)

    Donna wrote on August 9th, 2007
  4. Bradford, you are mixing pigs up with the following creatures:
    1. Trolls
    2. baby pigs
    3. Pedestrians with cell phones
    4. Roommates
    5. Rick James

    Sandy wrote on August 9th, 2007
  5. Bradford,
    I left my child with my pet pig diddles…
    He’s fine right??

    brett wrote on August 9th, 2007
  6. Rick James? LOL!!!!

    Sara wrote on August 9th, 2007
  7. Brett,
    That depends. Is your child covered in oregano, and/or does your child play in oregano? If so, you’re in trouble, pigs will eat that stuff up.

    More importantly, I think it is bad parenting to allow a pig to babysit children. My neighbor’s llama babysits my kids, they are loyal pack animals, very protective of wee ones.

    Bradford wrote on August 9th, 2007
  8. Okay, so pork is in; but shellfish is still verboten!

    Is that correct?

    Oxybeles wrote on August 9th, 2007
  9. Be careful talking the “The Other White Meat” campaign… they’ve been known to have overzealous copy-write lawyers… Why would they have any problems with an article that’s Pro-Pork? Well, why would they have had problems with a tee-shirt that was pro-breastfeeding? :)

    Sara G wrote on August 9th, 2007
  10. Sara G: Thanks for sharing. We think. :)

    Oxybeles: what’s wrong with sea bugs? 😉

    Sara wrote on August 9th, 2007
  11. Wow, this article has really got me questioning my avoidance of pork.
    I’ve always thought a pig was a filthy animal that eats it’s own mess but the last paragraph about meat is meat is meat is a real eye opener.

    I need to look into this further.

    Ketan wrote on August 10th, 2007
    • The entire theme on MDA is that all meat is not created equal because what the animal eats matters. Not all meat is the same. Pork is not healthy. Pigs are scavengers that will eat anything including their own crap and carcases.

      britbrit05 wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  12. I really do enjoy shellfish, i’ve eaten it all my life and it’s delicious.

    Donna wrote on August 10th, 2007
  13. Some think pigs are dirty because they don’t sweat. According to Ted Slanker who raises grass-fed pigs, says they sweat through their hooves. If you treat an animal like a “pig”, maybe they’ll act like one. I have never been able to find grass-fed pork where I live. I like a good pork roast but do not like ham for some reason. My poor husband, I almost killed him with my clam chowder once. He’s allergic to shellfish. Oops!

    Crystal wrote on August 10th, 2007
  14. Many pigs are factory farmed in really bad conditions – Poor things :-(

    icarus wrote on August 10th, 2007
  15. icarus – it’s really terrible in some states. Europe has eliminated the cages, and I believe there’s been some success in Florida so far.

    Sara wrote on August 13th, 2007
  16. Yuk! Pigs are nasty and have parasites. Yuk, Yuk, Yuk! You can’t fool me.

    mary wrote on July 3rd, 2010
    • I bet you’re a vegetarian. If not then you’re a hypocrite. Farm animal are home for parasites, it’s jsut a matter of how you cook it.

      Captain obvious wrote on November 28th, 2014
  17. People,
    You have some serious issues gone unchecked. Why are you so obsessed over eating swine? The albino beast that has very little sweat glands which causes them to be prone to various and often lethal toxins and worms. Sounds pretty damn gross to me? How could any normal human being have a mere craving for these disgusting, dispicable and grotesque beasts. Good luck with your ham sandwhiches, pork chops and pork loins. Be sure to wash up afterwards.

    L.M. wrote on October 19th, 2010
    • This article clearly has references in links below the article. And there is no scientific proof that pigs are dirty. If there is any scientist that claims so, its all Jewish (Abrahamic propaganda) just like your views.

      Pigs are clean , healthy and tastes great!

      Kat wrote on July 27th, 2013
    • Your brain has been washed quite a bit I see. You religious freaks are always judge by appearance rather than clear facts. And learn at least what “albino” means. You use it without knowing what’s the true meaning behind that. Pft… religion brainwash. Figures

      S.B. wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Worms? Beef and goat also have it (practically every farm animal have that potential, you might just closing your eyes from truth/blinded by your “faith”).

      Captain obvious wrote on November 28th, 2014
  18. Um, is this article a joke? First of all, there are no sources or references to be found in the entire article. So much for blowing lids off, dispelling, frying+chopping of myths… Second, I can also tell you “I have a [ridiculous] bird friend that told me that pork was indeed worm-infested and contains more toxins than any edible thing should”, but that doesn’t make it true.. Do you have evidence you’d like to share??

    Thank you,

    Maria wrote on March 28th, 2011
    • Then those toxin makes my great-grandmother lives until 99 years old; with good memory and even bilingual (trilingual if you count traditional language). She eats and cooks lots of pork dishes, but she avoid beef. Yeah, she’s a living proof that pork are good, where’s your proof.

      S.B. wrote on September 21st, 2013
  19. what a joke this article is. no rferences or any scientific backups. Pigs are the filtiest of all animals. Do your homework first.

    johnny wrote on October 1st, 2011
  20. Soooooo….the article pontificates that pork is really good for you…and, poof!

    So it is…

    Perhaps some references or verifiable sources cited next time would be helpful in winning over the fact-checking zealots.

    judahbenhuer wrote on October 8th, 2011
  21. Let’s do a scientific experiment. Call your doctor for an appointment, and ask for a blood exam. The night before, eat your favorite slice of pork. Morning comes, go to your doctor and state the reason for a blood exam. Your reason should be: I just ate pork last night and I need to know how my body’s internal system reacts to it.

    Mathew wrote on September 17th, 2012
  22. i would like to say : i work as archilogist at egypt and i mention all the information about ancient egypt is fake and not real . in judism and islam they dont eat pork because it has dangerous effect on humans and the proof you can find it at any health magazine .by the way the most high rates of cancer between the humans you can find at the countries who eat pork .look at the statistics .science. science . not fake stories please.

    ahmed wrote on October 3rd, 2012
    • Jewish/Islamic propaganda as usual.

      Kat wrote on July 27th, 2013
    • Oh yeah? Tell me more about the “dangerous effect” o great “archilogist” (and I thought archaeologist are the correct term, you’re probably a genius o mighty lord XD).
      Dangerous why? Parasite?
      It’s only if the meat are not properly cooked and in fact every meat products have their own parasite.
      Cancer? you sure it’s not because you’re smoking? Or over consuming meat products including beef, chicken, and those satanic goat)?
      My family have been a pork eater for generations(in moderation of course) and not a single one got any cancer. Also none of my previous generation smokes (some of my cousin smokes so I suspect they’ll be amongst the first who got cancer in my long family history).
      It’s science and real fact. Religion propaganda are what makes people blind.

      “those heretics are eating pork, the’re gonna die before us so let’s celebrate and feast on this satanic goat meat since it’s done no harm to our body.”

      Just stating the obvious, over-consumption of ANY meat product WILL lead to cancer, it’s not only pork. like you say, science. science. science.

      Captain obvious wrote on November 28th, 2014
  23. I grew up eating overcooked dry pork because my dad’s mother died from Trichinosis back in the 1920’s. He and a sister got it too but survived. They were poor farmers in the South.

    There are still a very few cases in the U.S. even now but that does not stop me from eating lots of pork. And I never overcook it.

    Anne wrote on April 9th, 2014
  24. I try not to be mean, but I give myself a an allowance of mean things to say, so that I dont get headaches. The people claiming there are no sources are idiots. There is a section right at the end of the article titled “Sources”. And then, right below THAT, are the aforementioned “sources”. I know reading is hard work, but if i can keep my comment pg-13, I feel it only fair that maybe you actually read the whole article BEFORE commenting. Idiots. Peace.

    Donnie wrote on October 4th, 2014
  25. Pigs are unclean and have worms and parasites, and you can watch the videos of worms coming out of the pork meat when they pour coca cola on the meat, and our pastor did this and we all got to see the worms, so pork is very bad to eat and the Bible says so. also shellfish and other things.

    Mel wrote on May 8th, 2016
  26. Realize its all about how you cook it. There is a real danger of Trichinae or parasites with any meat depending on where its from and was processed. Pork at 140 F (internal temp) for a couple of minutes in an oven or grill is required to kill them off. Also, microwaving is NOT the same and parasites can survive at the same temps / times.

    Eating raw or rare meat is never a good idea because your putting yourself at some level of risk of these types of creatures. Once their in your system, their in there for life unless surgically removed. Symptoms are not readily predictable as they mimic other more common ailments.

    Just saying…..

    Jared wrote on July 23rd, 2016

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