You tell people to eat pork? Yes in my orientation class I tell clients that pork is a fine protein to consume, and yes even bacon. Today, however, we need to clarify and clear pork’s name (it, especially bacon) has a bad reputation, which is sad because it is so yummy (it seems as if you can put bacon in any recipe and up the deliciousness meter). Let’s talk ab bout the pig first. Pigs are omnivores (like us), therefore they consume more than grass, therefore they are not classified as grass-fed but compassion raised is a commonly seen term. I’d had reservations about recommending pork because Dr. Sharifi had said the Weston Price wasn’t sold on pork. Upon looking into it further, I found that the problems occurred when looking at preservation. Pork is a traditional food, having been eaten traditionally by Asian and European societies. The difference is how the cured it. Asian societies typically marinated in an acidic base. For instance in India they marinated it in yogurt to make Tandoori Pork. Europeans, however, took to curing the pork by making it into ham, sausages and bacon. The problem is that we have veered from this. To begin with we are using inferior quality meat. Next is either we are not marinating it or we are doing a piss-poor job of preserving it. Current ‘curing’ typically uses sodium nitrate or sodium nitrite. These tricky bastards turn into nitrosamines, a known carcinogen (oy not all of preservation inventions-think of pasteurization-are great and really muck things up). Funny, now traditional preparations are considered ‘uncured’ as they use salt, spices and a sweetener (salt itself just hardens the meat, so more is needed). So what to look for when you’re buying pork products?
- Certified Humane or Animal Welfare Approved (this is the better label as it guarantees outdoor time); organic would be OK but inferior to these two. Natural just means it doesn’t have artificial ingredients added during processing (steer clear of this then).
- look for ‘uncured’ and make sure you can pronounce and recognize the ingredients listed
- marinate meat in an acid, pork is highly perishable so eat and marinate quickly
What we learned today is that it is fine to embrace the much loved bacon and other products coming from the pig, but looking at preparation (the Weston Price issue came from today’s pork-unmarinated and cured- that can effect blood levels). Go grab some uncured bacon and check out my bacon pinterest board for ways to enjoy this decedent bit of protein goodness!