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Mystery Pork Will Soon Hit The Stores

Mystery pork will soon be in our stores — if it’s not already there. This isn’t just an environmental issue, but also a health one.

Mystery pork will soon be in our stores — if it’s not already there. This isn’t just an environmental issue, but also a health one.

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tells us that one pig factory generates the same amount of raw waste as a city of 12,000 people. Raising animals for food has already contributed to most of the pollution in our water supply, but you may have a bit more than that to worry about soon when it comes to pork. With changes coming from the Trump administration, those eating pork will be consuming sex organs, fecal matter, toenails, bladders, and hair.

Read that again. Those ribs you may be throwing on the grill will most likely have poop in them. The Hill reports that a pilot program for the new rules approved by the Trump Administration has been implemented at five plants. Five inspectors who worked there spoke to NBC News, and four others submitted affidavits with similar concerns.

Many religions ban the eating of pork. It’s already considered an especially unclean meat. To be honest, I used to laugh at this until I went on a fast in 2007. I am not Catholic, but I grew up celebrating Mardi Gras, and people usually fast by giving up something after the carnival season is over. I gave up pork. It was the hardest thing I’d ever done.

After Lent was over, I discovered that my body literally would get very ill right after eating pork. I’d never had the flu and thought it was me finally getting the flu the first time. It was just salmonella — from really bad meat. For those of us who are raised on these types of meat, our bodies develop some type of mild tolerance to the pathogens that are still present — or so I was told. When I fasted, I literally cleansed my body and it was no longer tolerant. The solution was to permanently eliminate pork from my diet.

I think eating meat is one of the hardest things to quit doing, especially if you live in the South. We have celebrations around eating meat. Crawfish season festivals (Mudbug Madness), Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival, and Cochon de Lait Festival (milk-fed pig) are a few of many food festivals in the state. Sure, there’s a veggie Jambalaya out there, but it’s not “authentic,” or just doesn’t taste right.

A paper published by Dartmouth helps us to understand the reasons our attitudes around meat, especially red meat, have been formed. In the mid-20th century, this “cowboy” mentality began to take shape and influence the generation of the time. It shaped attitudes around meat consumption. The report breaks down just how this happened. It relates to masculinity, in particular. The mentality shows that those who eat high amounts of red meat are considered masculine whereas eating lighter meats such as fish or poultry is seen as feminine and undesirable. Red meat is more expensive, and those who eat it are also seen as part of a higher social status. What about feces?

In the 1970s, health concerns associated with eating red meat increased the popularity of light meats and resulted in the popularity of “the other white meat,” which is pork. Today, with a push from the EPA and people who are going vegan and vegetarian, we are seeing a push for healthy alternatives to meat, such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. However, in the case of these new alternatives, there is a divide. I’ve had conversations with vegans and omnivores who have mixed but strong opinions. Some vegans think that Beyond Meat is pointless because they can make their own burgers and this feeds into a cultural myth of needing meat (lab grown if not from an animal). Additionally, a friend of mine here pointed out that it’s cheaper to buy actual meat than it is to buy Beyond Meat, which makes it hard for this option to catch on. I like the taste of the Beyond Meat patties. However, $9 for two patties is a bit extreme when you can buy quite a bit of beef for that amount.

However, the more alternatives to meat, the better, and I applaud Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods for what they’re offering. Not everyone is able to go vegan — it’s not for everyone. Here in Louisiana, we celebrate food and we go hard on this. Everything from green beans to mashed potatoes has some type of meat in it, usually pork. It truly would be better for the environment and for our health if we gave up eating meat with every meal, but I know that won’t happen across society. However, new regulations — or deregulation — from the Trump administration may push more people toward that.

“If this continues across the nation, when you open your package of meat, what you’re gonna get for a pathogen is gonna be a mystery.” — Jill Mauer, USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.

For those who eat meat and feel bad because they want to stop but it’s just so ingrained in their habits, consulting with a dietician can definitely help. What I do is make shakes and juices to sip on throughout the day. Juicing your salads, nuts, and fruit is a great way to get your nutrition and stay hydrated. People often opt for a can of soda or juice from the store — with insane amounts of sugar. Juicing at home is definitely a better solution than drinking artificially sweetened drinks. Also, there’s less food waste.

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Written By

Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok


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