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Pork: The Good and Bad About This Controversial Meat

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 13:39
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Due to its adaptable diet and independent nature, the pig is one of the oldest and most popular forms of livestock. Indeed, pigs were domesticated as far back as 5000 BC in Asia (much earlier than cattle and other ruminants), and have traveled across the world with humans. The famous Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, for example, brought eight pigs with him on his voyage to Cuba in 1493. 46 years later, Hernando de Soto landed in Tampa Bay, Florida with 13 pigs – and the North American pork industry was born.

While some of these pigs were raised for their hides, bones and bristles, most of them were raised for their delicious meat. In fact, pork remains the most widely consumed meat, accounting for an estimated 38% of meat production worldwide.

Despite its popularity, however, pork consumption is not without its controversies. Pigs are notorious for eating anything, and this undiscriminating diet – coupled with their inability to sweat or detoxify – makes them more susceptible to parasites than other domesticated animals. Heck, when all three of the Abrahamic religions actually agree upon something (that pigs are unclean), it’s understandable that some people might sit upright and question whether those juicy sausages are doing more harm than good.

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