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NY Times Op-Ed on the local pork movement - Mark's Journal
NY Times Op-Ed on the local pork movement
Cidery Pork Chop & SpinachIs free-range pork better and safer to eat than conventional pork? Many consumers think so. The well-publicized horrors of intensive pig farming have fostered the widespread assumption that, as one purveyor of free-range meats put it, “the health benefits are indisputable.” However, as yet another reminder that culinary wisdom is never conventional, scientists have found that free-range pork can be more likely than caged pork to carry dangerous bacteria and parasites. It’s not only pistachios and 50-pound tubs of peanut paste that have been infected with salmonella but also 500-pound pigs allowed to root and to roam pastures happily before butting heads with a bolt gun.

7 comments or Leave a comment
perisoft From: perisoft Date: April 11th, 2009 11:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Fine - but what about government pork?
zercool From: zercool Date: April 11th, 2009 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
You could never protect yourself from the parasites attached to government pork...
roosterhillfrm From: roosterhillfrm Date: April 11th, 2009 11:23 am (UTC) (Link)
This article created quite a stir on many ag lists I am on. The author is a historian and ironically is quite selective about the facts and sources he quotes. He also has a new book to promote :)

A good rebuttal is here: <http://www.livablefutureblog.com/2009/04/smoked-%e2%80%9cbacon%e2%80%9d-and-mirrors/>

Just be informed and remember that anyone can quote stats to support their points of view.

sunpony From: sunpony Date: April 11th, 2009 12:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for that link. As the author of that rebuttal said, alarm bells went off in my head when I read this op-ed too. I have read some of his other op-eds, and, as the title of his new book suggests, he is not a fan of local food or organic methods. In fact he seems to point at these things as problems that are solved by continuing the kind of massive-scale farming practices that these things are responding to. He has a definite bias.

slave2tehtink From: slave2tehtink Date: April 11th, 2009 12:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I saw that one. I'm OK with well-done pork if the pigs lived happier lives.

But then again I've bee cutting down on meat lately, so.
adelais From: adelais Date: April 11th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
One of my profs always used to say, in reference to the EU regulations, that the right to graze is the right to have worms.

Pigs are opportunistic omnivores. They will eat any wildlife they can catch and kill. Toxoplasmosis from rodents is a problem even in confinement systems; it's inevitably a problem in pastured pigs. Trichinella can be controlled much more readily indoors than out, because you can't control what else comes and poops (or dies) in your pasture. The trade-off for free range pork may be cooking your pork chops into hockey pucks.
aregulardyke From: aregulardyke Date: April 11th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hmmm ...

Well, I like my pork cooked to 145 degrees. In other words, *not* well done, more toward medium-well. I think it's possible to treat pigs better than the mass pork farms do, while at the same time feeding good feed and controling the pig's possible exposure to contaminants. Not free range pigs, but 'controled roam' pigs, perhaps ? I for one have no desire to be parasite ridden, or become deathly ill, and while pork is not a staple of my diet, it is much loved, in all its forms.

7 comments or Leave a comment