Pork – is it in a “dilemma”


Eating red meat is considered a part of people’ culinary. And there is pork in this part as a distinctive story with the status called “dilemma” by some people. It is called this status because pork is considered both white and red meat. Or it is said the good red meat that people can consume more than other types.

Reality proved that eating red meat is not encouraged however pork is still an important part of our cuisine, our dishes, our plate and even livestock products nevertheless we agree or not. Is it pork a “dilemma”? It is truly interesting topic to talk about.

You may see that in the red meat list or eating red meat, pork is the most popular meat worldwide especially in East and Southeast Asia. It is culinary meat from pig. Pork is rich in nutrients. Beside a high rate of protein and fat, it contains many other vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B6, B12, C, D, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, lysine, glutamic acid…

Pork although is in the red meat list but for the myoglobin content (an oxygen which carries the pigment of muscle tissues) is lower than beef and higher than chicken, that is the reason makes it to arranged in both white meat and red meat. This may be supposed the “dilemma” for pork.

One more points that there are some countries where pork is arranged in the red meat list clearly but it is not in some places. Or related to culinary commonly, the meat from the young pig is considered the white meat but pork is red meat if it is from an adult pig. It seems to be easier now to distinguish the status of white and red for pork. You may review some useful details related to pork like that and can image the “dilemma” maybe but it is not complicated as people supposed.

Beyond the “dilemma” of white and red status, what details we have to look back the popular type of meats through people’s consuming time to time? Some words related to history, pork product and some other things about pork may help us to know more.

History of pork

Pigs were domesticated from very early perhaps 5000 to 6000 years BC and their first domestication was believed in either Near East or China.

As one of the oldest forms of livestock, pigs were omnivorous livestock that could eat many types of food. By the time they were domesticated, people would use every parts of pig for their lives. Almost parts of pigs were edible, other parts like bristles or hide and bone were also usable. Meat from pigs was also easy to taste and cook. That’s why they were easy to domesticated and then reared for meat in many places around the world.

Through time, by the increasing of consumption caused from the development of population, and the trading between countries, the rearing for meat of this livestock is spread more and more. Pork was become the most popular meat in the world.

Pork product

It was counted that about 38% of meat consumed in the work is from pork and its products (a hundred million ton of pork was consumed in the world in 2013). This meat could be prohibited in Middle East and Muslim world but widely used in East and Southeast Asia, Europe, America, Africa and Oceania.

Pork could be used as fresh or cured. Fresh pork could be cooked to many different dishes and combined to other food well. It is also used in producing other products. These products are commonly called possessed pork. They include ham, bacon and sausages which were very popular in the west and now were also imported to the east then.

Pork in Asian cuisine

The most popular recipes that use pork would be considered from Asia. Eating red meat with pork is very popular. Asian could use this type of meat in combination with many other food, spices and cook in many ways to make numbers of dishes. Those dishes have specific flavor which could impress people from different areas.

 Pork and religious

There are in the world different reasons and features in different religions that lead to the disallowance or prevention of consuming pork. The typical example is in the Judaism, pork is not permitted to be consumed especially in time of Holy Days and Passover Season. The next case that pork is forbidden to be used you may know as in Islam. The law in Islam about consuming pork even is stricter than the Jewish dietary law. The explanation for disallowance is that it helps to protect people’s heath and keeps the living environment to be cleaner.