From pork chops and bacon to ham served at five-star restaurants, pig meat constitutes a sizeable portion of the North American menu. But is it as safe and healthy as most believe?
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Each day, people across the world consume three square meals intended to fuel their bodies. In the hustle and bustle of modern society, these are increasingly becoming more processed and less natural.
The result can be seen in the explosion of sickness, disease and an overall lack of good health. Yet most never make the connection between what they eat and how they feel—and are doomed to a lifetime of illness and fatigue.
Much of the problem is directly tied to ignorance of health, diet and the human body. While having a discussion relating to health and diet, one nutritionist, who developed menus for high schools, said the link between what one eats and how one feels has been blown out of proportion. She stated that the origin of sickness is unknown, which is why there are doctors.
But what have doctors and medical science been able to accomplish? They have only been able to cure a few illnesses and diseases, and prevent even fewer! Western medicine has been designed to react to an illness and not help one prevent illnesses and maintain health. It treats the effects rather than the cause.
Yet the root of the problem lies in the cause.
Most recognize what poisons do to the body. They understand that if one consumes cyanide, he will die. Conversely, many parents tell their kids to “eat your vegetables.” But a broader connection to diet is never established. This is because man does not follow the one Book that detailed millennia ago what man should and should not eat to maintain health and avoid disease. That Book—the Bible—man’s overall instruction manual on how to live—was designed to help him lead a healthy existence, which includes never experiencing poor health.
In the third book of the Bible, a detailed set of dietary laws was established. These set the basis for which creatures were designed to be eaten and which were meant for other purposes. While Leviticus 11 describes each of these animals in detail, this article will cover only the most popular.
The body of evidence of why certain animals were designated for meat while others were not is vast. It will change what makes up your three square meals forever.
One of the most popular animals bred for food is the pig. This pug-nosed “treat” is served in backyards as pork chops, at breakfast tables as bacon, or in delicacies at five-star restaurants. Powerful organizations and political lobbyists push its consumption in the media and other places. The result is that swine constitutes a large portion of the North American menu.
But is it as safe and healthy as most believe?
Much insight into the pig can be ascertained by how they are raised and what they eat. Many have heard the expression, “You are what you eat.” What a pig will eat is shocking!
A pig’s digestive system—unlike a cow’s—is not designed to filter toxins from its system. These toxins work their way through the pig and are deposited in the animal’s flesh—especially in its fat. The pig itself is actually able to sustain very high levels of toxins. As such, it can eat just about anything. In an effort to keep feed costs down, pig farmers will purchase garbage, such as rotting meat and vegetables, to feed them—and the pigs can be sustained with it. There is nothing in the animal’s digestive system, or the processing of the meat, that removes these toxins.
The time it takes for these things to be assimilated is more interesting. For most animals, this is a much slower process, taking perhaps 12 to 24 hours. This gives an animal’s digestive system time to filter toxins, poisons and deadly parasites from entering the bloodstream and being deposited in its flesh. Also, because many foods can build muscle, greater time is required for that muscle to form.
The same is not true for a pig. Much of what it eats can be assimilated much more quickly. Not only does this mean that toxins are not filtered, but also most of the flesh takes the form of fat!
Even in humans, body fat is where most toxins are stored. Typically, when the body does not know how to deal with a substance, it surrounds it with fat and stores it to keep the rest of the body safe. The same is true in pigs. While they have other methods of dumping extremely deadly toxins from their systems, the highest concentration is in the fat tissue.
In addition, a March 1950 Reader’s Digest article stated that pork contains “myriads of baffling and sinister parasites.”
Dr. Maurice C. Hall, a zoology chief at the United States Bureau of Animal Industry, stated in the same article, “It appears to be a legitimate demand that, when a man exchanges dollars for pork, he should not do it, on the basis that he may be purchasing his death warrant.”
While some claim that this has changed as a result of increased scientific understanding of pathogens, the fact remains that pigs were never meant to be eaten.
Pigs are designed as natural vacuum cleaners. They will eat just about anything—garbage, carcasses or even their own urine and feces. Most of this consumption causes no harm to pigs. They were designed to do such things. They are so efficient at this task that when land is cleared for a golf course, pigs are often let loose to eat all the poisonous snakes—with no harm to the pigs.
Every animal has its purpose. Scavengers, such as pigs, are designed to clean—not to be eaten!
Some of the “cleaning” features of the pig are remarkable. One is located under its hooves. Often referred to as poison ducts or running sores, these “sores” act as a conduit for poisons to ooze from the pig’s body. This is one reason pigs can eat poisonous snakes that would kill other creatures and not be affected themselves. These ducts, however, will often become “plugged” from the amount of toxins pigs must excrete from their bodies. If this is the case, a farmer must quickly slaughter the pig and send it to market before it dies. Accordingly, the meat from such an animal is riddled with parasites and toxins.
The toxicity of the pig is not just limited to its meat and organs. Even its saliva can be horribly infectious. In fact, one disease, called “mad itch,” will cause a cow to rub all the skin from its mouth—to the point of killing itself. All that is required for cows to contract this disease is to come in contact with the residue of a pig’s saliva on shared food supplies!
Inside the pig is an abundance of parasites. For instance, the animal can sustain 19 different kinds of worms in its body. Some have minor effects on humans, but others last longer.
The parasite that is most widely known causes trichinosis, a disorder that results from an infestation of roundworms.
Like most parasitic organisms, this worm is contracted when one consumes meat containing trichinae larva. Once in the intestine, the larvae hatch and grow into adult roundworms. These roundworms then produce offspring that can burrow through the intestinal wall. From this point, they enter the lymphatic system and can move throughout the body via the bloodstream. They then implant themselves in tissues that allow them to grow.
Those infected with trichinosis can experience a wide range of symptoms—abdominal discomfort, cramping, diarrhea, muscle pain (especially muscle pain with breathing, chewing or using large muscles), and fever. If the damage to the tissue is severe, the long-term problems are never-ending.
So-called experts argue that properly cooking pork at 167 degrees Fahrenheit will destroy the bacteria and parasites in it. Most who cook pork, however, are not as careful as those conducting a laboratory study. Simple organisms such as these worms are remarkably resilient, so just cooking the meat does not necessarily make it safe.
Some of these parasites, such as trichinosis, can also be incredibly hard to detect. Former state senator and chairman of the New York Trichinosis Commission, Thomas C. Desmond, stated in Reader’s Digest, “Physicians have confused trichinosis with some 50 ailments, ranging from typhoid fever to acute alcoholism. That pain in your arm or leg may be arthritis or rheumatism, but it may be trichinosis. That pain in your back may mean a gall-bladder involvement, but it may mean trichinosis.”
Further demonstrating this, the National Center for Biotechnology Information said, “…the anticipated 120,000 to 300,000 human infections each year turn into only approximately 100 reported cases, probably because of the difficulties in diagnosing the disease, the under-reporting of the disease by physicians, and a high proportion of subclinical infections resulting from the consumption of infected swine containing less than one Trichinella larva per gram of pork.”
“Most people with the disease are unaware that they have even been infected. It is estimated that between 150,000 and 300,000 people in the United States become infected yearly, so that at any given time, 1.5 million people have T. spiralis infections. Most of these people have such light cases that trichinosis is never identified. Worm burden is measured in larvae per gram of muscle tissue; people with 10 or fewer larvae per gram of muscle tissue usually have no significant symptoms. When the number climbs to 100 larvae per gram of muscle tissue, the symptoms become noticeable. People with over 1000 larvae per gram of muscle tissue are usually extremely ill, and often die” (Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine).
Although there are test regulations established to stem infection, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, only “a minimum of 1 gram is tested and the sensitivity of this test is approximately 3 larvae per gram of tissue.” This means that in a three ounce piece of pork, you could be consuming up to 170 worms!
In addition to this, there is no requirement for regular testing in the U.S., “nor do most states require reporting of trichinae infection in pigs if found” (ibid.).
And this is just one of the 19 parasites found in pork!
Although the focus of this article has been on the most popular of unclean meats, there are many reasons why certain birds, seafood and other creatures are also unhealthy. One example is that of clams and oysters. Typically, these shellfish are eaten raw. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Arizona on “oysters from so-called certified-safe beds discovered that 9 percent were contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.” The study’s author also told ABC News that “E. coli [was found] in 100 percent of Gulf Coast locations, and in high amounts.”
In addition, such bottom-feeding creatures are typically saturated with heavy metals, such as mercury.
Another example is armadillos. Not only are these creatures unclean to eat, but studies also show they may even be dangerous to handle, as they may serve as reservoirs for leprosy.
One final study also bears some investigation. Though it was conducted many decades ago, a modern “update” of this study, with a more exact toxicology analysis, would show similar results.
A 1953 study published in the “Bulletin of the History of Medicine,” and written by Dr. David Macht, M.D., tested a variety of biblically clean and unclean animals for levels of toxicity. His findings confirmed everything covered so far. Every animal that the Bible declared as clean was found to be non-toxic. Conversely, each animal declared as unclean was found to be toxic and inedible based on these tests. Keep in mind that this study took place in a much less toxic society, so the same animals would be much more toxic today!
Time and again, study of these scavengers show that they are well-designed to clean, but they are not clean to eat. Just as you would not go into a sewage plant for dinner, you should not eat these natural sewage processors!
It takes little investigation to learn why the Bible teaches what it has for thousands of years. God declares certain animals unclean and they are designated as such for a reason.
The Bible itself has never wavered on these teachings. If you look at the first book of the Bible—Genesis—you will find that Noah was instructed to take seven pairs of clean animals and one pair of unclean. Even then, God wanted man to eat what was created to be food and not eat things that would poison him.
This is particularly important in the context of the account of the Flood found in the Old Testament. God was cleansing the world to start anew. He could have easily allowed for anything to be eaten if that was His choice. But He inspired this grouping of animals and the recording of it in Genesis 7:2 as a lesson for mankind today.
For centuries, the Bible has been discounted as either a book of “stories” or some “good concepts”—it is not believed for what it says! Man ignores its plain teachings—including that of clean and unclean meats.
Before science could prove it to be true, God’s Word told the truth. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. If you follow the laws that God set forth regarding diet, not only will you please the Creator of the universe, but you will also enjoy boundless energy and solid health.
But do not stop there. Dig deeper into God’s Word. What you discover will most certainly surprise you!
To learn more about the biblical teaching of clean and unclean meats and how to live a healthier lifestyle, request the free article Are All Animals Good Food?, as well as the free booklet God’s Principles of Healthful Living.