After a long and tiring week, a Sunday roast may be just what you need. Whether you prefer some roasted pork belly or freshly grilled pork chops, once you see that piece of meat on your plate, it’s hard to imagine where it came from, how it was grown, and what’s in it.
Meat such as pork and chicken are in such high demand. Many farmers meet this supply by growing livestock by the thousands in order to quickly meet the need of consumers.
Unfortunately, growing so many animals requires space that isn’t available. Animals are then cramped together until they’re old enough for slaughter. To keep these animals alive in such difficult living conditions, farmers rely on antibiotics in meat production keep them healthy.
Use of Antibiotics: Is Your Meat Safe?
Farmers will say that they need to inject their livestock with antibiotics to keep them alive and healthy. This is due to the unsanitary, cramped, and inhumane living conditions that they are subjected to. Antibiotics protect the animals from bacteria and keep them healthy enough for slaughter at a healthy weight.
Among many concerns about the way factory farmed meat is produced, a large growing concern is focused on the long term health effects of antibiotics routinely injected into meat that inevitably gets consumed by humans. Many health advocates raise the concern of creating a surge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and super viruses due to the excess use of using antibiotics on healthy and unhealthy livestock alike. This potentially exposes humans to consuming antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Health organizations such as the World Health Organization, Infectious Disease Society of America, and the American Public Health Association all agree that there needs to be a significant reduction in the use of antibiotics for meat production, both for the threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria and the unknown long-term effects of needlessly consuming antibiotic residue from factory farmed meat.
What can we do?
To avoid exposing yourself to meat that can potentially transfer to you antibiotic resistant bacteria, opt for all-natural meat grown without antibiotic injections. Although factory farming takes the majority of how meat is produced, there are farmers who grow their animals in humane conditions, and don’t need antibiotics to keep them healthy.
When opting for all-natural or organic pork and other meats, choose meat that has been grown without antibiotics, fed quality food that hasn’t been genetically modified or grown with pesticides.
A large part of our health is determined by how healthy the foods we consume are. Antibiotic laden meat may be filling and look innocent on our plates, but the potential of exposing ourselves to antibiotic resistant viruses and exposing our body to excess and unnecessary antibiotics makes a recipe for illnesses where potentially antibiotics that you’ll then need won’t be effective.
All-natural pork is available at select Healthy Options stores.
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Braising cubes are presented as bite-sized chunks of pork that's best for cassoulet, posole, or gumbo. Serve it with vegetables over rice or grits, or stuff into a taco with tomatillos.
Pork chops are a loin cut taken perpendicularly to the spine of the pig and usually containing a rib or part of a vertebra. Pork chops are leaner than other cuts of pork with a lighter flavor.
Ground Pork is a combination of lean meat and fat from any part of a pig. It is usually made from pork shoulder, also known as pork butt or Boston butt, and sometimes includes trimmed ends of the loin.
Saute pork forms the basis for a quick meal. The cubes of pork, trimmed of fat and already in bite-sized pieces, cook fast and can be used in a variety of stews, stir-fries and other dishes. Cubed pork usually is cut from the loin, the leanest part of the pig.
Thin Pork Belly Slices
Pork belly slices are fresh meat – uncured, not smoked, dried or salted.
Rib chops are tender and have a light flavor – and also have a little more fat than pork loin. Rib chops should be cooked quickly – high heat roasted, fried, seared, grilled, or broiled and not overcooked.