While bacon-anything gets a free pass in the foodie world, the reality is that pork is a dirty business--for the pigs, for the environment and for public health. China's pork industry is buying up US companies in an attempt to improve its tainted image, but American pork chops haven't fared much better.
James McWilliams of Forbes recently said of the US pork industry, "ecologically, ethically, and in terms of human health, it’s a global pursuit that threatens to undermine otherwise noble efforts to design humane and environmentally sound food systems."
That's a powerful statement. So why are US pork chops so dangerous you should reconsider your dinner selection? Read on.
4 Reasons Pork Chops Are Hazardous To Your Health
1. Greenhouse gases
The pork industry generates more greenhouse gas emissions than any other animal product besides besides beef, cheese, and lamb.
2. Air and water quality
Anywhere there are animals, there's animal waste. On a small scale, waste is part of the natural farming cycle, but when things get big, it's a different story. At factory farms, thousands of pigs are crowded together, all pooping in the same spot. To handle the massive volumes of waste, manure is collected in massive lagoons. These cesspools of waste often leak or overflow, sending dangerous microbes, nitrate pollution and drug resistant bacteria into the environment and water supplies.
To comply with regulations for manure disposal, pig manure is often used on crop fields. Unfortunately, a new study shows that people living near pig farms or agricultural areas fertilized with pig manure are more likely to become infected with Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria, an antibiotic resistant infection.
4. Animal cruelty
Pigs are among the smartest domesticated animals. In their natural environments, they're social and playful but in factory farms they're mistreated in ways that would shock most consumers. In a recent investigation at Pipestone farm, a supplier of Walmart pork, there were reports of “slamming piglets headfirst into the ground and leaving them to slowly suffer and die” and “sick and injured pigs with severe, bleeding wounds or infections left to suffer without veterinary care."
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