(5/10/2004) Circulating alone for several years, this chain letter has recently been added to a collection of culinary caveats on ‘unknown’ hazards in instant noodles, satay and prawns. The present rumor builds on two staples of urban legendry: the impurity of pork and the acidic properties of Coca-Cola.
SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT
If you pours Coke (yes, the soda) on a slab of pork, wait a little while, you will SEE WORMS crawl out of it.
A message from the Health Corporation of Singapore about the Bad effects of pork consumption. Pig’s bodies contain MANY TOXINS, WORMS and LATENT DISEASES.
Although some of these infestations are harboured in other animals, modern veterinarians say that pigs are far MORE PREDISPOSED to these illnesses than other animals. This could be because PIGS like to SCAVENGE and will eat ANY kind of food, INCLUDING dead insects, worms, rotting carcasses, excreta including their own, garbage, and other pigs. INFLUENZA (flu) is one of the MOST famous illnesses which pigs share with humans. This illness is haboured in the LUNGS of pigs during the summer months and tends to affect pigs and human in the cooler months.
Sausage contains bits of pigs’ lungs, so those who EAT pork sausage tend to SUFFER MORE during EPIDEMICS of INFLUENZA. Pig meat contains EXCESSIVE quantities of HISTAMINE and IMIDAZOLE compounds, which can lead to ITCHING and INFLAMMATION; GROWTH HORMONE which PROMOTES INFLAMMATION and growth; sulphur containing mesenchymal mucus which leads to SWELLING and deposits of MUCUS in tendons and cartilage, resulting in ATHRITIS, RHEUMATISM, etc.
Sulphur helps cause FIRM human tendons and ligaments to be replaced by the pig’s soft mesenchymal tissues, and degeneration of human cartilage.
Eating pork can also lead to GALLSTONES and OBESITY, probably due to its HIGH CHOLESTEROL and SATURATED FAT content. The pig is the MAIN CARRIER of the TAENIE SOLIUM WORM, which is found in its flesh. These tapeworms are found in human intestines with greater frequency in nations where pigs are eaten. This type of tapeworm can pass through the intestines and affect many other organs, and is incurable once it reaches beyond a certain stage. One in six people in the US and Canada has TRICHINOSIS from eating trichina worms, which are found in pork.
Many people have NO SYMPTOMS to warm them of this, and when they do, they resemble symptoms of many other illnesses. These worms are NOT noticed during meat inspections.
END CHAIN LETTER TEXT
It has long been held that, in comparison to other meats, pork is comparatively less pure because of the scavenging and slothful life style of the animals from which it comes. In fact, some religions hold that swine are unclean and should not be consumed, lest they soil the consumer.
Regardless of religion, many of us were taught that eating raw or undercooked pork causes food poisoning known as trichinosis, a disease caused by parasitic worms. The (U.S.) National Pork Board, which has led a very aggressive on-farm food safety research program since 1994, addresses the presence of parasites in “the Other White Meat:”
“Because of modern feeding practices, trichinosis is a no longer a concern. Although trichina is virtually nonexistent in pork, if it were present, it would be killed at 137 degrees F. That’s well below the recommended end cooking temperature for pork, which is 160 degrees F.”
The (U.S.) National Pork Producer’s Council points out that pork has been given a bad rap and is the world’s most widely eaten meat:
“Pigs are often thought to be dirty, but actually keep themselves cleaner than most pets. They are seen laying in mud because they do not have sweat glands and constantly need water or mud to cool off.”
As the chain letter above points out, Pork is generally considered less lean and less healthy than other selections in the meat case. However, the National Pork Board explains that, while this used to be the case, modern pork production has come a long way:
“Today’s pig yields a pork loin with 77% less fat – and 53% fewer calories!
“Hogs and hog production have evolved to meet growing – and changing – demands for pork. With a declining need for many products once made from fat hogs, today’s leaner hogs better meet the needs of Americans. In 1937 much of a hog went toward producing lard. Today, lean meat replaces much of that fat.
“Today’s pork producer combines genetics with improved production techniques and technology to deliver the leaner pork consumers demand.”
The other alleged links between porcine and human health (influenza, inflammation, arthritis, etc) made in the chain letter above are unsupported by any medical literature I’ve been able to find.
The second legend this chain letter propagates is that Coke is acidic enough to force a supposed parasitic infestation from the meat. There are no magical properties in Coca-Cola that will cause some grotesque transformation in pork or any other meat. In fact, about the only thing pouring Coke on a piece of raw pork will produce is a yummy-sweet marinade for grilling or roasting. Read this article for more on the rumored health risks of Coca-cola.
If you have concerns about the fitness of pork as a part of your diet, consult your physician. Don’t give any purchase to an anonymously authored and randomly forwarded e-mail chain letter. Break this chain.