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How Does Pork Prepared in Various Ways Affect the Blood? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Beverly Rubik, PhD   
Monday, 03 October 2011 19:39

An Investigation via Live Blood Analysis

Traditional preparation of pork involved salt-curing followed by smoking to preserve it, or marinating fresh pork in an acidic medium, usually vinegar, prior to cooking. Yet today some people simply cook fresh pork without giving any particular attention to traditional methods of preparation. How does consumption of these various preparations of pork affect the blood?

In this report, we examine three adults who normally eat a traditional Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) diet who participated in a pilot study to ascertain the effects of eating pork on the blood. These volunteers came to the laboratory once a week to consume pork prepared in various ways and to have their blood examined before and after eating it. Microphotographs of their blood show unexpected results.

ANCIENT SOURCE OF FOOD

Pork is one of the oldest sources of meat, with domestication of pigs documented as early as 5,000 BCE. Today it is estimated that 38 percent of the world’s meat production is pork, although its consumption varies widely throughout the globe. Fresh pork is less common than its many processed forms, including “cured” and “uncured” variations such as bacon, prosciutto, and many other types of hams. Pork processing is an old traditional method that goes back to the times before refrigeration and was originally employed to preserve the meat. However, the curing and smoking of pork imparts interesting flavors to the meat as well, and so processed pork meats have remained popular over the years. Marinating fresh pork meat before cooking it is another traditional method used in preparing fresh pork, which both tenderizes it, and imbues it with more flavor.

In this pilot study, we investigate the effects on live blood of consuming these various forms of pork—to observe the effects, if any, on the biological terrain of the body. The research questions pursued here are as follows:

1. Is there an effect from consuming pork on the blood as observed in dark-field live blood analysis?

2. Does unprocessed pork have a different effect than processed pork? We thus determine whether traditional preparation methods of pork affect the blood differently than the modern method of simply cooking fresh pork.

THE STATUS OF PORK AND HEALTH

It is interesting to note that swine have much in common anatomically and physiologically with humans—more than meets the eye. The fact is that porcine tissues are the most similar to human tissues compared to other animal tissues. For example, in medicine, pig heart valves are used to replace damaged human heart valves without any tissue rejection from the human recipient.

There are even common diseases that we share with pigs, such as the most recent outbreak of influenza, which was caused by H1N1, a virus and disease associated with swine, known as the “swine flu.”

There are two helminth (worm) parasites that we have in common, which cause the same diseases in pigs and in us: the nematode, Trichinella spiralis, which causes trichinosis, and the tapeworm, Taenia solium.

Taenia solium or tapeworm eggs hatch in a pig’s intestines and the microscopic embryo penetrates the intestinal wall, travels through the bloodstream, and ends up in another body part, such as swine muscle (pork meat), where it develops into a cyst-like form. When a human ingests undercooked pork containing a cyst, the parasite pops out and attaches itself to the human’s intestinal wall, and the tapeworm begins to grow—up to twenty feet in length. Moreover, if a human ingests eggs of the pork tapeworm, he can develop a disease known as cysticercosis, which creates cysts and lesions throughout the body, obviously causing health problems.

Trichinella spiralis is a roundworm parasite distributed worldwide. Trichinosis, the common name for this disease, was once quite common and even fatal. The larval form of the worm becomes encysted in bodily tissues and can cause a variety of symptoms. Both tapeworms and trichinosis can cause a large inflammatory response in the body.

These diseases were known to ancient cultures including the Egyptian and Greek cultures, and later among the Jews and Muslims. Both Judaism and Islam proscribe the eating of pork. In Leviticus 11:2-4, 7-8, and Deuteronomy 14:8, animals that do not possess split hooves and that do not bring up their cud, which include both pigs and camels, are not kosher. Moreover, in Islam, the flesh of swine is considered fit only for sacrifices for God and is forbidden to be eaten. Additionally, certain Christian and other religious sects consider it taboo to eat pork. The common diseases that swine and humans share are perhaps a reason that pork was forbidden by the ancient religious dietary laws, although it must be said that there is no scholarly agreement on whether there was an underlying rational explanation for these laws.

These diseases still plague humanity today and are more common in developing countries such as China and Mexico than in the United States. Besides the parasite eggs and larvae, undercooked pork and poor sanitation are contributing causal factors. Fully cooked pork should effectively kill these parasites, if present. Trichinosis has become relatively rare in the United States because cooking pork thoroughly has become a widespread practice.

CURED, UNCURED AND MARINATED PORK

Pork meat is highly perishable, even when refrigerated. In the distant past, curing pork was very important to prevent the meat of the large butchered animal from rotting, so that most of the meat was treated in that way in order to preserve it. It is “cured” with the use of curing salts, which typically include table salt, sodium nitrite, and sometimes sodium or potassium nitrate (saltpeter) to make bacon and ham.

Use of salts to pickle pork has also been shown to kill cysts of Taenia solium after twelve hours.1 Such salts also inhibit growth of harmful microbes to prevent rancidity of the meat and food poisoning. Ordinary table salt, sodium chloride, is the essential salt used in curing, but nitrates and nitrites are commonly used to add color, flavor and texture. It is not completely understood how all of these salts contribute to flavor, but numerous chemical changes in the composition of the meat occur. In addition to salts, sugar is typically added in curing pork to improve flavor, to counteract the harshness of the salts, and to provide food for desirable microorganisms to ferment and produce compounds that are flavorful, such as organic acids.

Nitrate-reducing bacteria are facilitated in the curing process. They ferment the nitrate and nitrite to nitrous acid, which reacts with the muscle protein, myoglobin, to produce a stable, bright pink color characteristic of many hams and bacon. However, it is well known that nitrates and nitrites are weak mutagens and carcinogens. Moreover, consumption of such a nitrite- or nitrate-containing food may lead to the production of nitrosoamines, also carcinogenic, in our stomachs.

Another way of curing pork is to use condensed celery juice instead of the nitrate or nitrate salts. Celery juice is high in natural nitrates and contains other nutrients of celery that may counteract the carcinogenicity of the nitrates. Thus, it seems a safer alternative, although some individuals report adverse reactions to meat cured with celery juice. Bacon treated with celery juice is typically labeled “no nitrates.”

The safest preservation of pork without any use of nitrates and nitrite salts is simply the use of sodium chloride and a natural sweetener, such as maple sugar, to treat the meat, sometimes with a few spices for flavor. This is the old traditional method of preserving meat over the ages. It results in a preserved pork product, a bacon or ham that is known today as “uncured.” It does not have the pink color, nor does it have the long shelf life of the cured products, but it has more flavor and shelf life than raw unprocessed pork.

All of these pork products—cured and uncured—are typically smoked after the salt treatment. After that, they may undergo further aging in which natural fermentation in the meat develops more flavor.

In addition to these methods using salts and sugar, another method of treating fresh pork is to marinate it in an acidic medium. This is an important traditional food preparation technique that can kill or at least inhibit the growth of most bacteria, keeping fresh pork from spoiling and safe for consumption. Acidic treatment of pork may also kill parasites, too. Marinating pork may also be used to infuse it with herbs and spices to enhance its flavor, as well as to break down and tenderize the meat while improving its texture. For example, a marinade of alcohol, salt, vinegar, and garlic has protein-penetrating properties so that the flavors are increased throughout the meat. This penetration allows flavors and spices to be delivered more completely into the meat. An example of a traditional marinade that uses acidic elements to treat the pork is a Tandoori pork recipe. The pork is coated with a marinade of yogurt, a paste of pungent spices, and mango chutney for at least eight hours or overnight before cooking.

In this study, we compared the consumption of cooked fresh pastured pork; apple cider vinegar-marinated fresh pastured pork; uncured pastured bacon; and uncured pastured prosciutto. We also investigated the consumption of cooked fresh pastured lamb, as another unprocessed meat for comparison with fresh pastured pork.

LIVE BLOOD ANALYSIS

The blood is the tissue most easily monitored to show rapid changes in response to nutrients. Live blood analysis involves visual examination of a small droplet of capillary blood from the fingertip. The blood is put on a glass slide and observed under a high-powered light microscope, typically dark-field. This method offers a qualitative visual perspective of the blood cells and plasma, known as the “biological terrain” in integrative healthcare, which supports and sustains the cells and their vitality.

Analysis of the blood can reveal numerous conditions, including the stickiness of red blood cells (RBCs) and their tendency to aggregate and clot, as well as the formation of fibrin—the chief clotting protein—and aggregation of platelets. The presence or absence of these clotting factors can be readily seen using dark-field live blood analysis. Early blood clotting has been linked to chronic systemic biochemical inflammation, which is at the root of chronic disease.

Live blood analysis is described in detail in a previous article by the author.2 Moreover, the blood testing of adults consuming the traditional diet recommended by the Weston A. Price Foundation showed a much healthier biological terrain than those consuming the modern organic diet. There was considerably less RBC aggregation, platelet aggregation and fibrin in the blood.

SUBJECTS AND STUDY PROCEDURES

Inclusion criteria for subjects were normal healthy adults eating the traditional diet recommended by the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) for over two years, and having a clean healthy biological terrain as observed in live blood analysis.

Three adults, including two females aged thirty-seven and sixty, and one male aged fifty-two, participated in the study. The average length of time they had consumed the WAPF diet was forty-five months. Subjects each came to the laboratory once weekly for five weeks at the same time of day by individual appointment. On the days in which they participated, subjects were required to fast for at least five hours. A baseline blood test was first done. Each subject was then given a measured amount of meat to consume, at least three ounces.

All of the meats used were of the highest quality from sustainable small farms raising pastured livestock. Five preparations of meat were used:

1. Unmarinated pastured center-cut pork chop;

2. Apple cider vinegar-marinated (twenty-four hours while refrigerated) pastured center-cut pork chop;

3. Uncured pastured prosciutto;

4. Uncured pastured bacon;

5. Unmarinated pastured lamb chop.

The meats (1), (2) and (5) were cooked over low heat in a cast iron skillet for up to one hour, with a little water but no added fat, and salted to taste. The cooked meats were prepared well done. The bacon was cooked until slightly stiff, but not crisp or dry. The prosciutto was consumed from the package without any preparation.

After consuming the pork, subjects were allowed to leave the laboratory, instructed to drink only water as needed, and to refrain from eating anything else. Five hours later, each subject returned to the laboratory for a post-meat blood test.

Microphotographs of the blood samples were recorded and scored. The data for the three subjects were also averaged for each condition and plotted in tables and graphs.

PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPARISON OF BLOOD BEFORE AND AFTER EATING MEAT

The results show unequivocally that consuming unmarinated cooked pork shows a significant negative effect on the blood. Five hours after consumption, subjects showed extremely coagulated blood, with extensive red blood cell (RBC) rouleaux (cells in the formation of stacked coins), RBC aggregates, and the presence of clotting factors, especially fibrin, which is seen as white threads in dark-field microscopy.

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FIGURE 1. Microphotograph of blood of male, 52, before consuming the unmarinated cooked pork chop. RBCs are seen as round cells, and small white patches of platelet aggregates are seen. This is the picture of normal, healthy blood.

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FIGURE 2. Microphotograph of blood of male, 52, five hours after consuming the unmarinated cooked pork chop. RBCs are entirely stuck together in rouleaux (stacks of coins) formations. This blood condition disrupts the microcirculation.

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FIGURE 3. Microphotograph of blood of male, 52, five hours after consuming the unmarinated cooked pork chop. RBCs are entirely stuck together in rouleaux (stacks of coins) formations, and a high level of fibrin, white threads, means that early blood clotting has transpired.

Figure 1 shows the blood of a subject, male, age fifty-two, whose blood showed the most dramatic changes after eating unprocessed cooked pork. Initially, this subject's blood looks very healthy. The RBCs are separate and uniformly round, and there are no debris or clotting factors seen in the plasma, which appears black in darkfield. Figures 2 and 3 show his blood about five hours after consuming the unmarinated cooked pork chop. His RBCs are completely congealed in tight rouleaux. Additionally, Figure 3 shows that the blood has a high level of fibrin as well as rouleaux. Not a single free-floating RBC was observed throughout his blood sample after he consumed the unmarinated cooked pork. This subject also felt considerable fatigue about two hours after eating the pork chop, although he insisted that he was not sleep deprived that day.

The other two subjects showed similar blood results following consumption of the unmarinated cooked pork chop. Two of the three subjects felt fatigued after eating the pork chop, which suggests reduced peripheral blood circulation due to RBC stickiness and aggregation. Because the tiniest microcapillaries are smaller than the diameter of a single blood cell, each cell must pass through singly and deform its shape in order to do so; blood cell aggregates simply cannot pass through them.

By contrast, all three subjects reported no fatigue or other symptoms after eating the marinated cooked pork chop. Figure 4 shows the same subject’s fasted blood on another day prior to eating marinated pork. The same cut of pork was marinated in the refrigerator for twenty-four hours, completely submerged in unfiltered live apple cider vinegar (with the “mother”). The subject’s blood looks completely normal before consuming this pork chop. Then, five hours after consuming the same size portion of a marinated pork chop, the subject’s blood is shown in Figure 5. The RBCs in this blood sample show a very slight stickiness or tendency to aggregate, and a few platelet aggregate forms are seen, with no fibrin. The subject’s blood is largely unchanged from before. The other two subjects showed essentially no change before or after consumption of the marinated cooked pork.

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FIGURE 4. Microphotograph of blood of male, 52, before consuming a marinated cooked pork chop. RBCs are freely moving. Very few platelet aggregates are seen. This blood appears normal and healthy.

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FIGURE 5. Microphotograph of blood of male, 52, five hours after consuming a marinated cooked pork chop. RBCs are mostly free to move, although there are a few small aggregates. This blood appears normal and healthy with little change compared to Figure 4.

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FIGURE 6. Microphotograph of blood of female, 37, before consuming uncured pastured bacon. This is the picture of completely normal, healthy blood.

 

Figure 6 shows the blood of the female subject, age thirty-seven, fasted, prior to consuming four strips of uncured pastured bacon. Again, this subject’s blood is normal and healthy, without any RBC aggregates or fibrin. Figure 7 shows the blood of the same subject, five hours after consuming the bacon. The subject’s RBCs are not aggregated; there is only a minuscule amount of platelet aggregates and fibrin. This blood is essentially unchanged over baseline. The other two subjects’ blood samples also appear about the same, before and after consumption of bacon, too.

Figure 8 shows the blood of a subject, male, fifty-two, prior to consumption of prosciutto. This blood looks normal and healthy, with several platelet aggregates shown, and a white blood cell is also seen. Figure 9 shows the blood of the same subject about five hours after consuming three ounces of pastured prosciutto. Again, this blood looks normal and healthy, about the same as the subject’s initial blood test that same day. Moreover, the blood of the other two subjects also did not change significantly pre-post eating prosciutto.

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FIGURE 7. Microphotograph of blood of female, 37, five hours after consuming uncured pastured bacon. RBCs are free to move. This blood appears normal without any clotting factors seen.

As an additional control, we also looked for an effect from consuming an unmarinated, pastured lamb chop on the blood of the same three subjects. The blood of the female subject, age thirty-seven, prior to eating the lamb chop is shown in Figure 10. Her blood is seen as normal, healthy blood with a few platelet aggregates. About five hours after consuming the lamb chop, her blood appears as shown in Figure 11, which is about the same as the pre-lamb condition. Moreover, the blood of the other two subjects did not show any significant changes after consuming lamb either.

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FIGURE 8. Microphotograph of blood of male, 52, before consuming proscuitto. RBCs are free to move. This blood appears normal and healthy with several platelet aggregates and a white blood cell present.

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FIGURE 9. Microphotograph of blood of male, 52, five hours after consuming proscuitto. This blood appears normal and healthy. There is no apparent change over the initial blood test, as shown in Figure 8.

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FIGURE 10. Microphotograph of blood of female, 37, before consuming an unmarinated cooked lamb chop. This blood appears normal and healthy with only a few platelet aggregates.

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FIGURE 11. Microphotograph of blood of female, 37, five hours after consuming an unmarinated cooked lamb chop. This blood appears normal and healthy with only a few platelet aggregates. No changes are observed over the sample shown in Figure 10.

BLOOD COAGULATION SCORES

There were two blood tests (before and after) per condition times five conditions (five types of meat) times three subjects for a total of thirty blood tests. Blood tests were scored by a researcher with long-term experience using live blood analysis. A Likert scale was used as follows: 0 (none present); 1 (very small amount); 2 (small amount); 3 (moderate amount); 4 (moderately large amount); 5 (large amount); 6 (the highest level ever observed). The following variables were scored for each blood test:

• Rouleaux of RBCs, whereby the cells are in tight stacks like rolls of coins seen on edge;

• Other looser aggregates of RBCs (non-rouleaux);

• Stickiness of RBCs, which appears as cells try to break away from each other;

• Platelet aggregates, which appear as a grey sludge in the blood plasma;

• Fibrin, which appears as white threads in the blood plasma;

• Spicules, short forms of fibrin that appear in small clusters in the blood plasma;

• Shape changes in RBCs, cell distortions involved in the clotting process.

Figure 12 shows the results of the mean values of the three subjects’ scores of the three most prevalent blood coagulation factors seen to occur after consuming cooked unmarinated pork, which were rouleaux, RBC aggregates and fibrin. Compare this with Figure 13, which shows the mean values of the three subjects’ scores after consuming cooked marinated pork. The difference between these two charts is striking as well as significant. It is clear that consuming umarinated cooked pork shows a significant coagulation effect on the blood. However, no statistics are calculated in this study as the sample was small.

Figures 14, 15 and 16 depict the mean values of these same coagulation factors for before and after consumption of bacon, prosciutto and lamb for the three subjects. The results of these are similar to those for the marinated pork, with no significant changes observed before or after consumption of these meats.

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FIGURE 12. This chart and accompanying table show the average values of scores for blood coagulation variables for the three subjects before and after consuming unmarinated cooked pork chops. The pre-post differences for rouleaux, RBC aggregation, and fibrin are significant.

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FIGURE 13. This chart and accompanying table show the average values of scores for blood coagulation variables for the three subjects before and after consuming marinated cooked pork chops. The pre-post differences are insignificant.

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FIGURE 14. This chart and accompanying table show the average values of scores for blood coagulation variables for the three subjects before and after consuming bacon. The pre-post differences are insignificant.

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FIGURE 15. This chart and accompanying table show the average values of scores for blood coagulation variables for the three subjects before and after consuming proscuitto. The prepost differences are insignificant.

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FIGURE 16. This chart and accompanying table show the average values of scores for blood coagulation variables for the three subjects before and after consuming lamb chops. The pre-post differences are insignificant.

CONCLUSIONS

1. Consuming unmarinated cooked pastured pork produces blood coagulation and clotting in blood examined at five hours after eating; however, consuming marinated cooked pork does not produce any blood coagulation or clotting.

2. Consuming processed forms of pastured uncured pork, including bacon and prosciutto, does not produce any blood coagulation or other visible changes in the blood at five hours after eating.

3. Consuming unmarinated cooked pastured lamb does not produce any blood coagulation or other visible changes in the blood at five hours after eating.

4. No changes in white blood cell activity, white blood cell clumping, crystals, microbes, or spicules (indicating liver stress), were found before or after consumption of all five preparations of pork and lamb.

The results suggest that unmarinated cooked pastured pork may be unique in producing these coagulation effects on the blood, which also appeared quite rapidly, in less than ten minutes after blood draw, and did not clear up during an hour of observing the blood under the microscope.

The early blood coagulation and clotting observed after consuming cooked unmarinated pork are adverse changes in the blood. A shorter blood coagulation time is associated with increased systemic biochemical inflammation as well as the possible formation of blood clots in the body, as in heart attack or stroke. This condition in the blood, if chronic, is associated with increased risk of chronic degenerative disease, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, autoimmune disorders and others.2

What is it about unmarinated cooked pork that may produce biochemical inflammation and early blood clotting? A literature search revealed use of pork in the Materia Medica of ancient China. In Chinese medicine, “pork has the medical properties of being bitter, somewhat cooling, and slightly poisonous, and was used for chronic madness.”3 Yet pork is the most common meat consumed in China, indeed throughout Asia. Usually it is marinated in vinegar before it is cooked; pickled pork is also a common dish throughout Asia.

It is well known that allergies cause unwanted inflammation. Is this a possible link? In modern medicine, meat allergies are rare in adults, typically outgrown during the first few years of life.4 Those who are allergic to pork are typically sensitive to pork serum albumin.

There is also an interesting link that has been found between sensitivity to pork meat and cats, as these two allergies are frequency associated, suggesting a crossed allergenicity.5 That is, those with allergy to pork frequently have respiratory allergies to cats. However, in this study, the subjects were allergic neither to pork nor cats. In searching the modern scientific and medical literature for clues, nothing was uncovered that might explain the results of this study.

What is most notable, however, is that the results demonstrate the wisdom of traditional food preparation. The processing of pork in customary ways by salts and acidic marinades makes pork safe for consumption— not only by inactivating parasites, killing off noxious bacteria that may cause food poisoning, and promoting safe fermentations in the meat that add flavor; traditional processing of pork also seems to prevent the inflammatory and blood clotting effects as observed here through live blood analysis, although we do not know why. We speculate that raw pork contains a toxin, unidentified to date, and that heat alone from cooking cannot destroy it, but that fermentation with salt, and also acid plus heat, do so. This toxin in pork, if it exists, is therefore heat-stable and requires further denaturation by salt or acid in order to detoxify it. This is exactly what traditional pork preparation provides.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

This study was supported in part by a small grant from the Weston A. Price Foundation.

REFERENCES

1. Rodriguez-Canul, R.; Argaez-Rodrigues, F, et al. (2002) Taenia solium Metacestode Viability in Infected Pork after Preparation with Salt Pickling or cooking methods common in Yucatan, Mexico. Journal of Food Protection 65(4):666-669.

2. Rubik B (2009) Pilot Research Study: Live Blood Analysis of Adults Comparing the Weston A. Price Foundation Diet and the Conventional Modern Diet. Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts Vol 10(4): 35-43.

3. Lo, V; Barrett, P. (2005). Cooking Up Fine Remedies: On the Culinary Aesthetic in a 16th Century Chinese Materia Medica. Medical History 49:395-422.

4. Restani, P; Ballabio, C; Tripodi, S; Fiocchi A. (2009) Meat Allergy. Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology 9(3): 265-269.

5. Drouet, M; Boutet, S; Lauret, MG; Chene, J; Bonneau, JC; Le Sellin, J; Hassoun, S; Gay, G; Sabbah, A. (1994) The Pork-Cat Syndrome or Crossed Allergy Between Pork Meat and Cat Epithelia. Allerg Immunol 26(5):166-8.

 

This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2011.

About the Author

[authorbio:rubik-beverly]

Comments (18)Add Comment
mistaken comment
written by Meg, Apr 14 2014
sorry, in my previous comment, I missed that all three subjects ate the different forms of pork. I still wonder why they did not add more subjects to the study and have more controls.
why so few subjects?
written by Meg, Apr 14 2014
It is very strange to me that they only had one subject per group. This is a very easy experiment with an easy finger prick to draw blood afterwards. This study could have been conducted much more thoroughly and leaves many questions with few answers. They could have easily added more subjects to each group. They could also have taken the same individuals and recorded their responses to the different groups of meat, one at a time, so they could see if, for example, the man whose blood clotted in response to unmarinated pork had no clotting response to the other forms. As mentioned above, the fat content in the meat was also poorly controlled. Who reviewed this study??
Marinating Pasture Pork
written by Emily, Mar 08 2014
I bought some pasture-raised pork from a local farm recently and thawed it this morning before immersing it in a 1/2 cup of raw apple cider vinegar with 1/2 tsp. sea salt. It will have marinated for 6 hours total. Any thoughts on if my dinner is going to be harmful to my daughter and me tonight?
Very Interesting
written by Evan E, Feb 26 2014
I notice I have trouble with a heavy gut feeling and belches after eating shredded pork shoulder that we make at home (and it's even worse if I have it for leftovers the next day or two). I just add salt and a little water and let it sit in a crock pot on low for 7-8 hours. Super easy and delicious but not worth the gut trouble. Next time I will be trying a 24-hour marinade before I cook it.

How much ancient wisdom has been lost? It's really frustrating to consider.

I wonder Joel Salatin from Polyface farms would have any insight on this? He is hog raising expert.
In addition to my previous post, and in relation to Lard:
written by Thor, Dec 27 2013
Heparin (the natural ANTI-coagulant,)is stored in the fat of pigs and people. it is possible that lard could have quite the opposite effect. Then again, it is possible that most of the heparin has been removed from commercially produced lard.
In the above study, it is interesting to note that a pork chop generally has much of the fat removed, while bacon and ham do not. Additionally, young animals, such as lamb, have much higher fat content in their muscles, (meat.) This could easily contribute to the lack of coagulation post-consumption.
...
written by Thor, Dec 27 2013
The research provided here is a great way to start developing a hypothesis, although it is still far from a theory. It is unlikely that pork contains a "Toxin," as yet un-identified. However, it is known that pigs and humans have similar blood characteristics. In fact, about 70 to 80 percent of Heparin, (a naturally-occuring blood protein that prevents random clotting,) used in the medical treatment of people, is isolated and derived from pork. It makes sense, therefore, that the prostaglandins (chemicals released from an injured cell, initiating the clotting cascade,)in pork would also be similar to those in people. As the pork is cooked, injury is done to the muscle cells of the pork, and these chemicals could be released.
The real question is: Has this same study been done on other Heparin-producing animal products? Bovine Heparin is occationally used in humans, although it has more common adverse reactions.
Secondly: Since both Human and porcine clotting factors are not only known, but studied extensively, is there an effect of any of the curing components, (salt, vinegar, nitrates, etc,) on these clotting factors, or on the heparin produced to counter-act it?
If anyone finds peer-reviewed articles on this, Please keep me posted.
Sleepless night
written by Nigel, Nov 18 2013
This report is very interesting and the the findings completely new to me. I searched the web this morning following a night of almost no sleep, a regular occurrence after eating pork (uncured or marinated). My insomniac fuelled decision to give up pork can now be reviewed. Looking forward to explaining my findings to my wife when she wakes up. Now I am about to search under the heading of allergy to pork.
Many thanks.
...
written by tommney, Sep 05 2013
Agree with above. Has lard been tested after getting such negative results with common pork? If not, why not?
Lard
written by tommney, Sep 05 2013
This test should have been done with lard. I don't understand after getting such bad results with pork (much pork is not consumed marinated or pastured), why this wasn't done. If lard is showing this effect as well, then I think this shows pork is not fit for consumption period and the recommendation for lard is a big error.
...
written by Hannah, Apr 09 2013
man i think that i will not be eating pork for a little while because this just makes me think tht pork is no good for any one no matter how strong their amun system is.
but i still will eat pork because i think i am having roast pork to night but this does not help me to get cloer to what i need. i need to know how the greeks cooked the pork they were going to eat.
but i will be able to tell this to my mum and she may take a bit more care to how she cooks the pork.
...
written by Nicole, Aug 14 2012
I suspect that the pig's blood might be similar enough to our own blood that it 'commands' our blood to clot, because the pig's blood was in the process of trying to clot when the pig was being killed. The pig's blood still may contain the chemical message that says, 'I am injured. I need to clot.' Whenever our body absorbs this chemical message, it obeys the message as though it came from within our own body. That is just my own theory of why this happens.

If that were true, then perhaps if pigs were killed using a bloodless method, their blood might not contain the 'clotting signal.' The pigs would have to be killed in such a way that their blood would not contain any negative chemical messages at all, no commands to start clotting, no feelings of fear and panic or pain, and so on.

Then again, it might have nothing to do with a message to start clotting. The 'message' might be some entirely different hormone or substance with some other intended purpose inside the pig, which is being 'misunderstood' inside the human body.

Based on my own experiences with eating organ meats, I believe that our bodies are controlled by the hormones in the meats that we eat, for instance, if we eat the pancreas, we receive its insulin and other hormones and our bodies react as though we've just had a huge dose of those hormones. Many people believe that those hormones cannot be taken orally, but I suspect that they can. I have not tried eating pancreas in particular. I have eaten several other types of organ meats and had bad reactions to them.

This is frustrating to me. I believe in the concept behind the Weston Price diet, the idea that deformities are preventable and that our modern diet is extremely deficient, but unfortunately we are lacking a huge amount of detailed knowledge about what exactly happens to the body when we eat some of these organ meats and other foods. I myself had severe food poisoning when I attempted to eat bone marrow, yet many other people have told me they ate marrow with no problems at all. I have no idea why marrow might sometimes be edible and other times it is not - there are no instructions or warnings that I have seen anywhere about how to properly prepare bone marrow for consumption so that you can avoid passing out, vomiting, and having a feeling of extremely intense and intolerable restless agitation for hours and hours after eating it, which is what I experienced. Not only that, but the vapors from the cooked marrow filled up my refrigerator and contaminated all of my food, so that if I even took a sip from a glass of water that had been in the fridge, I would get sick again, and those vapors were in there for months, so that I could no longer use that refrigerator. Yet hundreds of people casually talk about eating bone marrow as though it is nothing and as though there could not possibly be any dangers or difficulties from eating it.

I have also noticed problems after eating some kinds of pork. During a time when I was eating a lot of it, I kept feeling like I was having a heart attack, and I am a slender healthy 37 year old woman who had no known heart problems at the time. I was eating packaged pork sausages, a kind of sausage used as a snack, and I accidentally kept them at room temperature after opening the bag, when the bag said you had to refrigerate them after opening the bag. So I was eating spoiled, rancid sausages and didn't know it at the time.

Anyway, I really appreciate articles like this, because it talks about the real dangers associated with eating a type of meat. People may feel uncomfortable acknowledging the fact that these dangers exist, because they are afraid that they would have to give up the whole idea of the WP diet in general if they admitted that eating a particular kind of meat could cause problems. Part of the concept of the WP diet is that there are usually specific ways that foods have to be prepared to make them safe, and we may be ignorant about these methods and need to learn them. But the diet is not simple and easy - you can't just say 'Eat more meat' without explaining that it's actually rather complicated and detailed.
Sausages and Curing
written by John O'Bryan, Feb 16 2012
I butchered a pastured hog this year and took half. It was right after this article came out, but it didn't change how I was going to use the meat. To answer the one question, lard is safe, no messing around is required. For sausage, my partner on that hog ground all but the ham and bacon into fresh breakfest sausage, but before grinding he soaked it in viegar for a night (there are instructions in the journal on proper soaking). For my half, I cured the bacon, ham, picnic ham, hocks, and jowel by covering them with a layer of celtic seasalt, and leaving them in an extra fridge we have for 1 day per pound. Then I hung them in a dark place @ 60 degrees, the jowels are excellent, the rest is still drying (ham will be considered prisciutto after 6 months.

The parts that I didnt cure (front shoulder and trimmings) I chunked up and marinated in whey plus 3% of the weight in celtic sea salt for up to 10 days below 40 degrees. Then I ground it, added 3% in garlic and some pepper, chili pepper, sage, oregano, and thyme. This I stuffed into casings, and hung up at 60 degrees and dark. After 3 weeks I started to cut into it and the stuff I cut first started to dry faster and all I could taste was the bitterness of the herbs, but the rest hadn't gotten that far, so I wrapped it up in an old sheet, and put it in a tote full of woodash (I read about that somewhere).

I had never done this before, but it has been done for hundreds of years. This is what they did before freezers, and guess what? It tastes better. I am now headed to our local WAPF chapter meeting to share some of it.

I learned this all in "Charcuterie: The art of smoking salting and curing", and "The art of making fermented sausages"
Results are questionable?
written by Kent R. Rieske, Oct 21 2011
I search PubMed and found nothing with the following search terms, pork rouleaux fibrin. If pork effect the blood as much as claimed, cardiologists would restrict pork from the patient's diet.
...
written by skyquestg, Oct 21 2011
I have currently been eating unmarinated pork for three meals a day (with veggies) for about 5 months. This article has certainly made me think about my meat choices. It is a cheap and easy source of food for me. I have allergies to chicken and turkey and lamb is cost prohibitive. Thanks for the info.
want the answers to the previous questions
written by Teri Melton, Oct 15 2011
yes would really like the answers to the questions before me. will follow.
Sally was doing the right thing!
written by mark808, Oct 15 2011
http://onibasu.com/archives/cl/13786.html

I cannot stand a pork chop--so dry, no marbling. But I love raw
prociotto (sp?) with all the fat. And if I marinate the pork in vinegar
before cooking, then I like it. Sally
Now I have even more questions
written by Laurel, Oct 11 2011
This article raises many questions. What sorts of sausages are safe to consume? Does curing with nitrates/nitrites negate the pork toxin? I make homemade sausages but don't want to change my recipes to include an acid. Do they need to include an acid or is salt/spices enough? How long would a pork chop have to be marinated and in what strength/acidity of marinade? Etc....
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written by K Bears, Oct 09 2011
This article is very interesting to me, since I have been rethinking my consumption of pork. My family and I currently eat beef and chicken, with smaller amounts of pork sausage and lard, all of which are pastured and organic. I have several specific questions:
-- Is pastured lard valuable for fat soluable nutrients?
-- Does eating lard cause any bad effects on the body?
-- Is ground pork sausage salted enough to denature the pork "toxin" discussed in this article? If not, could I soak ground sausage in apple cider vinegar, to denature the pork "toxin"?
-- Is it possible for me to tell whether or not my pork processing has been effective?

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 April 2012 17:17