Pork, the maligned meat

Pork has suffered from a spotty reputation over the millenia. It’s forbidden by Jews and Muslims, shunned by Hindus and simply considered “dirty” by many modern eaters.

Why the bad rap?

While rooted in religious practices, pork was most likely rejected in ancient times because it could cause diseases such as trichinosis and cysticercosis, illnesses which still exist in developing countries. It’s also highly perishable, requiring curing or reliable refrigeration. Even so, it spoils easily.

And then there’s the dim view of it taken by many doctors and nutritionists, who ban it from their patients’ diets. The high amount of fat and salt in most forms of cured pork make it off limits for anyone at risk for strokes, heart disease or other cardiovascular problems.

A newer concern is that pork can cause inflammation in the body, leading to pain and further complicating existing illnesses.

“We have a lot of things in our diet that cause inflammation and the more we can take out that cause it, the better,” said Jennifer Lettelier, a Durango nutritionist.