Does Eating Pork Affect Your Life Span?
I am sure many of you must have seen the YouTube video on the right which has garnered over 4,000,000 views (as of April 2013) since it was first uploaded by a Saudi Arabian Muslim in May 2007. This video claims that if you pour Coke onto pork, you can see worms crawling out of the meat after approx. 2 hours. But is it really true?
This video on the right, however, tells a different story altogether. Purportedly produced by a doctor working at one of John Hopkins University's research labs, it claims that the "Coke + Pork" videos on YouTube are mere propaganda that are being spread by the dairy industry in an attempt to halt the booming growth of the world's pork industry. Who then is right and who then is wrong?
Pork-And-Coke Experiment: Verify It Yourself!
Fortunately for us, we do not need to trust anyone as we can very easily repeat this very simple experiment and see the results with our own eyes. Just go and buy a slab of pork from your regular supplier and a bottle of Coke. Pour the Coke onto the pork and wait for 2 hours to confirm the first video and you will know with great certainty who is telling the truth. Test the pork as soon as possible after you have purchased it. Needless to say, if you leave the pork in the open for 2 days, I would be surprised if there are no maggots!!!
As a pork-eater, I did just that, as it is to my interest to know the truth. And the result? I saw no worms under a magnifying glass.
The Original Coke-on-Pork Video That Started It All
Uploader of Original Pork-and-Coke Video Admits Video Hoax
Tobuscus, the person who started the Coke, Pork, and Worms video spree when he uploaded his video in Metacafe, has claimed that his video was a hoax and a joke that was directed at his room-mate.
I all started when his roommate told him that she never ate pork because "when you pour Coke on it, worms come out." After laughing at her, he told her that he was going to prove her wrong with a video. He then made the video on the right and after she watched it, she said, "NOW do you believe me?!"
Tobuscus did not expect anyone else would buy it, but people started reposting his video. It was featured on Break, Ebaumsworld, Myspace, and maybe some others, receiving 3 million views in the first week from these sites alone, apart from another half a million views on YouTube.
Pork-Eating: The Malaysian Experience
Malaysia is a country with 50% Malays, 24% Chinese, 7% Indians, and 19% Others. Practically all Chinese Malaysians (as with all Chinese throughout the world) eat pork. All ethnic Malays are considered Muslim by law of the Constitution and are therefore pork-abstainers. Indian Malaysians, on the other hand, are mixed in that some eat pork, while others don't, depending on their caste.
The below table was prepared by the Malaysian Department of Statistics. What do these figures tell us? In the year 2000, life expectancy in Malaysia, based on race, were as follows:
- Chinese - 76.6 years;
- Malays - 72.6 years;
- Indians - 72.4 years.
As you can see, year after year from 1957 (when Malaysia gained independence from the British) until 2000, the pork-eating Chinese have had a longer life expectancy than the pork-abstaining Malays. These figures should serve as an eye-opener. (It would have been interesting to analyze the Indian Malaysian experience but unfortunately, statistics of the number of pork-eaters vs pork-abstainers are not available.) If anything, it seems obvious clear that as far as life expectancy is concerned, being born a male is more fatal than eating pork.
Life Expectancy In Muslim And Non-Muslim Countries
Wikipedia has a list of country-by-country life expectancy prepared by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) for the period, 2005-2010. Of the list of 198 countries, the United Arab Emirates, the best Muslim country in terms of life expectancy, comes in at No. 52, while Saudi Arabia managed only No. 88. Israel, another pork-abstaining nation, on the other hand, comes in at No. 9. What does these figures tell us?
Am I Then Saying That Pork Is Healthy?
Far from it!!! Pork is known to carry some diseases such as pork tapeworm and trichinosis and thus, uncooked or undercooked pork can be dangerous to consume. Is it any wonder, then, that pork is never eaten raw or medium rare?
The United States' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says:
"In the United States, trichinellosis cases are reported to CDC much less commonly now than in the past. During the late 1940s, when the U.S. Public Health Service began counting cases of trichinellosis, 400 cases in the United States were recorded each year on average. During 2008-2010, 20 cases were reported to CDC each year on average. The overall number of cases reported has decreased because of improved pig-raising practices in the pork industry, commercial and home freezing of pork, and public awareness of the danger of eating raw or undercooked meat products."
In the mind of most people, pork is usually associated with high levels of cholesterol, as compared to, say, beef, but is it really true? According to the livestrong.com website, a 3-1/2 oz serving of beef sirloin contains 89 mg of cholesterol, while a serving of pork chop contains 85 mg. Lamb foreshank, on the other hand, contains 106 mg of cholesterol per 3-1/2 oz. serving. What about white meat chicken, then? You may be surprised that white meat chicken contains more cholesterol than lean ground beef and pork tenderloin, and it has the same amount of cholesterol as a serving of pork chop! In the final analysis, the actual amount of cholesterol in a serving of pork depends on the cut, and how it's prepared.
So if you are asking whether pork is less healthy than either beef or mutton, my question is: "Who ask you to eat undercooked pork?" Would you eat pufferfish without first removing its toxic parts?