Found this in one of my many email newsletters.

Ed Martin
Editor, House Calls

The secret ingredient in pork

Chops, roast, ribs, sausage, bacon…

I’m getting hungry just thinking about all the great ways to eat pork. But there’s one form of pig that makes me lose my appetite every time — and it’s exactly what people eat the most of: pork from factory farms.

Factory farmed animals are raised and slaughtered in filthy conditions, which is one reason for all the contaminated meat scares in recent years. And, of course, the only reason the animals themselves don’t drop dead is because they’re pumped full of antibiotics — drugs that often end up in your meat.

But there’s one more reason to skip out on this stuff: Factory pork contains a drug so dangerous it’s been killing pigs like crazy.

Ractopamine hydrochloride is a beta agonist that mimics stress hormones. It leads to bigger pigs — but it also leads to deader pigs: Some 218,000 have been killed by the drug in a little more than a decade.

That number should be even higher, except plenty of pigs about to drop dead of ractopamine overdose — including pigs so sick they can’t even walk on their own — are quickly slaughtered first.

And then, they’re shipped off to your local supermarket…despite the fact that low doses of the drug can remain in the meat.

The feds aren’t too concerned. They claim a little ractopamine hydrochloride never hurt anyone. But in reality, there’s not a whole lot of data on what low-but-steady doses of the drug does to humans.

The only human study submitted by the drug’s maker involved just six people — and one found his heart racing so bad he dropped out.

Here’s the only thing you need to know about this drug: It’s banned around the world. It’s even banned in China, which doesn’t exactly have the best reputation when it comes to food safety.

Last year, Chinese officials arrested a bunch of farmers caught giving the drug to their pigs.

But here in the U.S., you can get your own dose of ractopamine tonight if Shake-n-Bake is on the menu, and you won’t even know it.

The answer here isn’t to avoid pork. Pork is delicious. The answer is to go organic — and while you’re at it, go organic with your beef and chicken too.

Thanks for your attention.

About The BETAA at NJIT Mentor

Long Distance Mentor

3 responses »

  1. Christopher Thornton says:

    Well, thanks for the info on the pork. Now i definitely will avoid eating it as much as possible. However, it does amazes me how officials give the cold shoulder to the drug. I would assume that they are waiting for it to be too late, when millions of people drop dead from intoxication form the drug for them to take action, which should not be the case. We should take the same action as China in order to avoid a tragedy.

  2. Malaciah Locklear says:

    This reminds me of a very eye opening documentary I saw a few months ago called Food Inc. It mainly discussed the conditions factory farmed animals lived in, such as poorly maintained and overly crowded living areas for the animals,which easily contributes to the rapid spread of infections, like the article mentioned. They are also fed knowingly toxic foods and foods that aren’t part of the typical diet of the animal in order to increase their weight. While the levels of these toxins aren’t considered lethal by the government, I feel that over time they can accumulate in the human body causing the tragic result mentioned by Christopher.

  3. Lyke Teshome says:

    Honestly, reading this article had gotten me so hungry, but i also remembered a documentary about chicken nuggets that actually made me a little scared to eat meat for a while. The documentary said that all the chickens were raised in similar conditions to the pigs. I think it was the same one that Malaciah saw as she described above. The main thing i remember from that documentary(which i also think is the most scary factor) is that the farmers themselves actually get so sick that their bodies actually become immune to antibiotics, so they can’t take any medicine, and they’ll be sick for a very very long time, and they just get sicker with each passing day. So sad.

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