Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pork, and Health

I, love bacon, ham, pork chops...  and for many years I have wondered why some cultures and religions do not allow pork in their diets. I suppose I assumed (maybe like many others?) that in the early days of civilization it was probably due to trichinosis, and the absence of any kind of refrigeration. However, I've never seen any reasons given for the dietary restrictions, just to avoid them, and I always want to know why restrictions exist for anything.

The late Dr. Carey Reams (RBTI) even forbade pork in his protocol for good health, merely saying it was bad to consume. (Reams was a dedicated Christian, and nothing I have read in the Christian New Testament forbids pork. Most of the major restrictions about pork are found more in Jewish and Muslim dietary laws, and the Christian Seventh-Day Adventists.) There are a number of sites about RBTI, and Dr. Carey's book, Choose Life or Death, The Reams Theory of Ionization is considered "the ultimate text", quite popular (and scarce) even now. 

I have been interested in Reams' work for several years because he developed a test for determining the quality of the soil, which in turn determines our health... and you know I'm big on soil health and thus our own health. I really don't know a lot about RBTI, but I did become curious about why he forbade pork.

I do muscle testing, sometimes known as AK, or Applied Kinesiology, to test whether any food or supplement is good for my body. Up until just a few weeks ago, pork has tested okay for my body... then it changed to being a no-no, and I have no clue why. My opinion is that as my body gets healthier, the nutritional requirements change (meaning I tolerate crappy food less and less, although my pork is pastured pork and I do not consider it crappy), but I have no basis in fact for that idea.

Then several weeks ago I read a paper about how various preparation methods for pork affect red blood cell clumping, and some things started to make sense. (You'll have to read it... too lengthy to explain here). The paper showed that some pre-treatments like marinades and curing make a difference, and showed some slides of red blood cells before and after for documentation. Since my background includes a long stint in cardiovascular research at Johns Hopkins, it made sense to me!

I had a bag of meaty pork bones in the freezer to make stock, so I did my muscle-testing with them raw. They tested NOT GOOD for me. Having nothing to lose but a bag of bones,  I soaked the bones in about a cup or two of Bragg's Raw Apple Cider Vinegar for 24 hours in the refrigerator, turning every few hours. A second muscle test after 24 hours said they were GOOD FOR ME, so I rinsed them and roasted at 425ºF until they were crisp. There was a goodly amount of meat on some of the ribs, which I immediately ate.

To my surprise, there was absolutely NO taste of vinegar in the roasted pork despite a 24 hour vinegar soak, and the meat was delicious! The bones were then cooked in my usual stock recipe, and I think the cooked pork stock from those bones (with aromatics) will be equally good. 

I always add some ACV or lemon juice to any bones in a pot of water for stock since it helps extract the good minerals like calcium from the bones, but I've never soaked the meat alone before in a larger amount of ACV. I'll always do that from now on with pork.

I make a lot of sausage patties, generally without any curing salts since I just freeze them and use them up quickly. Even my venison sausage has fatty pork added because venison is so lean. I haven't tested my body yet on the sausages I made several weeks ago, but if they test not good for me, I may try an overnight marinade or ACV soak to see if that changes it. I'd hate to throw away a few pounds of otherwise good sausage!

ps, found this post, Feb. 13 about pork consumption may cause cirrhosis.


  1. Now you have my mind churning. Using ACV was never practiced in our home when I was a kid.

    On the other hand, my wife is Asian and it emphatically was used and often. I have noticed major changes to the various meats cooked with and without use of ACV.

    Perhaps this contributes to some understanding.

    But, the issue of slugishness or fatigue following consumption of pork has not been observed here. For us the fatigue follows immediately from excess carbohydrates.

    Fresh pork loin is my first choice of what's for dinner.


    1. Winston, I'm like you... I get the sluggishness and/or fatigue from high carbs, not pork.

      My mind will probably stew on this pork question for some time!

  2. Fun blog and interesting information... I have seen many sausage recipes that have vinegar in them.
    The body is such a complex machine and we know so little about it.


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