Home cooks often stick to chicken breasts when they are looking for a quick, healthy meal option, but pork today compares favorably for fat, calories and cholesterol. In fact, many cuts of pork are just as lean – if not leaner – than chicken. Pork tenderloin, like skinless chicken breast, meets the government guidelines for “extra lean.” According to The Pork Checkoff, six pork cuts meet the USDA guidelines for “lean,” with less than 10 grams fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving.
If you’re looking for a perfect partner for pork chops, whole grain barley makes a great teammate for any cut of “the other white meat.” Barley is low in fat, high in fiber and extremely versatile for any meal. A cereal grain with a rich, nutty flavor, it has an appealing chewy, consistency that tastes like a blend of rice and pasta.
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The McRib sandwich from McDonald’s is a strange product of the food science world: fake “ribs” molded out of mystery pork and drowning in sauce. First McDonald’s created the “Boneless Pig Farmers Association of America” spoof. Now, the fast food chain is running a campaign to get customers to submit a video with a “legendary” creation story of the McRib sandwich. The winner will receive $10,000 dollars and a trip to Germany. The fact that McDonald’s is making fun of the nebulous origins of its food is borderline offensive to anyone who would like there to be some transparency in our food chain.
Well, OK, McDonald’s, we’ll tell you where the McRib comes from: an enormous factory farm. A giant shed with a floor covered in feces, where tens of thousands of pigs will be born without ever having enough space to turn around in and most will never see daylight. Let’s remember that, unlike a chicken, a pig has fairly advanced mental capacities, much like your pet dog. Because these pigs live in such tight quarters, they tend to develop bizarre behaviors due to stress. The animals, taken away from their mothers shortly after birth, nibble on each other’s tails because they are not allowed to wean. The pig having its tail nibbled is too apathetic to fight or object, but the chewed tails are likely to be infected. The solution? All the pigs get their tails cut off at birth. I’ll spare you a description of a slaughter. A typical slaughterhouse kills up to 1,100 pigs per hour, according to PETA.
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