Years ago, I began to cease eating pork because I came to despise it, but at the time, I didn't really know why that was the case.
I was turned off by the dry, white, crumbly texture and the inability to cook most pork cuts – with the exception of some ribs or roasts – in such a manner that I could retain the moisture and integrity of taste. The boneless, center-cut pork chops, that were considered to be prime cuts, had become unpalatable.
Most of us have grown up with the old adage, "You have to cook your pork well done or it will make you sick." Accordingly, growing up eating inherently dry, overcooked, rubberized, white pork brought me much agony as a child.
It wasn't until I was well into my adult years that I discovered that pork was really red, and not white. It was then that I began to understand the depth of the political ploys that had turned traditional pork on its ear in favor of factory-farmed white meat.
This "white" meat had become representative of Big Agriculture farming interests and the federalized dietary guidelines that are the result of the politicization of food and nutrition.
Pork, PACs, and Politics
The story of pork's decline involves the usual suspects: mounting government intervention, political mandates, special interest lobbying arms, redistribution of income, and the federal government's 30+ years of war on dietary fat.
The pork arm of the government, the National Pork Board, was established in 1985 under the terms of the Pork Act, with the fluff name being the Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act of 1985. The activities of this organization are funded by a mandatory "checkoff" program that forces pork farmers to pay into a fund each time an animal is sold.
The USDA maintains oversight for this program, as well as similar programs in other industries. And while the U.S. congressional body has permitted these forcibly applied taxes to fund mega-marketing budgets in the various food industries, there have been numerous legal challenges to mandatory checkoffs over the years...
The propaganda supporting the levies puts on a spin to give the appearance of benefits for those who are fleeced in order to fund campaigns they don’t want to support. In the fall 2012 issue of Pork Checkoff Report, an article reviewing an econometrics-based self-evaluation of the pork checkoff program claimed that producers "get back $17.40 of value for every $1 they invest in the pork checkoff." While these taxes on the pork producers produce in excess of $50 million in booty per year, the subsequent expenditures benefit the largest and most industrialized factory farm machinations, including the giants Smithfield and Tyson.
Back in 2000, the Agriculture Department held a referendum where pork producers voted to terminate the mandatory checkoff program, and this was in spite of millions being poured into the campaign by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) to maintain the status quo.
In mid-January 2001, Dan Glickman, who was the Secretary of Agriculture, released the voting results and he prepared the USDA to move forward with termination of the checkoff program. Immediately, the NPPC and large-industrial pork producers from Michigan successfully applied for a temporary restraining order to halt the USDA elimination of the plunder program.
Then came Ann Veneman, a Bush appointee from Big Agra with her feet firmly planted in the biotech corporatocracy, who took over as Secretary of Agriculture on January 20, 2001. Immediately, she overturned...
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