I am frequently asked about consuming pork and pig products. I personally used to eat pork products as a child and an early adult only because my parents never understood nor taught me what I am about to share with you. As an adult, I have researched both Biblical practices as well as nutrition and toxicity and my conclusion now is DON’T EVER EAT PORK (Yes, this means bacon!!! GASP!!!!).
My personal health philosophy is to consume maximal nutrients and minimal toxins while honoring and worshiping God with my body, mind and spirit. After researching Biblical principles, the nature of pigs and their poor detoxification systems, I have decided not to endorse the use of these animals as food.They are great trash cans as they consume anything that falls their way, but I don’t believe they were intended for human consumption.
The Hebrew people have avoided pork and pig products as a dietary principle as discussed in the Bible (or the Torah for Jewish people). Leviticus clearly states that pigs, because they do not chew their cud, are an unclean meat. Modern science has shown that pigs carry a very high toxic load, making them unsafe for human consumption.
“And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you.” Leviticus 11:7
The bible warns the Hebrews about unclean foods and the rationale for the uncleanliness. Pigs are a dirty animal that ruthlessly scavenge anything they come in contact with on the farm.They are known to not only consume food scraps, insects and their own feces, but they will also eat their own dead carcasses. They have been known to kill and eat their young at times as well.
Due to their scavenger lifestyle, they harbor enormous amounts of viruses and parasites. Pigs are known to be primary carriers of the following pathogenic organisms that can create very serious health problems.
- Taenia solium tapeworm
- PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome) Nipah virus
- Menangle virus
- Hepatitis E virus (HEV)
A Consumer Reports investigation found that 69% of all raw pork samples tested were contaminated with high amounts of volatile microorganisms such as Yersinia enterocolitica. This bacteria causes fever and gastrointestinal stress and could potentially lead to a fatal infection.
Animals that “chew the cud” as it says in the Bible are called ruminants. These animals hardly chew their food when it is first swallowed. But they have four stomachs that digest and regurgitate food through a special process that ultimately allows for complete digestion. The major ruminants are cows, sheep and goats.
The digestive system of a pig is unique in that it metabolizes food very quickly through one stomach in a process that takes about four hours. A cow takes twenty four hours to digest what’s eaten and it is able to get rid of excess toxins during the digestive process. The pig’s digestive system doesn’t allow for this and the toxins are carried into the fat cells and organs of the pig itself.
Pigs also do not have sweat glands. Perspiration is a key method the body uses to for detoxification and the pig is not designed to perspire.When we consume pig meat, we get all of these pathogenic microorganisms and environmental toxins into our system.
Much of the Biblical books of Numbers, Leviticus & Deuteronomy have to do with health principles designed to minimize infection. This is very logical as infection was the greatest health threat to entire tribes and cities in the pre-technological world.
The Old Testament narrative has much to do with seeing the Israelite culture survive and thrive in a hostile world. It is quite logical that God would warn his people about available animals and their relationship to tribal health. There’s a saying about the wisdom of grandmothers, and the evolutionary usefulness of them. They’ve seen enough that they become useful for overall survival based on imparting a type of knowledge called heuristics. Even if you’re not convinced God gave the Hebrews health tips, consider that they had just seen enough death and suffering to make a connection and learned what to eat and what not to eat.
In any case, was the Bible message to avoid consuming unclean meat necessary for reducing infection and serious health problems? Based on the nature of the pig and the toxic load they carry, it seems to be the best advice for optimal health.