Pigs and their Parts

Now that Thanksgiving is over and our work is complete, we can relax because we will have a full freezer of pork for the next year! It is awesome to have all those cuts of meat! But how do we know what to do? Well, we call Dad, our master butcher. He knows where all the cuts of pork are and how to make them. One day, Nicole and I will be cutting up the pig and it will be our turn! Have you ever wondered what the difference between pork loin and pork chops is? Did you know they are the same cut of meat and the only difference is pork chops have part of the backbone still attached to the meat?

Before we can figure out what the cuts of meat are, we have to know what pork is! Pork is the flesh of a pig used for food. Pork is the most commonly eaten meat throughout the world. There are over 500,000 jobs in the United States involved in the pork industry! Through all of these jobs the United States pork industry provides over 23 BILLION pounds of safe, nutritious, and wholesome pork to consumers around the world. My home state of Missouri is one of the top pork producing states, with over $791 million dollars a year coming from the pork industry!

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Do you live in a top pork producing state and you don’t even know it? Check it out below!

Top Pork Producing States

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Now that we understand what pork is we can move on to the different cuts of meat that come from a pig. Just think; you eat these cuts of meat all the time and never even know it! Now you can stump your friends with your new knowledge while eating your ham at Christmas dinner!

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Have you ever looked at the ads and thought to yourself, I have no idea what that name even means or where that meat comes from? Nicole and I are lucky that the only meat we have to buy from the grocery story is chicken! However, that is not the case for the average American.

But lets talk about how you can become an educated consumer and an expert on pork cuts! As you browse the ads, check out this website and it will explain to you common pork cuts!

Pork Be Inspired

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The link will bring you to an awesome website managed by the The National Pork Board. What is that? Well check out the picture and the link to their website below!

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About the National Pork Board

With Christmas right around the corner you see hams on sale constantly in the ads. But what is a cured ham? A ham comes from the back legs of the pig. Since the leg muscle is used constantly to move around, the ham is very low in fat!  Hams can either be wet or dry cured. The amount of water added to the ham during the curing process dictates how the ham is labeled. Ham can also be either bone-in or boneless. A bone-in ham still has the leg bone found in the meat. Most people think of a ham with the bone still in the meat when they picture a ham. However, a boneless ham is considered to be simpler, because of the lack of bone when carving and serving the ham. Whatever your preference, both still taste great! Find out more information from the link below!

Ham Basics

I hope that you have learned a little about pigs and their parts and feel confident when you push your shopping cart through the meat department. Check out the link below to learn more about pork recipes, cooking, and cuts and nutrition.

Pork: Be Inspired

The next time you enjoy a pork chop, bacon, or a boneless ham think about the many jobs you are supporting in the pork industry!

-Bethany

 

 

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