Okay, okay… I’m getting ready to duck and cover. Why? Because I’m about to write a post that will likely be very unpopular in the paleo community. But people have started asking questions, so here it goes: I don’t eat pork. That’s right, folks – no pork chops, no pork bacon. Before you excommunicate me from the paleo community, unsubscribe from my blog, and decide never to speak to me again, allow me to explain myself.
My journey to better health started in the summer of 2004… actually, no. It started in the summer of 2000, when I was first diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I spent four years trying (unsuccessfully) to manage my symptoms with medications, and found myself experiencing frequent flair-ups, weight gain, exhaustion… the list is long and unpleasant. To make a long story short, in the summer of 2004 I read Jordan Rubin’s “The Maker’s Diet”, which completely changed my life. It follows a similar dietary/lifestyle regimen to the Weston A Price philosophy, which isn’t all that dissimilar to Paleo. One of the major differences between Price and Paleo is that it allows sprouted grains (in moderation) and certain kinds of dairy (also in moderation). I found my health began to immediately improve after reading the book, switching to organic produce and “natural” meats, cutting sugar and processed foods, etc.
Although I have personally found even more health improvement from taking the Paleo steps of removing grains and most dairy from my diet, there are a couple of Maker’s Diet principles that I have continued to follow.
Jordan Rubin’s own twist on the Weston Price philosophy, coming from a Judeo-Christian background and taking dietary cues from Biblical law, is that he does not eat pork or shellfish. These were called “unclean” in the Old Testament, and Jordan explains why:
“Pigs are scavengers and will eat anything, including their own young and sick or dead pigs from the same pen. The pig’s stomach arrangement is very simple in design and function and it is combined with a limited excretory organ system. Four hours after the pig has eaten his polluted swill and other putrid, offensive matter, man may eat the same second-handed off the ribs of the pig.”
Although this was explanation enough for me, the proof for me is in this: when I don’t eat pork, I feel better. What you choose to eat or not eat should be based on your own personal convictions. This is based on mine. If you don’t personally feel compelled to give up pork, by all means, pour on the bacon!
So that’s my reasoning, in a very small nutshell.
I’ll close with one more thought from Jordan Rubin (which, you must understand, was said to put a funny spin on a Biblical example): “The number one reason not to eat pork: Never eat meat that comes from animals that Jesus cast demons into. There is NO WAY he would have ever wasted that much perfectly good meat!”
I love it!