When it comes to the food world, many myths tend to abound, and pork is no exception.
In this article, we focus on a collection of both common pork myths and other general food myths/falsities that have done the rounds for many years - even for centuries.
1. Pigs are messy
This is unfortunately a very common myth when it comes to the pork industry, and one that has managed to perpetuate itself for centuries. The truth, however, is that pigs are anything but messy animals. In fact, pigs are actually more conscious of their cleanliness than numerous other animals out there. This particular brand of misinformation comes courtesy of a pig's tendency to roll around in mud, which some have falsely claimed as comprising its own filth.
However, pigs actually make a conscious effort to stay away from their own waste, and they roll around in mud simply to keep cool. Why? Well, pigs have no sweat glands. So when it gets hot, they have to roll around in the mud to create a cooling layer - otherwise the heat would prove too much for them.
2. Adding salt to water will alter its boiling point
There is a certain truth to this myth, but it's more a matter of how influential salt is in changing the boiling point of water. Essentially, yes, the more salt you add, the more the boiling point will change, and the quicker the water will reach said boiling point.
However, for that little pinch of salt you add, this change in boiling point is minute - almost completely negligible. The amount of salt you'd need to see any real notable change would basically render the water and the food boiled within inedible - unless, of course, you love really, really, really salty food.
3. You must cook pork all the way through
When different types of meat are discussed, people will happily encourage you to try your beef at different levels or rarity, but many will still hesitate in encouraging the same for pork. Why? Well, many were simply brought up to believe that not cooking pork until it was 'well done' could be unhealthy or support harmful bacteria.
For pork grown in Australia, however, it is safe to cook pork in varying ways much like you would with red meat - as long as the meat is acceptably heated through. With pork, these different variations can show as a pinkish hue or an almost pure white look. As with any cut of meat, however, be careful not to undercook it. Pork Australia offers further advice on how to cook your pork here.
4. You need to drink 8 glasses of water every day
There have been a wide variety of differing benchmarks when it comes to 'recommended amount of water per day', and some of these recommendations have been utterly ridiculous and even dangerous for your health. Eight glasses (around 1.8 to 2 litres) is by no means a dangerous amount of water to consume each day, but it can still be a relatively big ask.
The truth is that there is no set standard. What matters is that you're drinking enough water to avoid constant dehydration. If you want, then drinking eight glasses is perfectly fine, but it's not a compulsory goal - merely a general recommendation. That said, it is worth remembering that along with keeping you hydrated, water helps improve your focus and overall health. It's not going to magically cure any nasty illnesses, but it will make you feel much better than if you tend to not drink that much of it.
5. The fat in pork is damaging
How fattening any cut of meat is really depends on the cuts you opt for. You can opt for those with higher levels of fat, or opt for leaner variations. There are plenty of pork cuts, including those offered by SunPork, that are lean and are fantastic sources of protein. These include the fillet, stir fry strips, and various pork steak cuts.
Along with this, most pork comes with saturated fats, which aren't specifically concerning to your health. In fact, they benefit your health by increasing the amount of good cholesterol that your body needs. This cholesterol helps maintain more regular hormone production, improves digestion, and strengthens your overall immunity.
6. Skipping meals will help you lose weight
This particular myth does a lot more damage than it does good for those who adhere to it. While the concept of eating less will lead to weight loss may seem logical on a basic level, consciously skipping meals tends to make it much harder for you to achieve this goal. The problem lies in the fact that skipping a meal causes your body to enter a state of metabolic slowdown. It's commonly referred to as 'starvation mode'.
What's worse is that when you purposely skip a meal, a surge of hormones in your body will encourage you to overeat when it comes to your next meal. This often leads to a much higher caloric intake at the end of the day than if you had simply maintained regular eating patterns via three meals a day and small snacking in between. Regular eating makes it far easier to maintain a consistent weight and, over time, lose weight by changing what you eat and taking up proper exercise.