How Pork Became the “Other White Meat”

If you’re a cooking enthusiast or a fan of barbecue, you’ve probably heard the phrase “pork is the other white meat.” But have you ever wondered how pork earned this distinction? Let’s delve into the fascinating story behind the labeling of pork as a white meat.

Pork in Cajun Culture

Pork has always been a staple in Cajun cuisine, thanks to its versatility and ability to thrive in a variety of conditions. Pigs are easy to raise, as they require minimal space and will eat just about anything. These qualities made them an essential part of survival for French colonists who settled in South Louisiana, becoming the Cajuns we know today. Pigs were not only valuable to the Cajuns but also highly esteemed by many other cultures worldwide, which may explain why pork is the most consumed meat globally.

Red Meat vs. White Meat

To understand why pork is considered a white meat, let’s explore the key differences between red and white meats. In simple terms, red meat appears red when raw and darkens as it cooks, while white meat is light in appearance and whitens as it cooks. However, in nutritional science, the classification is more nuanced. Red meat is defined as any cut of meat with a higher concentration of the protein myoglobin than white meat. As myoglobin is found in mammals, the USDA categorizes meat from these animals as red meat. Although certain cuts of pork have less myoglobin than some red meats, they still contain more myoglobin than chicken and turkey, thus traditionally being labeled as red meat.

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A Shift in Consumer Preferences

In the 70s and 80s, as people began paying more attention to their health and diet, chicken gained popularity as a lean alternative to other meats. Pork, on the other hand, fell out of favor. However, in 1987, the National Pork Producers Council launched a $7 million national campaign to revive pork’s reputation. The famous advertising agency Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt created the slogan “Pork. The Other White Meat” to position pork as a lean, white meat alternative to beef and chicken.

The Success of the Campaign

With television ads, print ads, and Superbowl commercials featuring celebrity chefs, the campaign reintroduced Americans to pork-based dishes like pork cordon bleu, pork kabobs, and glazed pork tenderloin. The catchy slogan and enticing dishes resonated with consumers, leading to a nearly 20% increase in pork consumption and annual sales reaching $30 billion by 1991. Although pork never surpassed the popularity of beef or chicken in America, the campaign successfully established pork as a lean white meat in the minds of consumers.

The Focus on Quality

Here at Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ, we are passionate about providing high-quality pork that is prepared with the utmost attention and care. Our expertise ensures that every cut of pork is flavorful, tender, and cooked to perfection. Whether you prefer slow-smoked ribs or succulent pulled pork, we’ve got you covered.

To explore our mouthwatering pork offerings and experience the true taste of barbecue, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ. We’re excited to share our love for cooking with you!

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