Ask the Food Expert

From cooking questions to understanding the difference between all of the different kinds of cuts, find a list of the Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions here. If you don’t see your question listed below, click the link at the bottom for the full list.

I'm told that if you don't cook pork to well done it could be dangerous, but I've also read that a touch of pink is OK too. What am I to believe?
A touch of pink is both safe and desirable, especially for loin cuts. The origin of concerns about ‘undercooked’ pork derives from Trichinosis, a disease caused by a parasite. Trichinosis is no longer a health issue, and as of January 2000, Trichinosis has been removed from national surveillance by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Besides, the microbe in question is destroyed at 137 degrees F (58 degrees C), well below the recommended 160 degrees F (71°C) internal cooking temperature.
My husband is on a strict low fat / low cholesterol diet. But he loves pork. Is there any room for compromise here?
YES! Pork, cut for cut, is just as lean as any other meat, and has comparatively modest cholesterol content. For a fuller explanation, see our Nutrition section.
I'm confused. What's the difference between 'back', 'side', 'sweet and sour', and 'spare ribs'?
Back ribs: these, as you might expect come from the back of the animal, adjacent to the loin, and attach to the backbone. These have the highest proportion of meat to bone, and are considered tastier and more tender than side ribs, but opinions differ. They are definitely more expensive. Side, sweet and sour, and spare ribs: these are all the same things – except that sweet and sour ribs are cut into strips about 2- inches wide. These ribs lie against the belly (where bacon comes from) and attach to the breastbone.
My family is trying to avoid genetically modified foods. Is there any way I can tell if pork is genetically modified or not?
You can rest assured that there is NO genetically modified pork available on the market.
I'm told that pork, and meat products in general, are stuffed full of hormones. Is this true?
As far as pork is concerned, there are NO hormones licensed for pork production. As a double safeguard, the meat is federally inspected on a random basis, to ensure that the meat is hormone (and antibiotic) free at the packers.


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