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The New Face of Pork

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Lately, pork producers have come out with a catchy slogan to get more people eating pork. Most people may remember the old pork slogan, “The other white meat,” but now pork producers are taking a different turn. The catchy slogan, “Pork, Be Inspired,” is followed with a full-fledged campaign with commercials, a brand new website and even a Twitter and Facebook page. Yes, even pork has a Twitter account now.

Yet, what this snazzy new campaign is lacking is that not all Americans can eat pork. In fact, eating pork is against the rules of two major religions, not to mention the vegetarians and the vegans. So who is this new campaign geared towards? Certainly not the millions of Americans who can’t eat pork, but for those who can.

But, what is so inspiring about pork? Some childrens’ movies and novels depict pigs as cute and cuddly creatures. What’s so inspiring about Wilbur going to a slaughterhouse to be eaten on a plate next to runny applesauce?

With other meats, like beef, chicken and fish, it is easy not to associate them with cuddly book characters. How many childrens’ stories do you see about cows that are not jumping over a moon? Furthermore, chickens can be cute, but they are evil little creatures that will peck you if you are not watching. Fish, well let’s face it, that Rainbow Fish had it coming after not giving up his rainbow scales to his friends.

However, despite the association with adorable book characters, eating pork does have its benefits. Pork is quite healthy for you, if it is not against your religious views. In fact the “Pork, The Other White Meat” campaign was created to show consumers that pork is not a fatty protein, according to porkbeinspired.com.

The slogan implies that pork is more like chicken, which is the “original” white meat, and therefore makes the meat more desirable to those who are watching their calories and fat intake. A study in 2006 found that common cuts of pork are 16 percent leaner and have 27 percent less saturated fat than over ten years ago, according to porkbeinspired.com. The website states that this is due to “changes in feeding and breeding techniques.”

Not only is pork lean, it is also chock full of vitamins. A three-ounce serving of pork has about 54 percent of your daily recommendation of Thiamin, 47 percent of Niacin, and 11 percent of Potassium, according to porkbeinspired.com. All of these vitamins are essential to regulation in your body and bodily functions.

Pork also tastes good. The new pork campaign has outlined its website with savory and seductive pictures of well-seasoned mouth-watering chops. The website also features pages of recipes ranging from frou-frou decadent delicacies to slow roasted home cooking like mom used to make for Sunday dinner. Then there are the rather bizarre recipes like peanut butter and bacon cookies. No matter what kind of dreamy concoction you can think up, the site no doubt features it.

The recipes are a good way to get people inspired about eating pork, but in the end pork is still pork. You cannot really put lipstick on a pig, or can you?

Other meat companies have slogans like pork does to keep consumers interested in their product. For example, beef has the slogan, “Beef It’s What’s For Dinner.” The beef slogan makes more sense because the slogan is short and simple. Plus many consumers like to eat beef, so it usually is what’s for dinner, that is unless you do not eat beef either for religious or moral reasons.

Other meats like fish, lamb, and chicken do not really have major campaigns like pork or beef. Yet, chicken is pretty much a self-explanatory food. People most likely will always eat chicken and will continue to buy chicken without a debate. Unlike other meats chicken is not hard to sell. Chicken tastes good, it looks good, and children do not poke it with a fork and eye it with suspicion. Chicken is simply for everyone. No one can really hate chicken.

It is a tad depressing to not see fish with a major ad campaign. Although consumers eat and buy fish; and doctors are constantly scrutinizing patients for not eating enough fish. Many people get their nutrients that they would usually get from fish by taking smelly fish oil pills.

It really is a shame to see not enough people eating fish because it is a great source of omega-three and is excellent for memory. It is a wonder that our society is so forgetful.

Fish is fairly easy to make too. You can just wrap it in aluminum foil and pop it in the dishwasher for a cycle or you can pop it out of a can and smother it with a Paula Dean-sized goop of mayonnaise and sharp cheddar cheese. Or, if you are really lazy, just break off a few fish sticks from the freezer and nuke them for a minute or two.

But, the new pork campaign really does not make sense. “Pork Be Inspired,” is not as good or catchy as the old campaign of “Pork The Other White Meat.” When people think of inspiration, pork is not the first thing that pops into their minds. Inspiration invokes thoughts of a blank canvas or a fresh, uncracked composition notebook, not a slab of meat. Not that pork is bad. Pork in fact is quite tasty and is good for sporting events or home cooked meals. The new slogan, however, makes the meat sound pretentious, like it should be sporting a mink coat. Pork is none of that. It is not a pretentious food that has to be dressed up and glazed with expensive sauces. It is a humble food like Wilbur the pig.

In short, pork does not need any inspiration. It is already a great protein that does not need to be tampered with. The food simply speaks for itself, and does not need a new look or a slogan to prove that.

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About Dana Henderson