Is a pig clean?

a Whole Foods Market Customer


ATG117 May 17, 2013
agree with pierino. I'm no kosher or religion expert, but I do believe the "clean" means pure. And so basically, just another religious rule that people either misinterpreted into the cleanliness thing or which people tried to explain based on whether the animal was clean. I guess the bottom line is that pigs are no less clean than many other animals.
PazzoNico May 17, 2013
@pierino: Kind of what I was getting at. Well said.
pierino May 17, 2013
I should add that the word "clean" here can be misleading. Remember that this is stuff that's been translated from texts that are more than 2,000 years old. I take it to mean more like "pure" or "purified", as in how animals are slaughtered. There is the rule against carrion and even crabs because they eat other things that are already dead.
ATG117 May 16, 2013
I'm pretty sure religious prohibitions against eating pig have nothing to do with the animal's cleanliness or lack thereof--at least as far as jewish tradition is concerned. As far as I know, people came up with the "cleanliness" thing as an explanation for the prohibition. I'm definitely not an expert on the subject, but I'm pretty sure those explanations were hogwash.
pierino May 16, 2013
Here's what the esteemed food historian Claudia Rodin has to say. Her family are sephardic jews. I'm not so I'm neutral. Here she is citing Kashrut rules; "Animals that both 'chew the cud'...and have cloven hooves are condsidered clean and permitted...All others ---including pig, rabbit, horse, and beasts of prey or carrion...are forbidden..." And then you get into wierd stuff like fin fish with or without scales. I don't make this stuff up but it is interesting.
PazzoNico May 16, 2013
@TLD: Right. Apologies for the sarcastic tone in that last comment.
My point was that nothing is really "clean" until it's washed, however that may be for that particular food item (some more than others obviously). And most of the time we are buying pork in a market or at a butcher where proper sanitation guidelines have (hopefully) been followed. So the only thing left to do is make sure it is cooked to the proper temperature.
I guess I really didn't quite understand if the original post was referring to sanitation or religious guidelines.
PazzoNico May 15, 2013
....are carrots clean? No, but we wash them, much like they do pigs after they are slaughtered.

I don't understand the question...
dymnyno May 17, 2013
I thought the question was about the inside of the pig, not the hide. Animals who are fed raw meat such as dogs, pigs and others can carry a worm called trichinosis which is why pork is always advised to be cooked thoroughly. These animals also find protein in animal and human waste which while disgusting is the reality of the subject.
mensaque May 14, 2013
"This little pig went to the market,this little pig went to the beach and this little pig stayed home,took a bubble bath,brushed his teeth and put on some clean clothes..."Yes,pigs are clean.
ChefJune May 14, 2013
I helped raise pigs when I was a little girl on my uncle's farm. They are fastidious animals. Yes, they love to roll in the muc, but soon afterwards they clean themselves off. I don't know whether that is the kind of "clean" you're referring to, though.

In both the Jewish and Muslim religions, pigs are regarded as unclean -- which is to say they are forbidden to be eaten. Jews don't eat any animals with cloven hooves, which pigs have.
pierino May 14, 2013
Of course Kosher and Muslim practices today have more to do with religious observance than modern reality. The orthodox are not allowed to eat crab either. Two thousand years ago these principles were founded on health concerns which have been overwritten by modernity. An interesting sidebar to me; the friends I have relish eating pork the most are all Jews. Not orthodox, but still... And I should add that these friends are some of the smartest people I know.
petitbleu May 14, 2013
Pigs are purported to be the "cleanest" livestock for the reason that they don't defecate where they eat (unlike cows, sheep, goats, chickens). I believe this is part of the reason they are also considered one of the smarter livestock animals. However, as we all know, pigs love to wallow in mud, which may cause you to dispute the "clean" designation. However, this tendency does not affect the meat itself ;)
aargersi May 14, 2013
Maedl May 13, 2013
The answer depends of whether you keep kosher.
pierino May 13, 2013
If you don't have to keep kosher I wouldn't worry about it. In fact it's certainly "cleaner" than chicken.
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