Pork is separated into two varieties – fresh and cured.
Cured pork includes bacon, ham and pork-based lunchmeats and hot dogs – all of which are traditionally preserved with sodium nitrite -a known carcinogen. Thanks to Niman Ranch and Maverick Ranch, all-natural, nitrite-free products are now available nationwide.
When choosing pork products, look for meat from organically raised pigs that contains no antibiotics and only all-natural preservatives (like celery seed).
Because of improved feeding techniques, trichinosis in pork is now rarely an issue. Be sure to take normal precautions including washing anything (hands, knives, cutting boards, etc.) that comes in contact with raw pork. Never taste uncooked pork. Most experts recommend an internal temperature of from 150° to 165°F, which will kill bacteria or parasites but still produce a juicy, tender result.
Selecting and Storing Pork
Choose pork that is pale pink with a small amount of marbling - with white not yellow fat. The darker pink the flesh, the older the animal. Fresh pork should be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Pork can be frozen, in airtight packaging, from 3 to 6 months.