Texas College Bans Pork On Campus
Food products are being banned left, right, and center in America these days. While the NYC soda ban and the Californian foie gras ban has already made much news in the realms of public health, a Texan College is attempting to join the ranks with its decision to ban pork on the campus. The Paul Quinn College has implemented a ban on pork dishes in its cafeteria on account of the fact that eating pork causes high blood pressure, obesity, and heart problems.
Why The Ban?
After soda drinks and foie gras, it is now the humble pork, which is in the limelight for its bad health effects. The healthy-eating initiatives, which almost every U.S. college and University is undertaking these days, have found a new extreme in the Texan University’s diktat against pork. Michael Sorrel, the College’s president, told a daily, “The reality is that our student population comes from demographic that struggles with the type of health concerns that you see in under-resourced community.” According to a college statement, the pork ban is to “improve the lives and health of our students.”
It is a well-known fact that pork chops, pork belly and bacon are naturally high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Even cured pork is believed to contain nitrates and nitrites, which have been known to cause cancer. The pork meat is also high in calories, which has led the administration to ban it from the cafeteria. The college statement reads out the negative consequences of eating pork, “We know there are many negative health consequences of consuming pork (eating pork can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, sodium retention and heat problems, not to mention weight gain and obesity).” Therefore, the statement adds, “From this semester forwards PQC will no longer serve dishes containing pork. That applause you hear in the background is the blood pressure of our students, faculty and staff.”
Applause or No Applause?
Any kind of ban is, by the virtue of it, subject to resistance. It happened in case of the soda ban as well as the foie gras ban. Therefore, it is being expected to happen in case of the pork ban as well. Especially since lean cuts of pork, like the tenderloin, is high in protein and B-vitamins while being low in fat. In fact, pork tenderloin has lesser number of calories than chicken breast. In wake of these facts, the pork ban in Paul Quinn College may be subjected to some kind of resentment. However, the College administration is taking a totally different approach to the issue as Sorrell said, “When you come to college, you come to be educated. We thought we could do more in the area of promoting healthy lifestyle choices and healthy eating habits. …Therefore, as a part of our continued effort to improve the lives and health of our students, Paul Quinn College and its food service partner, Perkins Management have collaborated to create a pork-free cafeteria.”
The US consumed 50.5 pounds of pork per capita annually till recently. The figure is not expected to be any less now. In fact, 36.7 % of meat consumed in the country was pork till 2007. The problem with pork is that it is not just used as a dish in itself, but as an ingredient in a number of dishes right from pulled pork sandwiches to mashed potatoes. It is a popular meat item, more so among the college crowd. In wake of these facts, it remains to be seen whether the Paul Quinn College’s ban on pork goes down well with its students or not.