Where Do Bacon And Ham Come From?

By: Joe Brown Email
By: Joe Brown Email

“The belly is removed right here and then this part just comes off of the belly, and then these are baby back ribs, and the front part of the ribs behind this lean right here is bacon.”

Jodi Sterle is the Texas Agrilife Extension’s swine specialist.

“This is the longissimus dorsi, the scientific name for the loin muscle which is where your loins come from, whole loins as well as pork chops.”

Sterle says like in beef, marbling plays an important in role pork’s taste.

“It’s important to have those flecs of fat in there, which the American consumer assumes is bad, but that fat is called marbling, and that melts out during cooking, and adds tenderness, juiciness, and flavor.”

The ham comes from the rear of the pig and makes up about 22% of the carcass.

“ and we can smoke those, cure those, eat them fresh, have a center cut ham slice.”

“and then, after right about the first rib, we take this shoulder and split into two. The top part is actually called the Boston butt, it doesn’t come from the rear end, and the lower part is called the picnic shoulder.”

The hair will be used for things like paint brushes, the skin made into pork rinds, and the collagen used in women’s make-up, as well as in dog food.

“Ears for dog treats, they will use a lot of the glands for different pharmaceuticals. Diabetics, human diabetics, that can’t take lab derived insulin, we’ll harvest the pancreas and derive insulin from there.”

You should now understand why people in the pork industry say they use everything a pig provides them, except the oink.


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