Pork – 5 Things About World’s Mostly Consumed Meat


Definition: What is Pork?


Pork is the most common and widely consumed meat type worldwide. The history of the first pork consumption evidence runs back to 5000 BCE. Pork stands for the culinary name of domestic pig meat. Both cooked and preserved forms of Pork are eaten by people. Pork-related products include bacon, gammon, and sausages, while the branch of cooking, Charcuterie, prepares meat products cooked using Pork. The western world has already embraced pork culture, especially in Central Europe.

In Asian cuisines, Pork is an expensive dish, and it is evident in China due to its texture and fat content. Apart from China, the Philippines, Singapore, Mainland Southeast Asia, and East Timor enjoy Pork. The largest pork producers in 2020 were China, the EU and the United States which accounted altogether for 76% of world pork production.

Consumption patterns of Pork

 Among the various meat dishes, Pork is unique as it is the most widely-eaten meat in the world, thereby developing large numbers of pork recipes worldwide. In 2021, China topped the list of pork consumers by taking into account all its economic regions Hong Kong (61 kg), Macau (52 kg), and Mainland China 37 kg/inhabitant, respectively. This amount is expected to grow by 4.1%, reaching almost 52 kg/inhabitant in 2022.

An average of 30% of pork meat is cooked as fresh meat, while the rest is smoked or cured to produce lard, sausage, bacon, and ham. Jamón is a famous Spanish dry-cured ham that is made from the hind legs of a pig, and Brazilians prepare Feijoada, their national dish of pork trimmings including ears, tail, and feet of pigs. This dish is also served in Portugal. 

Related Products

Pork is the most consumed meat, and a wide variety of pork products are preferred and demanded by poke lovers. Mainly, fresh meat and processed Pork are served in different ways. For roasted Pork, often young pigs are chosen from two to six weeks old. The Danish roast is a famous national favorite as a traditional Christmas dinner. 


Americans use Pork for breakfast sausages and hot dogs. As a common ingredient in sausages, traditional European sausages frequently have Pork, including chorizo, Cumberland sausages, fuet, and salami, a succulent finish. Processing pork into sausages or other products is described as Charcuterie in France. 

Ham and Bacon 

These two food items are popular in the Western world, especially after the rapid increase of industrialization. Fresh Pork (legs and shoulders) cured with salt or smoking makes ham and bacon. Streaky and round bacon is made from the belly and the loin, respectively. Today even non-western cuisines (Chinese and Asian cuisine) use preserved pork meat products such as red roasted Pork or salted preserved Pork. 

US Pork Consumption


The following figures related to grading are essential guidelines to get an idea of Pork consumption in the United States, where individual cuts are not graded. 

Type Details
Number 1  It contains the most satisfactory ratio of fat to lean.
Numbers 2, 3 and 4 Contain a higher proportion of fat, reducing the amount of lean. 
Utility-grade pork Usually taken from mature animals, and contain too little fat and are less firm.
The main cuts  Bellies, picnic shoulders, hams, spareribs, loin roasts, chops, and shoulder butts.


Religious Prohibition of Consumption

Religious sanctions over killing animals and consuming several meat types specifically are not applying only to Pork. Because several religions consider cattle, monkeys, and specific birds religious and sacred, such religions impose barriers to consuming some meat types. Notably, orthodox Islamic and Jewish dietary laws prohibit pork consumption. Rastafarians, Seventh-day Adventists, and members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church  also avoid eating Pork, while in Scotland, pork consumption was almost taboo until 1800.  

One reason for Jews to refuse pork eating is that they believe in the biblical explanation of the swine/pigs as unclean creatures in their diet and habits. Another reason for not eating Pork in Ancient Israelite cuisine, according to Douglas, was that non-Israelites raised them. Like Jews, the Islamic population follows Quranic verses prohibiting pork consumption. Even today, many countries throughout the Islamic world restrict pork importation and consumption severely. 

Islam Countries restricting pork consumption Algeria, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Gambia, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Mali, the Maldives, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan (except in some communities), Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Yemen
Islam Countries where Pork is available. (These are countries with a majority of Muslims and non-Muslim minorities) Albania, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Brunei, Chad, Egypt, Herzegovina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Jordan, Turkey, Syria, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and the United Arab Emirates (except the Emirate of Sharjah),


Diseases causing due to Pork

Apart from the world-famous uses of this meat type, it is also known to carry some diseases undercooked or uncooked. These diseases are trichinosis and pigbel, and pork tapeworm. Hence, it is dangerous to consume uncooked or undercooked Pork, no matter whether Eastern European countries and Central European countries still consume them. Therefore, Eastern European countries are likely to have higher risks of trichinosis due to unsafe pork consumption.


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