Baxter Black: You won't catch the flu from pulled pork
When the Asian flu hit the country in 2003, were people warned to stay away from Chinese restaurants and Japanese cars? When the West Nile virus was diagnosed in humans, did the Health Department tell us to avoid going to Egypt? How 'bout smallpox? Were dwarf warnings posted? Does riding Tennessee walkers give you a charley horse? Do you catch the swine flu by eating barbecued spare ribs?
The answer to all those questions is "no."
So why has the demand for pork in supermarkets and restaurants plummeted? Because it is easy for a logical but simple mind to say, "I've got the blues. I better quit eating blueberries!"
Just connect the dots, they think. It's easy to explain to a child that the tooth fairy gives them teeth, the stork gives them a little sister and smoking regular instead of king size will stunt their growth.
Truly, somewhere, sometime in a land far, far away, a human may have contracted the virus from a pig. But how many people that have been subsequently diagnosed with swine flu have been within 10 miles of a pig in the last 10 days or 10 years? Read More
As crazy as it sounds, there are still people out there that have reservations about eating pork because of the H1N1 flu virus which was incorrectly named the swine flu. While the idea that the name of a virus can impact your family’s livelihood, that is exactly the case for many swine producers today. Our consumers today do not have enough experience with food production to make sound decisions about issues like this. And, no one is going to teach them if we don’t. It’s important that everyone take the everyday opportunities we have to teach about agriculture.