Is pork actually a white meat?

Influenced by this thread : is pork actually a white meat?
The pork’s advertizing slogan: the other white meat

seems to have two meanings:

  1. The literal meaning. As in There are 2 major white means, chicken and pork, and pork is the other white meat, since chicken is predominant.

  2. where other is defined as ‘fake’, as in you would say: the “other” white meat. I’m not sure how to describe this properly, but it’s like knowing that pork is not white meat, so when you say it, you do the quoting gesture with your fingers.
    I’ve always thought #2 was the real meaning (mainly because I think the advertising industry is insidious), but it seems that everyone I talk to has been brainwashed by the #1 definiton and actually believes that pork is white meat.

This also raised the question: what exactily is the difference between red & white meat?

The main catagories of meat were fish, fowl,and red meat (mammals). Pork is red meat. Fowl is just fowl as far as I know. I don’t know what they mean “other white meat.”

Have you ever fried a pork chop in a skillet? It cooks up a very light color similar to chicken. Red meat cooks up dark. It’s an attempt by the pork industry to get people to think of eating pork as an alternative to chicken.

Cattle meat is generally regarded as red meat. It is a deep, dark reddish color and is higher in fat content due to the “marbleing” of fat throughout the meat fibers. Fish and poultry are a very light color and have virtually no marbleing. The fat in chicken is generally found under the skin or attached to the meat so it can be trimmed, leaving virtually no fat in the meat. With the exception of Salmon, fish has very little fat in the meat. Pork falls somewhere in the middle. It has a lot less fat than cattle meat but it still has some marbleing. Pork steaks and ribs cook up dark while chops cook up light. I guess this means pork falls somewhere in between.

I don’t know how you would categorize dark, reddish meats such as rabbit, deer, duck, etc.

I may be wrong, but I think the “other white meat” is a marketing strategy to differentiate it from beef. If you can associate it with poultry, no harm done to us meat-eaters. But I have yet to see bacon considered a white meat. (The white part is the delicious, tasty, pants-wetting goodness of the fat). Bon appetite

It’s always been my understanding that red meat comes from mammals, and white meat comes from other kinds of animals. I stopped eating red meat years ago, and that’s the way I define things in terms of my diet. Unfortunately, I made this change around the time the “other white meat” campaign began, and endlessly had to explain to people that no, I wouldn’t eat pork, no matter what the commercial said. I spent some time passing myself off as a vegetarian in public to avoid this sort of hassle; these days I just call myself “half-vegetarian”.

I think its safe to say that before that ad campaign, no one considered pork to be white meat. According to, The American Heritage Dictionary defines white meat as “Light-colored meat, especially of poultry.” Princeton’s WordNet says it’s “meat carved from the breast of a fowl [syn: breast]”. In the '80s and '90s, lots of people gave up eating “red meat” as part of a healthier diet, but kept eating poultry (especially chicken) and fish. The breast of a chicken (the specifically “white meat” part of it) in particular can be prepared with almost no fat, and was a staple of many low-fat diets like the Ornish diet. The pork industry clearly wanted to convince people who were giving up red meat or who generally associated the phrase “white meat” with “healthy and low in fat” that pork was more like chicken than beef, and didn’t need to be forsaken. Apparently, there is no FDA definition of “white meat” (at least when not applyied to poultry), so they were able to do so. The fact that they succeded is somewhat amazing, especially since, like alanak, I always saw the slogan as being slightly ironic and tongue-in-cheek.

IIRC, this whole shebang started around the time the Food Police declared that eating a lot of red meat (ie, beef) was bad for you. So the pork industry (heh heh) decided to promote the fact that they weren’t beef by calling pork the other white meat.

BTW, the redness or the lack thereof in a piece of meat is primarily due to the amount of myoglobin in the muscle tissue.

…which, if Alton Brown is right (and he usually is), is a result of the animal eating grass. Pigs generally don’t eat grass, so their muscle tissue doesn’t turn red. If they did, pork would be red meat.

I don’t know if the same would apply to poultry – if they ate grass, would their meat be red? Hm.

It’s all still pretty yummy, IMO. :slight_smile:

That makes sence, since real milk-fed veal is kind of a pasty white