Pour Coke on Pork and out crawl the worms?

Good friend of mine won’t eat pork because her high school science teacher once told her that if you submerged pork in Coke (the beverage, that is) worms would crawl out of it.

After some searching, I came across this site about the Quran explaining why pork is forbidden to certain religions.
It says, in part:

The only other sites I can find about this, quote the original page.

Is this actually true? And if so, does anyone have any more info about it?

Snopes had nothing, btw.

It sounds loopy.

Raw pork can have worms or worm eggs; that’s one reason why you’re told to cook it thoroughly. But IIRC, trichina worms are microscopic, and encyst themselves in the meat if they are present. They don’t “crawl.”

Any why would Coke kill them? It’s basically just carbonated sugar water.

Uncooked pork can spread diseases like trichinosis and tapeworm, but then, chicken can spread salmonella and beef tapeworms exist. The parasites are rarer now that we know about them.

One reason why pork is outlawed is that the pig does eat garbage. In addition, the Hebrews establishing kosher laws were primarily herders who didn’t keep pigs.

That’s utterly ridiculous, and I’m a microbiologist.

There is a risk, though a small one, of trichinosis, as has been said. Cook it all the way through, and you’ll be fine.

Returning to Coke, heard a fellow classmate say that at his school they started experimenting on cats. The initial technique used to put the cats down for anatomy lessons was long and painful (I have finally found out that good veterinarians give the animal a sedative prior to administering the poison. Terribly sick animals do not require this preliminary injection. Otherwise the poison alone does take several minutes and is very painful for the animal and the person watching.) They found by injecting flat (as I remember) Coke directly into the cat’s bloodstream, it killed the cat instantly. Have never heard the reason why. Would be interested in finding out why but please, no experimentation on my part. Just hope the above perhaps helps someone avoid the unpleasant experience I had with an inexperienced vet.

cats and dogs are highly sensitive to caffine…i’m not suprised it killed the poor things!

NEVER feed your cats or dogs anything with caffine in it (i believe it’s more of an issue with dogs) that includes sodas, tea, coffee, chocolate etc

Injecting that much sugar into the blood of a small mammal would throw it into insulin shock, no? Obviously, I’m not an MD. There is a mountain of nonsense out there about Coca-Cola™, and I’m inclined to disbelieve anything new I hear about the stuff.

Who thought it would be a good idea to marinade pork in Coca-Cola before making this “discovery”?

From the description of the reaction, I would be inclined to believe the caffeine theory more. We did caffeine experiments on fish in biology class and they correspond. Thanks for the suggestions.

Yes, believe whatever the muslims will say about pork because their religion will make them treat the subject even-handedly and without prejudice. It’s pure hogwash. pun intended

  1. I am neither a doctor nor a veterinarian, but I would guess that injecting any carbonated liquid into an animal would kill it–because of the air bubbles, not the caffeine or the sugar.



So I would guess that if you injected a fairly large quantity of a carbonated liquid so that it would go directly to the animal’s brain, without going through the capillaries in the lungs, it would kill the animal.

  1. The life cycle of the trichina parasite does not include a lengthy stage where it exists as a worm in muscle tissue. It’s either living as a worm in the animal’s intestines, or it’s living as a “cyst” in the muscle tissue.


It takes them about 3 weeks to do this. And then they wait there for the piece of muscle that they’re living in to be eaten by some other animal.


So there’s only a three-week window of opportunity for you to soak the piece of pork in Coke before the larvae become encysted and inert. The friend’s high school teacher didn’t specify “a piece of pork that has been infected with juvenile trichina worms within the last 3 weeks”. He only said, “Any piece of pork”.

  1. Coca-Cola is actually an ingredient in a pork marinade recipe. Methinks that if Coke really did make worms crawl out of the pork, people would have noticed by now " :rolleyes: " and would no longer be using Coke as a marinade. “Wait a little while” implies a period of time along the lines of, say, a few minutes. Pork marinade recipes generally call for marination in terms of “hours”, not “minutes”. It takes a certain amount of time for the marinade to penetrate the meat, and the longer the meat sits in the marinade, the further into the meat the marinade penetrates. If it only took a few minutes for the worms closest to the meat’s surface to be affected by the Coke and to start crawling out of the pork, then an overnight marinade, penetrating the meat even further, ought to cause all the worms to crawl out of the pork, and the Happy Homemaker ought to have taken her marinated pork loin out of the bowl the next day and noticed lots and lots of 1-millimeter worms floating in it. AFAIK this has never happened, and people have been marinating pork in Coke for a long time.

  2. I think that if marinating pork in Coca-Cola makes worms crawl out of it, the USDA would have mentioned it. It would be a helpful method for controlling trichinosis infections. “Just soak it in Coke overnight, get rid of all the worms, then you can cook it rare instead of medium…” But they don’t.


The reason given for boiling it before using it as a baste is to kill bacteria, not worms. If worms crawled out of the pork while it was marinating, why wouldn’t the USDA mention that you need to boil the marinade to kill the worms and the bacteria?

Bottom line: The Straight Dope is that soaking pork in Coca-Cola will not cause worms to crawl out of it. This is another Cokelore Urban Legend. Perhaps Snopes should add it to their page.

What poison would you be talking about here? The standard procedure is to give them an IV overdose of a barbituate, and death is pretty much instantaneous and completely painless past the initial needlestick. Sometimes you have to give them more than you’d expect, but that’s pretty unusual.

Some vets do give fractious or anxious animals a sedative beforehand, especially if they don’t place an IV catheter. This isn’t to make the euthanasia itself faster, but to keep the animal from acting up during the injection and a)making it harder to hit the vein and b) upsetting the owner even more.

Also, where the hell was your friend going to school that they were putting down their own anatomy specimens? Some vet schools might use fresh specimens, but most use preserved cadavers, and besides, they all use HUMANE euthanasia techniques, not long and painful processes.

Oh, and I apologize for the hijack.

What I’m wondering is who thought of trying this? Were they randomly selecting fluids to inject until it was discovered that flat Coke killed instantly?

Sheesh! Remind me not to drink Coke when I’m in Lithuania!:eek:

Note to self: *never take pets to Lithuania for any reason. * What, they don’t have ketamine in Eastern Europe? What kind of veterinary school was this, anyway?

Seriously, my random guess would be death by embolism from the carbonation bubbles. I know that your friend specified “flat Coke,” but I have to think that the supervising vet was perhaps not all that attentive to details.

Ok. I seem to be behind in answering.

  1. I got the impression in biology class (in the States, not Lithuania) that the nicotine we gave the fish affected their hearts since we were measuring the change in heart rates, as I recall. Therefore, the caffeine in coke would only have to reach the heart.
  2. Unfortunately, according to this univ. classmate, they were experimenting with different fluids in high school biology class. I presume this was under the direction of a biology teacher, not a vet. They started experimenting because they were appalled by the death being suffered. Why they were killing their own animals, can’t say. Why a teacher would continue killing animals in such a brutal fashion is beyond me as well. Chemicals have never stuck in my head, so if he mentioned the chemical, would not have been able to repeat the name when the conversation ended, let alone after 20+ years. I know my biology class teacher thought teaching students to kill an animal taught them something, perhaps about life. You do not want to hear how many blows it took to get the head off a chicken. Again, in the States.
  3. Can’t tell you what chemical the vet (unfortunately here in Lithuania but not part of any college, just a small city vet) used on the family dog but it was injected directly into the heart. He said that this was the first time he had had such a reaction since he had always put down very sick animals. We put this dog down because she was uncontrollable and did not want to wait until someone was bitten. Here in Lithuania you seldom see stay dogs or other animals. It is too expensive to raise unwanted animals, so animals are rarely put down in full health. Slaughterhouses would not use chemicals. As to chemicals, the Soviets used very different chemicals for people and animals. Western chemicals are penetrating slowly because the doctors have to be trained how to use them. Initially many used them like panaceas, which was also dangerous. There was one case where animal medicine was prescribed in place of human medicine with fatal consequences. In 1997, there was almost no Western medicine available. Now it is perhaps predominately Western European, not US. Again European medicines differ from US medicines. My pharmaceutical dictionaries come from the US and I have trouble finding many medicines. Russian generic medicines are almost virtually unlisted in the US dictionaries. To give you an idea of the difference. US thinking about diarrhea is to coat the lining of the intestines. Russian and Lithuanian thinking is to restore the microflora and so people here usually take doses of microflora (bought at a pharmacy). It works. But it is very unnerving, esp. if you don’t understand what is going on. That vet got an earful or three from me, you can be sure.

Excuse me. Neglected something. Western medicines have penetrated in human practice. I suspect the penetration in veterinary medicine is much slower. In 1996-97, veterinary and agricultural schools here taught almost no English but rather mostly Russian as a second language since most of their technology and techniques were still coming from Russia at that time. The Russian economic crisis is when the rapid change to a Western outlook really took hold in Lithuanian society. I am in no position to say if it played a major role or what the outlook of veterinary medicine in Lithuania is at present.

Interesting that Coca-Cola is often an ingredient in carnitas recipes. I’m dissapointed now that I’ve missed the floor show apparently going on in the kitchen as my future supper marinates.

Coca-Cola is a pretty nice ready-made marinade, if you want a sweet tone to the meat. If Iron Chef is anything to go by, it’s used in modern Chinese (a-la Chen Kenichi) cooking, too.

Does it not bear saying that trichinosis is no longer the threat it once was?

It is often claimed that the ban on pork found in Jewish and Muslim dietary laws is founded solely or primarily on health concerns regarding trichinoisis.

This suggests two questions:

1.) If the law givers were concerned about the health consequences of eating pork, why did they not simply say “pork is not healthy”? It was done in other contexts; for instance, in Leviticus there is practical advice on determining what is and is not a mark of leprosy, without it being dressed up with talk about how an ordinary pimple is not an adomination before the Lord.

2.) Since proper cooking eliminates the danger of infection, why were the laws concerning pork in the form of an outright ban, rather than in the form of instructions to cook the pork thoroughly? After all, it is a bad idea to eat produce that is unwashed, but the response of religious leaders was not to ban eating produce; rather, people were expected to clean it first.

Anthropologist Marvin Harris has argued at some length that the ban on pork, like a lot of religious strictures, was primarily based on economics. A desert society which invested a great deal of resources to raising swine could find itself in serious trouble when harvests were poor. In support of this idea that the laws are designed to uphold wise economic policy, Harris cites a tropical culture where raising and eating pork is actually a religious requirement. By analogy, he also cites arguments that the Hindu ban on killing cows has, in the long run, actually been benificial to Indian society.

While some social scientists have been critical of Harris’ argument, it may serve as least a partial (and substantial) explanation of the condemnation of pork among Mideasterners.

This is a WAG, but the fact that pigs, left to their natural state, are not at all like Arnold Ziffel but actually pretty disgusting–wallowing in filth, and mean besides, might also have helped give them an image problem in some cultures.