Pour Coke on Pork and out crawl the worms?

Ok. I got my second brain cell awake and remembered that biology class experiment. We were examining circulatory system dilation (with alcohol) and constriction (using, it seems now, nicotin, not caffeine). Too large a dose of the latter caused a massive heart attack because the blood could no longer flow through too large a part of the body. Would caffeine work in the same way?

It’s not as common as it used to be, but it’s still out there.

I have a vague memory that the last death in the USA from trichinosis was 50+ years ago. Am I hallucinating again?

I submit the half-remembered words of (I think) Harry Kemelman, in the mouth of his fictional rabbi/detective David Small: “We do not avoid pork because it is not healthful or delicious to eat; we avoid pork because God commanded it.”

I think trying to come up with public-health excuses for religious commandments is as ridiculous as trying to find physical explanations for the miracles. Either you believe or you don’t.

50 sounds a bit high to me. I poked around the CDC’s website for a bit just now and found data from a few years ago, when there were about 35 cases in the US, but no deaths. Argentina, OTOH, had over a thousand cases and several deaths. Most of the cases worldwide now come from wild game, usually boar.

Here is a nifty little graph. There’s more information about the number of cases over the last few decades on that page, but I couldn’t find anything about number of deaths.

Well, the official word from the USDA is that it’s still out there, but not as bad as it used to be.


A little p.s. to my earlier post (I apologize if this becoming a hijack): I also heard that the first wife of Cajun humorist and chef Justin Wilson died of trichinosis. Considering the dietary habits* of the Cajuns I know, that would not be too surprising.
*There is a saying that Cajuns will eat anything that doesn’t eat them first, and they make exceptions to the rule. True story: A guy was out bowfishing for alligator gar when he speared a 6-footer. In the ensuing struggle to get the fish in the boat, the gar took a bite out of the guy’s leg. He ended up having to beat it to death with a concrete block he kept in the boat as an anchor. Naturally, he took it home and cooked it.

Is there still a General Question on the table here?

True for most muslims. Not really a big deal for me, though. I can frequently be seen flinging bits of pork to the side when the only food around is pork fried rice, or nabbing peppers off the sausage and peppers tray. I don’t really stress out about the whole thing.
I believe there may be a certain amount of spiritual benefit obtained from following tradition or excercising a bit of self-denial, but not from being a hard-liner.

Just my opinion…I’m probably a half-assed muslim anyway.

Heretically yours,


raisinbread, what, precisely, the fuck are you nattering on about?

Yes, I expect an answer.

“Why pork was proscribed by Hebraic law is still unclear, and some scholars believe that the Torah merely suggested not eating pork at certain restaurants.” - Woody Allen

IIRC cats are carnivores and might be more suceptible to a “sugar shock” than an omnivore. If I had to field a guess on quick death reason, I would bet more on the acidity of the soda throwing the cats blood pH all out of whack. That would jack up all kinds of things not to mention massive hemolytic reactions from the acid. Sounds icky but I could see where it would be quick.