Buying Pork

Parts of the Pig

Pork’s versatility makes it the perfect choice for everyday meals, casual entertaining and elegant dinners.

When purchasing pork, consider the following:

The degree of leanness – Modern-day production has reduced pork’s fat content, making it a major contender in the lean meat category. For the leanest cuts of pork, look for the word “loin” on the label.

What part of the pig is this cut from? – This is known as the “primal” or “wholesale” cut and specifies which part of the carcass the meat comes from. This information is a good indicator of the relative tenderness of the cut and can help consumers decide which cooking method to use when preparing the cut. This part of the label may read pork shoulder, loin, leg, etc.

How much time do you have? – If time is limited, you’ll want to select a smaller cut, like pork chops that cook quickly. If you’re entertaining and have several other dishes to prepare, you may want to choose a roast that can be put in the oven and requires very little attention.

Number of people to be served – The average serving size for pork is 100 g (3 oz) of cooked meat. Start with 150 g (4 oz) of boneless, raw pork to yield an average serving size of cooked pork. A 100 g (3 oz) serving is about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand.

Cost – To get the most for your money, take time to figure out the cost per serving. Some boneless cuts may seem more expensive, but are actually a better buy because you’re not paying for the bone.