As summer begins to wind down, (NOTE: It is summer until September 21!), I’ve been trying to use my BBQ as much as possible. I still use it in the winter but it’s not the same. And lately, I’ve been buying all sorts of things to grill including burgers, sausages, ribs – even salmon.

While shopping for a pork shoulder last week, I was struck by the variety of pork products at my global grocery store: ribs (back and side); pork chops (smoked, bone-in, boneless); tenderloin (seasoned and regular) and more sausages than I can name. As I looked at the selection – and noted that despite record high food prices, pork is still very reasonably priced, I chuckled as I remembered an old quote from the Simpsons.

As a refresher, it goes like this:

[After visiting a petting zoo, Lisa finds herself unable to eat the lamb chops that Marge serves for dinner.]

Lisa: I can’t eat this. I can’t eat a poor little lamb. [pushes her plate away]

Homer: Lisa, honey, are you saying you’re never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?

Lisa: No.

Homer: Ham?

Lisa: No.

Homer: Pork chops?

Lisa: Dad! Those all come from the same animal!

Homer: [chuckling] Yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.

(Watch the clip here)

The joke of course is in the fact that Homer is so dimwitted, he is in disbelief that so many delicious foods come from a single animal. It has always struck me as an amusing statement, but it did get me thinking at the grocery store that Homer is actually right! The pig is an amazing animal in that so many different tastes and textures can come from it.

According to  — pork is the most eaten meat in the world. And rightly so given all the health benefits. According to the Canadian Pork Council – the group that represents Canada’s pork producers, pork is full of the vitamins, minerals and macronutrients the body needs including protein, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, riboflavin, iron and more.  Nutritionists advise consumers to eat pork with lots of vegetables and whole grains which will ensure even greater nutritional value.

I remember as a young child eating pork chops and being amazed when my mom put apple sauce on my plate too. “Apple sauce for supper?” I’d say and my mom would say “yes, Adam, try it, you’ll love it.” And I did!

And today, I really love to make ribs for my friends in the summer as I like to pretend my homemade ribs rival those found at RibFest which is my absolute favourite food festival of the year here in Ottawa where I live.

And now that I have young kids at home, they too are discovering the variety pork provides. For example, my 4-year-old LOVES bacon. I swear she’d eat a whole package if I’d let her. She also really liked the ribs I made a few weekends ago and even liked the nice pork roast I made a few nights ago.

Nutritious in a variety of ways and delicious in countless ways – what more needs to be said?!

As we all struggle with higher food prices, my advice is giving pork a second look. You’ll find lots of low-cost ways to stretch your food budget and provide meals your family will absolutely love.

Yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal…


Enjoy the rest of your summer. Lots of grilling days left!