Monday, August 13, 2012
Paul Quinn College takes bacon off dining hall menus
A registered dietician says targeting pork is misguided.
DALLAS No pork, no more. At least, that’s the message at Paul Quinn College in Dallas.
Paul Quinn, a small liberal arts college affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, has nixed pork products from its campus dining facility.
Michael J. Sorrell, president of the college, told USA Today that pork would no longer be on the college’s menus because the meat can lead to higher blood pressure, cancer, sodium retention, and more. "When you come to college, you come to be educated,” Sorrell said. “We thought we could do more in the area of promoting healthy lifestyle choices and healthy eating habits.”
Sorrell, last in the headlines for leading a campaign against the city's efforts to expand the McCommas Bluff Landfill near the campus, has overseen the conversion of Paul Quinn's football field into a celebrated community garden. And he knew: The efforts to ban bacon from the university would come with no small amount of criticism ... and giggling.
Just today HBCUDigest, a website devoted to covering historically black colleges, came out in support of the ban, writing that "Sorrell is doing his students and faculty a great service by eliminating one food item that, when consumed in great portions, can lead to heart disease and other maladies that disproportionately effect Black folks." Concluded the piece, "Better to refrain from eating pig than being pigheaded."
But Ceci Snyder, a registered dietician and spokeswoman for the National Pork Board, told USA Today that Sorrell's claims regarding the health risks of consuming pork are off base. "It's just not based in fact at all," she said, noting that pork tenderloin has the same amount of fat as a skinless chicken breast, and chops, which come from the loin, contain six grams or fewer of fat.
"You can cook any meat incorrectly and add fat and salt," Snyder said. Of Paul Quinn's pork ban, she added, "We're for sure surprised -- I've never seen anything like that before."