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Are porcine valves kosher?

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Protimenow

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Of course. I was just being a bit snarky (whatever that means).

One of my favorite autocorrect errors occurred a few years ago when I asked a P.R. person at a company that I covered if they would send me a product for review.

The answer was that 'Yes, we defiantly want to send this.' I'm sure that this passed through her without being noticed. She probably misspelled definitely as definately (some people do that) and spell check changed a misspelled word to one that was very different.

Autocorrect is much worse on phones.
 

Protimenow

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I'm trying to be as humane as possible, but the main reason I tried to cut out meat was health related. The problem I have is that you need to replace protein with another energy source. In my case it's been carbs, which is probably worse.
There's sometimes no good substitute for a really good piece of meat.

Getting enough protein for many of us is truly difficult. I'm not a big fan of green stuff that has a good protein component - but I should keep looking. I may be okay with beans, but my wife has a real problem with them. So - I occasionally look around for other forms of protein before cooking up some organic, grass fed ground beef.
 

tom in MO

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Although for me this isn't the same as religious practices, as a vegetarian, I did have ethical concerns about getting an animal valve, when that was a possibility. What I wondered was this: does the rest of the animal get used for some purpose, or is it killed just for the valve? I'm not really a purist, so I would feel a lot better if the valve was just one use among many for the same animal. Of course, some people are vegetarians as a religious practice, so they might have more strenuous objections to getting an animal valve.

As it turns out, I ended up with a mechanical valve, so it wasn't an issue.
I don't know for certain, but when I asked why control hogs used in toxicity testing (controls are often not dosed) aren't eaten I was told that toxicity laboratories are not acceptable for meat processing for human consumption. In the US, the butchering has to be done per USDA requirements in USDA-inspected facilities.
 

Protimenow

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I don't know for certain, but when I asked why control hogs used in toxicity testing (controls are often not dosed) aren't eaten I was told that toxicity laboratories are not acceptable for meat processing for human consumption. In the US, the butchering has to be done per USDA requirements in USDA-inspected facilities.
Would you REALLY feel safe eating the tissues of an animal that may have been dosed toxins? These toxins may have been absorbed into the meat, into specific organs, and in the blood and other fluids in the body. I know that I wouldn't.

It's bad enough that animals that I possibly DO eat may have been dosed with antibiotics, growth hormones, and who knows what?

The USDA provides SOME protection, but probably not enough to really keep Americans safe. Plus, with financial cutbacks to the FDA and fewer inspectors, it's probably going to get worse.
 

pellicle

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Would you REALLY feel safe eating the tissues of an animal that may have been dosed toxins?
did you miss the bit where he said: " but when I asked why control hogs used in toxicity testing "

pedantic accuracy required of others in their spelling, but not in your reading I guess.

... and yes, I'd be comfortable in eating the control hogs if they weren't dosed (as he also said).
 

Protimenow

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If these weren't randomized tests (which they may well be), perhaps they'll know which hogs were controls, and which were used for testing. IF I ate pork, I'd still be more comfortable with a hog that met minimum USDA standards.
 

Protimenow

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Actually, I was thinking of a double blind study, as opposed to a more simple test design that uses one or more treatment groups and a control group. So you're right about that -- a person could, I guess, eat the control animals once the researcher's need for the controls ends.

No - I didn't do science journalism. The closest that I came to science journalism is a chapter for a book targeted to consumers about cancer (this was shortly after I left a job in cancer research, in which there were either no controls or double blind tests).

And I wasn't correcting the spelling when I quoted Tom - as an editor, I catch things like logical errors. Sometimes it's hard for me to overlook them.
 

tom in MO

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Would you REALLY feel safe eating the tissues of an animal that may have been dosed toxins? These toxins may have been absorbed into the meat, into specific organs, and in the blood and other fluids in the body. I know that I wouldn't.

It's bad enough that animals that I possibly DO eat may have been dosed with antibiotics, growth hormones, and who knows what?

The USDA provides SOME protection, but probably not enough to really keep Americans safe. Plus, with financial cutbacks to the FDA and fewer inspectors, it's probably going to get worse.
Actually hogs used in drug and toxicity testing are treated quite well and are not dosed with "antibiotics, growth hormones and who knows what." They receive only the medical treatment they need with a vet available 24/7 and husbandry multiple times a day. They are fed diets that assure their viability. Their living quarters are routinely cleaned. They are given treats, opportunities to exercise, and toys for environmental enrichment. Here is a 2006 article, so it's probably out of date, but will give you an idea: Preparation of Swine for the Laboratory
 

epstns

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John - Back to your question about what happens to the rest of the cow "after the valve is harvested" -- IIRC, the bovine valves (at least the Edwards series) are not the actual valve of the cow's heart. The Edwards valves are hand made and sewn onto frames but are made of precision-cut pieces of the cow's pericardium. The valves are engineered by humans, but are assembled from cut pieces of tissue from the cow's heart.

Now, the porcine valves, on the other hand, I believe to be the actual valve from the pig's heart. I could be wrong on this one, though, as I did little research into porcine valves once I learned that my surgeon only used either bovine valves or mechanicals.
 

Protimenow

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John - to amplify epstns' answer, very little of the animal is wasted. Internal organs may go to pharmaceutical companies to manufacture thyroid and other medications, bones may become gelatin, many other parts are sold for specific uses. Of course, much of the animal's muscle mass becomes meat, and certain internal organs that some people like to eat or that become animal food, are also sold to companies that can use that stuff. The skins can be used for leather.

I cant imagine that a bovine would be slaughtered just for its diaphragm and the rest of the animal discarded. Meat packers know how to maximize the money from each animal (including, dare I say it, the sale of manure).
 

Carnelian

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It is one thing to exclude pork for traditional religious reasons and your conscience, but then a theological issue whether God would care or knows whether someone eats pork or utilizes it to save their life. Pure speculation.
 

Protimenow

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Isn't it ALL pure speculation? And, fwiw, the issue of using a porcine valve or a medication made using sera from pigs (or even other lifesaving injectables or implantables is different from eating it. And, if it helps you feel better, prevent a problem, heal an issue, or otherwise do positive things for your health, it's okay to eat. If, for example, a doctor says that I have to eat pork, or shellfish, or other things that traditionally should be avoided, for medical reasons, this is okay.
 
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