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Published May 01, 2009, 02:42 AM

Our View: Eat pork; industry could use some help

Know what sounds good? Pork chops. Grilled, perhaps with a side of corn on the cob.
We think it’s terrible that the nation’s pork producers are worried about taking a financial hit due to the outbreak of swine flu. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued statements noting that eating pork is safe, national pork prices have fallen in the days since the swine flu outbreak was announced by the worldwide media early this week.

Know what sounds good? Pork chops. Grilled, perhaps with a side of corn on the cob.

We think it’s terrible that the nation’s pork producers are worried about taking a financial hit due to the outbreak of swine flu. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued statements noting that eating pork is safe, national pork prices have fallen in the days since the swine flu outbreak was announced by the worldwide media early this week.

Here in South Dakota, aggies are rushing to the rescue, hoping to remind residents that it’s still OK to enjoy a tasty pork tenderloin.

The South Dakota Pork Producers Council was the first to issue a statement. The South Dakota Farmers Union followed, as did the independent AgBIO Communications Department at South Dakota State University. They all tell us that eating pork is still safe, and that swine flu cannot be contracted by pork consumption.

Agriculture is such a large and important industry in South Dakota that it needs everybody’s support. The pork industry is part of that large umbrella here in this state, where 2.3 million market pigs are raised each year. To hear that pork prices are falling because of the incorrect correlations is disappointing. We worry about our hog-producing friends in the region.

Our advice?

Go buy a pork chop today. Cook up a batch of pork loin sandwiches and invite some friends over. Enjoy some pork sausage with your eggs tomorrow morning.

Same goes for beef and poultry. It’s all good.

The point is that here in South Dakota, we need to support the ag industry, especially in tough times.

This week, the pork industry could use our help. Its reputation is getting roughed up by an incorrect, unfair and unfortunate correlation between meat products and a poorly named influenza outbreak.

So when you belly up to a lunch counter sometime in the next few days, don’t be afraid.

Order the BLT.

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