Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.

Barbara Burke

Health Options

By Joannie Dobbs & Alan Titchenal

Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Contest showcases
slimmer pork

Elegance and pigs may seem out of place in the same sentence. However, "Taste of Elegance" is the title being used for a national pork culinary contest sponsored by the National Pork Producers Council.

Locally, the Chefs de Cuisine are sponsoring The Island Fresh "Taste of Elegance" Pork Competition on Feb. 21. The winning chef will represent Hawaii at the national competition April 9 in Washington D.C. Top chefs from a variety of states will meet to compete for the best creative culinary use of pork. The pork industry hopes that many of the dishes created in this competition will become restaurant entrees.

Right about now, you are likely thinking, "Sounds delicious, but what does this competition have to do with health or a column on health options?" For many years, pork has been on many taboo lists due to it's fat content. But that is about to change. Many cuts of pork are leaner than they used to be.

Over the last two decades, the pork industry has taken consumers' health choices seriously and made a concerted effort to change their high-fat image by producing a leaner pig. And the leaner the pig, the more unsaturated the fat. Those commercials, referring to pork as the other white meat, are proving to be more than empty promises.

A 1997 nationwide study of retail pork and chicken cuts published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis (1998), reported that many cuts of pork are comparable to chicken in fat content. That is particularly good news for those who believe the old adage that variety is the spice of life.

The fat content of many cuts of trimmed pork fall between that of skinless chicken breast and skinless chicken thigh. Many cuts of pork are as lean as firm tofu.

Compare the grams of total fat in 3-ounce cooked portions of these foods:

Skinless chicken breast: 3.1
Pork tenderloin: 4.1
Pork sirloin chop: 5.7
Pork loin roast: 6.1
Pork loin chop: 6.9
Firm tofu: 7.4
Pork rib chop: 8.3
Chicken breast with skin: 6.5
Skinless chicken thigh: 9.3
Chicken thigh with skin: 13.2

The local Island Fresh "Taste of Elegance" Pork Competition will be a serious culinary event for chefs. But locally there are also categories for students, the community at large and pork producers.

The goal is to showcase the versatility of other island products as well as pork. Applications are due Feb. 5.

If you are interested in competing, contact Halina Zaleski at 956-7594 or email Leave your name, phone number, and mailing and email addresses.

Sponsors include the Chefs de Cuisine of Hawaii, Honolulu Chapter; Oahu Tri-County Farm Bureau; Hawaii Pork Industry Association; Hilton Hawaiian Village; Culinary Institute of the Pacific and Kapiolani Community College; Travel Institute of the Pacific; Job Corps Hawaii; and the Human Nutrition, Food & Animal Sciences Department, University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

Proceeds from the competition will help the Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences Department at UH Manoa to obtain a certified kitchen for culinary education.

Want to taste? All chefs and restaurants that submit recipes will be serving their entry recipe throughout March.

Health Events

Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S., is a food and nutrition consultant
and owner of Exploring New Concepts, a nutritional consulting firm.
She is also responsible for the nutritional analyses
indicated by an asterisk in this section.

Alan Titchenal, Ph.D., C.N.S., is a sports nutritionist in the
Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Science,
University of Hawaii-Manoa.

E-mail to Features Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin