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History & Facts:
Pork has been an important part of the American diet since DeSoto first brought pigs to this continent in the 16th century. However, the pork that today's consumer enjoys is by far an improvement over the 16th century pork. Traditionally, pigs were much more plump because they were depended upon as a source of fat or lard. Today, the pig is much leaner and less fatty to better fit today's diets.

Florida hog inventories continue to decline to all-time lows; and despite a slight increase in prices, value slipped to its second lowest since 1960. Total receipts for hogs in 1997 slipped to $11.8 million, down 18 percent from a year earlier.

Nutritional Value:
Today's pork is lower in calories and richer in protein, minerals and vitamins, thanks to genetic selection for scientific breeding and feeding. Pork has only about 70 calories per ounce of cooked lean meat and remains one of nature's best sources of thiamin.

Pork cuts should be stored at 32 to 35 degrees fahrenheit, with a relative humidity of 85 to 90 percent. The approximate storage life is 5 days. For smoked and cooked hams, the storage life increases to 28 days.