Ethical Eating

I'm Eating What?! Officer's Pork Loaf

​The can with the camouflage wrapper announcing "Army Brand Officer's Pork Loaf" sat in our cupboard for what must've been at least four months. But we just couldn't bring ourselves to crack it open.

We never read the ingredients. Just the words pork and loaf together gave us dry heaves. Even the fact that the freakin' thing cost us nearly $6 at the Russian market was still not enough reason to give it a try. Who the hell eats this stuff? It seems the Polish, mostly, because it was produced there.

Should we threaten to just quit writing the column and go on our merry way, never having to let this atrocity pass our lips and enter into our digestive systems? The thought was tempting. But curiosity eventually got the best of us, so we went whole hog... after saying a quick prayer.

​In one swift motion, we flipped the top, and a clear, sticky liquid shot out, causing us to recoil in horror. Worse yet, the stuff smelled like tuna fish. Not promising at all. We wrestled the lid entirely open and were faced with a ghastly sight: a ball of pork chunks swimming in clear liquid with fat flotsam. Egads. 

At this point, we had to check the ingredient listing for potential toxins: "pork meat, pork skins, water, salt, roasted onion, black pepper, paprika, pimento, marjoram" were the only components. The label also informed us that the 14.99-ounce can (yep, not 15 ounces but 14.99) provides about seven servings of whatever-the-heck-this-should-be and that the stuff is an Adkins' lovers dream, providing 10 grams of protein per serving and zero fat and carbs. Now we felt a touch more confident.

So we gingerly scraped an ever-so-slight hunk onto a fork and examined our findings. The piece looked like uncooked sausage, mostly beige and pink with hunks glued together by fat. Admittedly the taste wasn't as horrific as we had predicted -- it was reminiscent of really cheap pate -- but the sodium content was much, much worse, and the aftertaste lingered for a good five minutes.

Thank goodness we had just purchased two boxes of Thin Mints -- we needed a good chaser, and those cookies did the trick. 

As to who should eat this, we think maybe the neighborhood felines. Our cats went nuts when we opened the can. And, of course, the Polish officers for whom the product is named. But let's keep this out of the hands of our American soldiers, OK? We shudder to think anyone would feed something like this to our country's heroes. 

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Riki Altman