Harnessing The Power Of Incidental Pork

American cuts of pork.

Apparently the tail is the inedible part (Image via Wikipedia)

I come to you today to pass on an important concept – the principle of Incidental Pork.

This principle is exceptionally useful. Properly applied, Incidental Pork will help a picky eater become less picky. It can also ease the stress of strict adherence to dietary restrictions imposed on an individual.

Enough Talk, What Is Incidental Pork?

Incidental Pork is a concept I got from a friend. The concept is based on actual pork which was incidental to the dish she was eating.

I knew my friend’s religious heritage required her to avoid eating pork. One day as we had lunch, I saw her about to eat something which had a very minimal amount of pork in it. Thinking she didn’t realize this was the case, I spoke up as she was about to take a bite. Her fork barely slowed enough for her to say “no problem, it is Incidental Pork”.

pork osso buco

Pork Osso Buco. Pork, in this case, is not incidental (Image via Wikipedia)

This was not a line I could leave unquestioned. She explained to me that she found it inconvenient to avoid pork in all its forms, in all dishes. To make her life easier, she chose to eat pork if it was not the main thrust of the dish. When it was secondary to the focal point of the dish, she allowed herself a minimal amount of pork.

For instance, pork roast was a no, because the prohibited meat was the dish was all about.  Pork and Beans was ok, the minimal pork was present strictly as seasoning.

Incidental Pork. It’s Not Just About Pork Anymore.

The Incidental Pork concept helps fussy eaters be a little less so.

Egg rolls

Contain incidental shrimp (Image via Wikipedia)

Is there an ingredient you don’t care for in a dish? Assess the importance and quantity of that ingredients in the dish. Is it incidental; there in minimal quantity to add a certain quality? If the answer is yes, eat up!

I don’t like shrimp. I like an egg roll now and again. Shrimp are in most egg rolls. I’ve done the work and calculated that the shrimp are incidental. I know I could accidentally bite a shrimp while eating an egg roll, but it is worth the risk and not likely to affect my egg roll experience.

Hey, You. The One With The Food Allergy.

A 0.3 mg EpiPen auto-injector.

Never do anything that makes you need your Epipen because of the Incidental Pork concept (Image via Wikipedia)

I am not talking to you. Peanuts, shellfish or whatever it is that makes your face swell up and look like the Elephant Man are never eligible for declaration as Incidental. We are talking about your life here. There’s nothing an incidental amount of peanuts are going to do for you that is worth going in to shock over.

Trust Me, You’re Going To Think Of This Again

Perhaps you’ve applied the Incidental Pork Principle in choosing your meals in the past. You likely already know how to calculate your risk of biting into a mushroom, some coconut or guacamole. Chances are you’ve convinced yourself, as I have, that there isn’t enough of some offending food to taste.

But now you’ve got a name for what we’ve both been doing all this time…Incidental Pork. Trust me, you’ll forget it in a few days. Then, when you least expect it, you’ll be looking at a menu and think…Incidental Pork.

Enjoy your meal.


36 Comments on “Harnessing The Power Of Incidental Pork”

  1. Wendi says:

    Incidental pork? Interesting concept. Can you extrapolate that into a theory of incidental housecleaning? Because my world could benefit from that.

    • omawarisan says:

      I’m here for you, Wendi!

      In cleaning house before a party, it is permissible to fling excess stuff you don’t have time to deal with in the garage or a spare bedroom that will not be used. These rooms are incidental to your guest’s party experience and probably will not be seen.

  2. I’m glad you put this out there in writing. I’ve been doing this for years with chopped up onions and tomatoes. I don’t like them, but I’m not picking them all out either.

  3. Interesting concept, Oma…I’ve been using it for green peppers for years…I don’t bother picking small pieces out of rice, chili, or spaghetti sauce. I do pick big pieces out of Chinese stir-fry!

    I stopped eating pork several years ago because I like it, but it doesn’t like me (so far, I can still eat ham and bacon, though).


    • omawarisan says:

      Big chunks can never be incidental.

      Auugh, food that fights back like you say pork does breaks my heart. I’ve got some of those that arent even eligible for being made incidental

  4. Todd Pack says:

    You’re onto something here. Sweetie has an entire cookbook about how to get kids to eat an incidental amount of vegetables. For example, a little spinach to add texture to macaroni and cheese.

  5. I read the title and I thought you were talking politics for a minute, Oma. I’ve been eating things I didn’t like for years using that principle. I have even made some of them foods I like (in things).

    • omawarisan says:

      I’m with you on that. I’ve never been a coconut fan, but in something I like it! Same with coffee, cant drink it. Can eat it in things.

      If you see this place turn political you’ll know I’ve been hacked.

  6. Zahara says:

    I donated a box of donuts to the snack pile of my son’s recent Dungeons and Dragons gathering. “None for me,” piped the 12-year old host. “I don’t eat pork”. HUH? For a minute I probably resembled a puzzled Homer Simpson. Incidental Pork!
    Donuts fried in pork fat, do they still do that? I once had a copy of “The Farmers Almanac” that I kept for the donut making article in which the cook, who’d been frying donuts in lard since she was a baby, claimed that it was the only way to attain donut-y perfection.

  7. Jane says:

    This is a brilliant concept! The liberation from guilt, inhibitions, and prejudices could be boundless. Here are just a few of the possibilities:

    It’s OK to converse with gossips if they are not the main instrument of the conversation: they only nod their heads or grunt quietly.

    It’s OK to watch / read / hear pedestrian compositions if you only do so at <49% attention.

    It’s OK to eat non-nutritional food if you can finish it in no longer than 10 minutes.

    It’s OK to have tile countertops rather than granite if you plan on changing them in the near future.

    It’s OK to use foul language if the incident is merely an accident.

    It’s OK to indulge in self-help books if you are mainly reading them to help “a friend”—the same principle applies if you record Dr. Oz on the DVR.

    Please send best regards to your friend who doesn't eat pork.

  8. spencercourt says:

    This concept of “incidental” has long been used by the FDA in determining the acceptability of otherwise unacceptable items in your food. For example, a certain amount of rat feces in your cereal is OK. You’ll never taste it and it poses no health risk.

  9. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Well, well, well … this leaves me free to eat an entire chocolate cake, which contains an incidental amount of leavening. I avoid leavening. It gives me gas.

    Spencercourt: Feces of any sort in food can never be called incidental. Co-incidental perhaps.

    • omawarisan says:

      I refer you back to the food allergy section. Replace “your face swell up like the Elephant Man” with “gassy to unacceptable levels”.

      Chocolate cake is great, but if it is causing you to make the wallpaper peel off the walls you might reconsider! 🙂

  10. frigginloon says:

    I often have an incidental donut with my coffee!

  11. jammer5 says:

    I’ve always been an avid student of incidental thought, as in “What was that?” The serious slights that crawl through the brain and expose themselves in tidbits that seem like deja vu, but are really messages sent by the misses telling you that the female derriere you’re contemplating will get you cold food and an even colder bed. Us mens’ is doomed.

  12. Brooke says:

    I’d die without pork. I’m just sayin’.

  13. planetross says:

    I will use this with incidental old girlfriends. hee hee!

  14. Ahab says:

    I feel this way about green peppers, which upset my stomach. I avoid them if they are in large chunks, but incidental green peppers in salsa or salad don’t bother my stomach.

  15. Ahab says:

    P.S. — Where did you find that avatar image, Omawarisan? It looks like something from a 1950’s anime.

  16. Kate says:

    Santa Claus is alive and well in the hearts of children who believe all around the world. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.

    ~Happy Christmas and Merry New Year from our family to you and yours

  17. Queen says:

    I like this idea, and wholeheartedly endorse it…however, there can be NO such thing as “incidental cilantro”. a little of that monstrosity, and the dish is ruined!

    • omawarisan says:

      Agreed. There are things that can never be incidental. If a mushroom retains its mushroom shape, even as a cross section, it loses its eligibility to be incidental to me.

  18. dottiemaggie says:

    Loves this! 🙂
    I started practicing incidental pork ages ago… because I was brought up to eat everything on my plate, and to never complain about food others make/provide for me. So I generally order things that contain the least offending ingredients, but if it’s in front of me, I’ll eat it. And I start to find some food items I didn’t like kind of growing on me the more I eat out…

    Of course, I’ve never been a horribly picky eater. I kind of love food. I just don’t like the texture of mushrooms, and something about tomatos just makes me not want to eat them.

  19. omawarisan says:

    Mushrooms are my thing as well.

    But I will concede that there are things I’ve come to like through incidental eating. Hated rice as a kid, love it now.

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