I know snakes prefer live prey, but some years ago I saw an article that some people in the jungle were feeding an python with canned beef. They cut the beef into pieces before feeding it to the python. No idea if the article was true.
Do you think it can be done? Cut beef and pork into pieces, then feed to the snake? Is it healthy?
With some snakes you can. I knew someone years ago who had a couple of large burmese pythons he fed pieces of chicken. The general consensus is that it is much healthier to feed snakes whole prey, as they get various nutrients from the organs. But who knows. I don't think anyone has done enough research to know the exact nutritional needs of any species of snake, so it's hard to say. Most people go with the tried and true feeding methods, rather than risk the long term health of their animals experimenting.
The theory with whole food sounds familiar.
I am not sure if it is the same with snakes. In fish hobby, even those carnivore fish require to be fed live feeders need veggie diet, because when they swallow some herbivore fish whole, what's in the herbivore fish's stomach also becomes a part of their diet.
I don't think the exact contents (or lack thereof) of the preys stomach maters as much, but yes, you are right, snakes have evolved slowly over a very, very, long time, and they ingest allot more than just the "meat" of an animal. And some species have definitely evolved to require certain things, based on the types of prey they are most likely to eat in the wild. Most of the common specieskept as pets do well on a diet primarily of mammals, with the babies eating mostly pinky or fuzzy mice, which are relatively high in fat, and possibly low in calcium. But a baby mouse with a belly full of mothers milk, that may be entirely different. Snakes that are more specialized bird, lizard, or fish eaters can be trickier to keep, as they may require more lizards for food, as they are generally lower in nutrition, and some can have problems if constantly feed a diet of "fatty" mammalian prey.
Point being, we really don't know what exact nutrients each species of snake truly needs from each part of a prey animal it eats, but we do know that most snakes have evolved to eat whole prey items, so most people go with that.