2019 Fall Pork Harvest Q&A
When biting into a piece of crispy salty bacon on a Sunday morning, wondering what that pig ate might just be the very last thing on your mind. However, as Dr. Mark Hyman puts it, "You are what your food eats."
Q: Why should I seek out Non-GMO, Corn-Free, Soy-Free Pork?
A: Corn and Soy are both highly processed and over-utilized in both our human food system and our agriculture system as cheap fillers in animal feed. Pigs have gotten their reputation for a reason... they do tend to eat just about anything they're given, giving many producers an easy way to cut financial corners. The result of this is that many people are developing sensitivities to both corn and soy due to overexposure to it. Some people might not even know they have these sensitivities because they can be so difficult to isolate.
Q: Why should I seek out 100% Pasture-Raised Pork?
A: Pork is inherently high in fat. The variety and quality of that fat make a huge difference in our health when we eat it. Pork that is raised conventionally has very high Omega-6 levels (the ones that negatively impact our heart health). Pork that is raised 100% on pasture has a much higher Omega-3 level, inching towards the most desirable 1:1 ratio of heart-healthy Omega 3's to 6's. Additionally, pigs absorb vitamin D in both their skin and fat, making pork raised on pasture under the bright Colorado sun particularly high in Vitamin D (something most of us are deficient in).
Q: Why does it matter to have pigs rotated to fresh pasture regularly?
A: We are very lucky to have our pork raised in Kiowa on a regenerative farm. Our pigs have been rotated to fresh pasture every couple of days, so they have an unlimited supply of fresh prairie plants and grasses to root around for, encouraging their natural behaviors. Their rooting is also an important component of great soil health on a no-till regenerative farm. They help to turn the soil and unearth dormant native prairie grass seeds deep within the soil.
Q: Should I cut off the "fat cap" on your pork chops?
A: We've specifically requested that our processer NOT remove excess fat from our cuts, and you'll notice this mostly on our extra-thick pork chops. As mentioned above, the fat in pasture-raised animals is very nutrient-dense. Additionally, cooking with the fat cap on helps the meat retain more moisture. On top of that, it renders down and carmelizes beautifully into a delicious and buttery flavor. My kids cut a little bit of the fat to add to every bite of meat while exclaiming how delicious it is!