As the pigs were loaded onto the trailer and headed for the slaughterhouse today, I got to thinking about how different this pork is than the pork you typically find at the grocery store. First off, these pigs are pigs, they have had the opportunity to roam and root, roll in mud and eat grass and bugs to their heart's content. Yes they have eaten their share of locally sourced, GMO-FREE grain, but most of you would be amazed to see them put down mouthfuls of grass and an impressive array of insects. Pigs are omnivores like us so they can eat both plants and animals so when they are pastured they forage for what they crave that isn't in their feed mix.
Pasture-raised meats are known to be higher in certain vitamins and nutrients which makes the choice to eat pasture-raised more affordable when you factor in the health benefits. The pigs get nutrients from the healthy plants, bugs and roots that grow in this rich soil here on the farm. The meat that we get from these pigs is not white like the pork most of us grew up on. I must say that I loathed eating pork chops as a kid, the dry, nearly tasteless meat always left my taste buds yearning for something else to erase the expreience. So what is this meat like? It is dark pink to ruby red and smells fresh with marbling throughout which makes for less cooking mishaps and more smiling faces around the dinner table.
Chris and I have been smoking pork chops on the grill lately and it is our new favorite way to eat them! So try not to think about pasture-raised pork in the same way you think about that dry, tasteless pork of your childhood, give a porkchop a try and see that it really isn't "the other white meat" after all.
We have plenty of pork products in the farm store with more bacon on the way in the next few weeks. We also have our very own rhubarb ginger chutney that goes wonderfully on pork chops. Ask us about how we smoke the pork chops and try it yourself...your taste buds will thank you!