At Sage Creek, all of our Berkshire pork is 100% pasture raised, organically fed and free of antibiotics and hormones. And while many people know this to be the better alternative, not many people may fully understand what all of that may mean.
As we began understanding more about the importance of healthy-fats in our diet, we discovered that one of the most concentrated and beneficial sources of healthy fat is pork. But not just any pork…pasture raised pork.
Back in the day…
Compare the feed lot image to the one that our great-grandparents had, around 150 years ago: pigs running around outside, eating anything and everything they could forage from the pastures and the woods… digging for roots with their shovel-snouts… cleaning up windfall fruit from the backyard orchard… lazing blissfully in the sun… sleeping in dug-out nests they’ve built themselves. The pigs of those days looked different than commercial pigs do today. They had more lard on them because our ancestors treasured the fat, which they knew to be healthy. Pigs were raised specifically to provide not just meat but plenty of lard — which got used for baking, frying, in soups, spread on bread, and even making soap. Our ancestors ate so much lard it’s startling from today’s perspective!
Studies show that pigs that are raised on pasture have 300% more vitamin E and 74% more selenium (an important antioxidant) in their milk than pigs raised in confinement. This large amount of extra nutrients promotes healthier litters, shorter farrowing times, and good milk let down. Pastured pigs can also have more vitamin D and tons of various fatty acids! (Source)
Despite each pig tastes slightly different [depending on what it has eaten and it’s breed] (Berkshire pork is renowned for its richness, texture, marbling, juiciness, tenderness and overall depth of flavour!), pasture raised pork is known to be much richer than feed-lot pork. What causes this added richness? A healthy lifestyle of sunshine, low stress, and lots of grass! Which makes for a happier life for the pig and a better tasting piece of meat for you. Win, win!
How to cook it!
Pastured pork does cook faster than conventionally raised pork, so searing the outside of cuts like chops, then transferring to the oven to finish is your best bet. Low and slow techniques like braising are also great with pastured pork. (Source)
Sage Creek Permaculture is now accepting pre-orders for our Berkshire pork! It is 100% pasture raised, organically fed and free of antibiotics and hormones!
Ready Fall 2017!