Pasture raised pork does a body good. When pigs are left alone to be their natural omnivore selves, the pork they produce is major a delight for our bodies. Here are (3) reasons to appreciate eating your breakfast bacon, a juicy pork chop, and your sausage sandwich even more!
(1) Better for Your Health
Compared to conventionally-raised pork, pasture raised pork has significantly better Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acid ratios. According to a study conducted by South Dakota State University, 100% grain-fed pork had the highest omega-6:3 ratio at 13.84, while the 100% pasture-raised (no grain) pork had the lowest omega-6:3 ratio at 5.15. A large portion of the healthy fats come directly from their diet, which means anything they can get their snouts into: roots, grass, leaves, grubs, nuts, fruit, and insects. (Source)
Amazingly, pigs raised on pasture have 300 percent more vitamin E and 74 percent more selenium (a vital antioxidant) in their milk than pigs raised in confinement, according to Don C. Mahan Professor of Animal Sciences at Ohio State University. Additionally, pastured pigs have significantly higher Vitamin D levels. According to Loren Cordain, “Because pigs are monogastric animals (single stomach), they have the ability to convert vegetable and plant 18 carbon fatty acids (ALA) to the 20 and 22 carbon fatty acids (EPA and DHA) which reduce inflammation, reduce cardiovascular disease and promote good health for us all when we eat pork. Free ranging pork contains higher concentrations of these beneficial fatty acids than are found in their feed lot produced counterparts.” (Source)
Getting enough healthy fats is extremely important for our health. Did you know that every single cell in the body contains saturated animal fat? Most of the human brain is composed of fat! That's how important it is! In the fat of the animal contain the essential fat soluble vitamins: Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K2 which are essential for hair, skin, nail, and brain health and development. (Source).
(2) Better for the pigs
Pigs raised on pasture have access to move around freely, wallow in the mud, and lay beneath the sun on a sunny afternoon. They enjoy an existence that is species-appropriate where they can fully express all of their pigishness!
As farmers, the most important things to us are that our animals are happy and that our customers are well-nourished. Pastured pigs are significantly happier than pigs raised in corporate confinement houses who they receive an influx of grains, little to no sunshine, and are trapped in their own feces. The happiness of pasture raised pigs shows directly in the amazing taste of the delicious pork they produce! The best way to make a difference in stopping animal cruelty is to stop supporting the institutions that promote it and start supporting small-scale local farms that treat their animals in a humane, sustainable fashion.
(3) Better for the environment
Another amazing benefit of purchasing pasture raised pork from your local farmer is the positive environmental impact you make. According to an article by Lakewinds Food Co-op, "A diet of grazed grass and other pasture inhabitants requires much less fossil fuel than a feedlot diet of dried corn and soy. In fact there is a domino effect when animals are fed with conventional crops. The fields that these are grown in are treated with fossil-fuel based fertilizers, sprayed with pesticides, and planted, tilled, and harvested with heavy equipment. Each of these operations requires non-renewable fuel. Then the feed is shipped to manufacturers where more processing is done, and finally shipped to the farms, using yet more fossil fuel."
Additionally, "On pasture, grazing animals spread their manure over the soil where it becomes a natural source of organic fertilizer. This improves the quality of the grass, which increases the rate of gain of the animals. And because the fields are left to grow naturally, the ground is covered with greens through spring, summer, and fall, which in turn harvests solar energy and holds on to topsoil and moisture."
A few other benefits include (3) the promotion of biodiversity, or the development of wildlife and natural habits which keep the land in a state of homeostasis and (4) the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere more effectively than any land use.
Pasture raised pork is one of the best meats on the market! It's better for your health, for the pigs, and for the environment. It's important to source pork from local regenerative farmers who forbid the use of pesticides, antibiotics, GMOs, and other unnecessary additives.
Grassfield Farm Pasture Raised Pork comes from happy pigs who have open access to pasture year round! Our farm is Certified Grass Fed and Certified Humane by AWA. We farm the old fashioned way like our grandparents did, and we are passionate about treating the land and our animals with care and respect. Managing the grasses growing in the fields where the cattle, pigs and hens forage results in sustainable nutrition year around for our customers.