The true value of pasture raised pork

The true value of pasture raised pork

When it comes to pork, not all options are created equal. While pork dishes are delicious and can provide a valuable source of protein, the way in which the pigs are raised can greatly impact factors such as taste and nutritional value. Unfortunately, most pork products available in grocery stores come from pigs raised under unfavorable conditions on commercial farms. On the other hand, opting for pasture-raised pork offers a healthier and more ethical choice.

Here are 6 reasons why selecting pasture-raised pork for your next meal will make all the difference:


It Benefits the Well-being of the Pig

Commercial pig farms often confine thousands of pigs in cramped barns, depriving them of natural light and space. In such conditions, diseases spread easily, leading to the frequent use of antibiotics. Pasture-raised pigs, however, enjoy a happier and healthier life with ample room for exercise, mud-wallowing, and free movement. Choosing pasture-raised pork also supports the fight against selective breeding prevalent in the commercial pork industry. These pigs are hardier, more resistant to parasites, and ultimately provide a better flavor when transformed into pork chops or sausages on your plate.


It Benefits the Environment

Allowing pigs to graze on pasture requires significantly less fossil fuel compared to the feedlot diets given to commercially farmed pigs. Commercial farms contribute to substantial carbon emissions, intensifying the issue of global warming. In contrast, grazing lands for pasture-raised pork serve as crucial habitats for wildlife while reducing water runoff. This practice helps maintain cleaner and safer natural watersheds, benefiting both wildlife and human usage.

Furthermore, the waste generated by pigs on commercial farms poses a significant environmental threat to soil and groundwater due to inadequate containment and disposal. In contrast, pasture-raised pigs naturally distribute their manure over the soil, transforming it into organic fertilizer. This improves grass quality, harnesses solar energy, and helps retain topsoil and moisture.


It Benefits Public Health

Antibiotic resistance ranks among the top ten global public health threats, as recognized by the World Health Organization, with factory farming being a contributing factor. Commercial pig farms rely heavily on antibiotics to keep pigs alive in the confined conditions they endure. These antibiotics can persist in the meat and contaminate the surrounding soil and waterways near waste lagoons. In contrast, pasture-raised pigs rarely require antibiotics, resulting in safer and cleaner meat for consumption.


It Benefits Your Well-being

Compared to commercially raised pork, pasture-raised pork contains higher levels of essential nutrients. Pasture-raised pork can offer up to twice the amount of vitamin E and three times the amount of vitamin D found in confined pigs. These vitamins play crucial roles in heart, skin, hormonal, and brain health, as well as immune function and inflammation control. Additionally, pasture-raised pork contains elevated levels of selenium, which is vital for thyroid health.


Higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids  

Many health experts advocate for a dietary balance with a 4:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, emphasizing the role of omega-6s in inflammatory processes. However, the average American diet leans heavily towards a disproportionate 30:1 ratio of these fatty acid groups. Notably, conventionally-raised pork maintains a 20:1 omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, which can be reduced by 60% through pasture-raising and providing hogs with a diverse diet alongside grains. 

Enhanced Antioxidants and Increased Vitamin D

Pork derived from pasture-raised pigs boasts double the amount of vitamin E—a vital contributor to heart, skin, hormonal, and brain health—compared to pork from confined hogs. Additionally, it contains higher levels of selenium, crucial for detoxification and thyroid health. Functioning as a hormone, vitamin D plays a pivotal role in numerous bodily functions, including immune response, hormone balance, inflammation regulation, calcium metabolism, and musculoskeletal health. Pasture-raised hogs exposed to sunlight can yield three times the amount of vitamin D found in their conventionally-raised counterparts.


Choosing pasture-raised pork provides numerous advantages. Not only does it promote the well-being of the pigs themselves, but it also benefits the environment, public health, and ultimately, your own body. By making a conscious decision to opt for pasture-raised pork, you contribute to a more sustainable and responsible food system while enjoying the enhanced flavor and nutritional benefits it offers.

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