Finding local, pasture-raised pork used to be a massive undertaking, and expensive too.
Not everyone had access to a corner butcher or meat market, so if you wanted organic or grass-fed meat, your only option was to drive out to farm and buy half a hog.
Today, thanks to the internet, you can find mouthwatering, junk-free bacon without getting up from the couch. Companies, like us, offer free hand delivery to your door and the prices are comparable to your local grocer, if not less expensive.
But does your grocer offer local pastured pork? Aha! Didn’t think so.
Studies show about 17.5 billion U.S. dollars were spent in online grocery sales in 2019, and that’s expected to rise to nearly 30 billion U.S. dollars by 2021.
So, now that organic grocery shopping can be more convenient, more people are reaping the benefits of eating pasture-raised pork.
But what exactly are those benefits? You know you’re contributing to the health and happiness of the hogs, but you may be surprised to discover pasture-raised meat is better for your mind and body too.
But, first, what does pasture-raised pork really mean?
Pasture-raised pork comes from hogs that are living the dream — roaming free in the fields and woods, rooting around for forage, wallowing in mud, and soaking up plenty of sunshine. Some pasture-raised pork is given organic supplements to satisfy nutritional requirements and provided shelters where they can snuggle up together out of the elements.
Yup! Hogs love to sleep together. It’s kind of a pig deal, actually.
Many brands claim their animals are organically fed or free-range, but that’s not always the case. So, we highly recommend knowing the farmer behind the label.
For example, some of our pasture-raised pork comes from Nathan and Andrea of Creswick Farms in Ravenna, Michigan.
Their pigs, cows, lambs, turkeys, and chickens run freely, 365 days a year, and are raised on a pasture with a clean, natural diet. They’re offered only non-GMO grains to supplement natural diets, and their feed is soy-free.
“There’s a level of satisfaction knowing that life for the animals is as it should be,” says Nathan, “They are doing their own thing with limited input from me. I’m simply a caretaker.”
Nathan firmly believes an animal’s quality of life directly impacts the quality of meat. And the quality of meat directly impacts our health. Here are three reasons why.
Reason 1: You get more heart-healthy fatty acids
While Omega-3s are most abundant in seafood and certain nuts and seeds,
they’re also found in animals raised on pasture because 60% of the fatty acids in grass are omega-3s and, well, hogs eat grass. On the other hoof, when animals are raised in confinement buildings on corn and soybean meals, they lose access to omega-3 rich grass and the nutrients diminish.
Omega-3s are good fats that can strengthen your immune system, fight inflammation, and improve sleep. If you haven’t tried it, the taste of pasture-raised pork is also richer, deeper, and more complex. So, if salmon has never been your thing, here’s an excuse to eat more pork!
Reason 2: You can boost your vitamin D levels
Pork has a high nutritional value, from magnesium and potassium to iron and zinc. But, did you know it’s also an excellent source of vitamin D?
While vitamin D is usually tricky to get from food sources, pigs raised outdoors in the sunshine are rich in this important nutrient. Some of the science-backed benefits include healthy bones, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a boost in immunity, and healthy pregnancies.
Reason 3: Clean, pasture-raised meat is safer for your family
Most pork found in grocery stores is pumped with artificial flavors and other harmful ingredients, specifically Monosodium Glutamate, or MSG. Used as a flavor enhancer, MSG is a toxic substance that can cause health problems like headaches, diabetes, and weight gain.
Since not all labels can be trusted — and MSG operates under a variety of names — sticking to locally-sourced, pasture-raised, meat is the best way to know that what you’re putting in your body is safe and natural.
Want to taste the difference of pasture-raised pork? Try one of our local staples boxes and add some Creswick Farm pasture-raised pork to your order today. Or start with a produce box, and add some extras. We hand deliver FREE to these zip codes in Michigan.