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All about Heirloom Pork 🐷

If like me you thought that pork was “the other white meat”, I have to tell you that that’s indeed fake news!

If a pig is raised properly, it has a beautiful red color almost resembling that of beef! Unfortunately, the way pork is raised today results in pale meat, which means that the animal was anemic ☹️

This is a pork tenderloin that we cut up to make Tournedos 🥩 the bright red color indicates that the meat is super nutrient dense and that the animal was not anemic !

Good news is that there are still farms that raise heirloom pork breeds with integrity- feeding them what they should be eating and letting them roam around on pasture or in the forest.

Pigs, like chicken are foragers and do best when kept on pasture where they can graze and eat insects! They are also especially fond of acorns and vegetable scraps! It is also important to note that pigs are not vegetarians, so the label “vegetarian fed” is not an indication of quality.

There is also the myth that pork is an inflammatory meat, but that is only the case if the animal was kit fed and treated correctly. When fed a feed high in corn and soy (PUFAS), the fatty acid profile of the meat changes and the animal itself becomes sick because it was not intended to eat that. When we eat a sick animal, we as a result get sick too!

Heirloom Breeds:

There are also a wide range of pig breeds that are raised. Standard pig farms raise breeds that have been bred to fatten up very quickly, at the expense of flavor.

Regenerative farms like White Oak Pastures prefer to raise heirloom breeds (old breeds that haven’t been hybridized). These are not only healthier, but often times taste a lot better too (especially when they’re fed a species appropriate diet)!

Nutrients in Pork 🐖:

Apart from being a great source of complete protein, pork is also rich in nutrients like selenium , zinc and heme iron which are all important for blood and brain function!

Incorporating pork into a fat-fueled diet is important because it is rich in some nutrients that other animals are not. Thiamin for example!

Like other red meats, pork is full of bioavailable b vitamins like B6 and B12 and trace minerals! B Vitamins are important for every body function, blood building and mitochondrial health, and I recently just learned that they play a key role in clearing lactic acid from the muscle. If you do any form of resistance training, it may be a good hack to consume some pork after working out 🏋🏻‍♀️

Lard (rendered pork fat) is actually one of natures most bio available sources of vitamin D, which is especially important for immune function! Since it’s high in saturated fat, it’s very heat stable and is a great cooking fat. It’s one of the stables in our house and tastes super yummy. To learn more about cooking fats, check out this post!

Where to buy it:

We use a few different suppliers for our favorite pork products!

For bacon, pork chops and hot-dog sausages, our go to is Butcher Box which sells heirloom breed pork products 🌭🥓

The bacon is especially great because it’s nitrate and sugar free!

Our favorite bratwurst, ground pork and tenderloins are from US Wellness Meats and White Oak Pastures. Both farms place a huge emphasis on animal welfare which is reflected in their super delicious flavor 😋

Being German, it’s very hard to find Bratwurst that tastes as good as at home, but especially White Oak Pastures is spot on 😉

Once in a while, we crave a good prosciutto or pate and have been lucky to find relatively high quality products at Whole Foods. When buying processed meats, quality becomes extra important and you want to make sure there aren’t any weird fillers or added sugars.

My mom really like a pork liver pate from Les Trois Petits Cochons which is without added sugar and dairy and from pigs that were raised according to Step 3 of the animal welfare certification. That’s the best we can find so far and is available exclusively at Whole Foods 🐖

Whole Foods also sells prosciutto and speck americano from a company called La Quercia! This company also uses heirloom breed pork. They also have a collaboration with White Oak Pastures where you can buy some spreads and deli meats from bigs raised on this regenerative farm 🙌🏻

Some stores also carry Force of Nature, which is a regenerative brand that focusses on raising animals the right way! They have some pork and boar products and that’s the best thing you can get at the store in my opinion!

We use a lot of lard as well which we like to get from companies like Epic or Fatworks although regenerative farms like the ones mentioned above sell them too! You can also collect drippings when you make bacon and use those to cook, but I’d use those relatively quickly. Check out my guide to ancestral fats!

If you like game meats, I also highly recommend wild boar meat. It makes super yummy steaks and also meatballs. My go to source for wild boar meat is Broken Arrow Ranch. Whole Foods also sells a ground boar product from Force of Nature which is a great brand!

Recipe Wrap:

Pork is super easy to integrate into your daily life, you can whip up:

A fat fueled mince or Bolognese using ground pork 🍝

Keto Schnitzel with Chops 🍖

Tournedos with Tenderloin 🥩

Or incorporate bacon into dishes like Roulades or Burgers 🍔 or a simple breakfast of eggs (egg cake 🍳) and bacon

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