If you really think about it, the meats and poultry that have become the norm in this country are pretty much a total joke. Full disclosure, I am one who occasionally consumes the very meat I am about to pan. It’s hard to avoid it….while at a friends the other night I had some store bought chicken breasts…basically tasteless and rubbery meat…very grim indeed. And pork is even worse in most cases pigs are raised in tightly packed metal buildings with concrete floors, poor air circulation, no room to move and fed terrible slop.
These pink skinned frankenhogs are NOT what pigs used to be. Our parents and grandparents ate pigs from the farm, pigs that were raised in an environment where they had fresh air and sunshine, mud to roll in, grass, bugs, roots, kitchen scraps and other foods that hep to produce a rich marbling and much deeper color.
The other “white meat” is a tasteless, dry protein source and if you take a moment to consider how these pigs are raised, and what they ate, you will be not excited about consuming them.
Conversely, when an animal lives in it’s natural environment, eats a natural diet, is happy the resulting meat is a totally different then the “other white meat”. The dining experience is much better and you can feel good about eating it.
To this end the heritage breed pig is coming back strongly in recent years. Many chefs have been promoting the rich taste these culinary treasures can provide and creating menus to showcase the amazing flavors these heritage breed pigs provide.
As consumers, if we take a few minutes to Google where these culinary treasures can be found, surprisingly convenient sources will show. In most states, there are many providers who are happy to help meet the demand this boom of interest if providing them. Demand for heritage breeds and knowledge of them is growing at a spectacular rate.
All over the country the supply of heritage bred pigs, chickens, cattle, turkeys, chickens etc. are becoming much more available. It might be a touch less convenient then a trip to the store to buy the commodity mass-markets garbage I describe above, but you will be rewarded with taste, texture and a lack of the antibiotics, and other “stuff” that comes with store-bought meat.
I love eating meat that was raised close to me on real family run farms. Avoiding the corporate food and keeping my dollars in my community is much more rewarding and economically efficient. Plus when you consider that the majority of workers in these factory farms are illegal aliens, the jobs that are supporting are not even for our fellow “legal” citizens. That bother me. When I buy from my local farm, I see the family there that is able to provide a good life to animals and most importantly , their own families. PLease consider this fact. PLease go out of your way to support small farms.
Here is a document that shows the variety of Heritage Breed Pigs that are available today.