July 03, 2019 0 Comments
When it comes to what we eat, most of us can agree we try to make the best, healthiest choices. But food without flavor won’t drive folks to the dinner table. That’s why it is so exciting when we learn that something that tastes delicious could also be good for us!
In part 2 of our series In Defense of Fat, we’re taking a closer look at pork fat and why being pasture-raised makes such a big difference in nutrition, not to mention flavor.
Maybe you had a grandmother who liked to cook with lard, a more common name for pork fat. You probably grew up thinking that it was super unhealthy and avoided it. Well, lard is not the evil that many people think. In fact, lard is almost half monounsaturated fat – 45 percent – the same fat that is found in olive oil. And as we covered in part 1 of this post, we actually need a small amount of saturated fat in our diet.
A recent study looked at more than 1,000 different foods to determine each’s nutritional score. Higher scores meant that the food was more likely to meet daily nutritional needs. Pork fat, perhaps surprisingly to some, came in with the eighth highest score. How did this happen?
Turns out, pork fat can be a force for good. But it really depends on how the pigs are raised. Truly pasture-raised pigs have higher levels of omega-3s than “factory-raised” pigs thanks to a diet of green grass, leaves and even acorns — all major sources of omega-3 fatty acids in animal diets. They also have lower levels of omega-6s, which most people consume too much of in relation to omega-3s.
At Joyce Farms, our pigs are truly pastured. They grow up on small family farms that utilize Regenerative Agriculture practices, which is better for them and the earth. Their diet is all natural and includes forages, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and wholesome grains milled on site at our farms. They are given no antibiotics, no growth stimulants, no animal by-products, and no artificial ingredients, ever. Raising pigs the way we do increases the vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids in the pork, as well as the amount of vitamin D and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which are both natural cancer fighters.
We also know a little something about pork and flavor. Flavor is our No. 1 priority with all the animals we raise, and in terms of flavor, our Heritage Pork is the best of the best, thanks to the breed we’ve chosen. Joyce Farms pigs are one of the oldest breeds out there – Gloucestershire Old Spot (GOS) pigs. An Old World breed originally from England (where they’re enjoyed by the Royal family), GOS pigs are known for creating flavorful, succulent pork. And being pasture raised gives Joyce Farms GOS pigs even healthier, more delicious pork fat.
With Joyce Farms’ commitment to selecting the best breed and raising them the right way, you can be assured of superior pork, rich with nutrients, marbling and flavor. Just try some and see for yourself. We know it will be the best pork you’ve ever had, and you can thank the fat for that.