Our Heritage Pork comes from an old-world English breed. The Gloucestershire Old Spot (GOS) is the oldest pedigreed spotted pig in the world, dating back to 1790. The breed is known for its distinctive black spots, floppy ears, and ability to produce flavorful, succulent pork with generous fat and marbling. This breed was the gourmets' pork of choice in England through the 1920s and 1930s, before industrialized agriculture and factory farming caused outdoor pigs to fall out of favor. One group that has always preferred its delicious taste is the British Royal family. To this day, they keep GOS pigs on their Gloucestershire estates.
The Gloucestershire Old Spot pig was developed in the Berkley Vale of Gloucestershire, England. Known for its docility and intelligence, GOS pigs were traditionally raised outdoors in orchards, where they would feast on fallen apples (earning them the nickname "Orchard Pig"). This lazy, gluttonous lifestyle produced fatty, delicious, succulent pork.
Today's commercial pork industry began after World War II, focused on breeds that could be raised quickly in the confined conditions need to house thousands of animals at once. They were also bred to have as little fat as possible, to conform to the low-fat trends of the times, which meant the pork had very little flavor. Joyce Farms Heritage Pork is different. One of the reasons we chose the GOS breed was its reputation for well-marbled, juicy pork and sweet, silky fat. This is pork with real flavor (and you know we're all about that).
Like all of our animals, Joyce Farms GOS Heritage pigs are raised naturally using our "never EVER" standards of purity: No antibiotics, no growth stimulants, no animal by-products, and no artificial ingredients, ever.
Our pigs enjoy a wholesome, all-vegetarian diet that not only keeps them happy, but also allows them to thrive. While on pasture, they consumer a combination of:
Our pigs are raised according to our Honest with Nature™ Regenerative Agriculture principles, which improve the health of the land and nutritional value of food that comes from it. This includes soil management, rotational grazing, and forage management.
Well maintained, actively growing pastures supply high levels of nutrients to grazing sows and gilts, as well as to growing/finishing pigs. To keep pastures in good condition and to prevent excessive rooting, pigs are rotated to fresh pasture every 2-3 days. This allows each pasture adequate time to rest and recover.
At every stage of their lives, our Heritage GOS pigs are handled with care and respect in low-stress environments. On the farm, pigs have access to shade and shelter at all times, to protect from the sunlight and from inclement weather. Pigs can sunburn, so shading is crucial during the summer months. Shelters are continually deep bedded with fresh straw or shavings to keep hogs insulated from ground temperatures and to reduce floor moisture. Our Heritage Pork program is certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World.
Our GOS Heritage Pork doesn't just taste better - it's also better for you. Studies have shown that pasture-raised pork is higher in good fatty acids that help lower cholesterol and triglycerides, and is higher in beta carotene and vitamin E as well. It's also marbled with fat that's high in vitamin D and doesn't have harmful trans-fats.
We offer a variety of Heritage Pork products to our wholesale and foodservice customers, including our outstanding, Signature Cured Heritage Ham. Inquire through our sales team for more information.
A selection of our Heritage Pork products is also available to retail customers through our web store.