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. 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 are pasture raised and enjoy an all-vegetarian diet. They are raised humanely, at a natural pace on small family farms using Regenerative Agriculture methods that improves the health of the land and nutritional value of food that comes from it.
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.