Pastured Organic Bacon


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We were at a farmer's market and found someone with uncured, no nitrates, no nitrites added bacon. We asked about the farm and it was about 15 minutes away so we went and visited. They don't use antibiotics or anything on their animals (mainly chickens and pigs).

Their pigs are raised outside with shelter of course, but they are in a pen. The farmer moves the area to a new grassy area after each batch of pigs is done. The pigs are fed a corn/soy mixture with a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit (2 pallettes each day). They are also sometimes fed the mash from the local breweries.

As I was reminded, pigs are fairly destructive animals - they tear up the grass, burrow into the dirt. This is why the farmer had them inside a fenced pen (fairly large - they weren't crowded together or anything).

So how close to pastured, organic for pork is this?

Their meat chickens were the same way - outside in pens fed a corn / soy mixture. No antibiotics. Good / bad?

Their egg laying chickens were free roaming to eat whatever - grubs, worms, fruits, veggies, etc.

Thanks,

Brian

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HMMM... I would definitely say it's a better choice than Oscar Meyer but I probably wouldn't buy from a farm that uses soy/corn in their feed, that would be my main concern. Also, the mash from the local breweries is probably full of gluten. Just my opinion...

I LOVE the US Wellness Sugar Free Bacon.

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Yeah, I know it's approved by Whole30 (was at the Nutrition seminar, etc.). I'm just not sure what they feed their pigs - it seems that this if it is Whole30 approved, this information should be on the US Wellness site for all to see. I don't doubt it is, but I like to know for myself, and wanted to understand what would make a pork product considered good (or at least as good as it can get. :) )

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  • 2 weeks later...

Brian -

Just to follow-up to your question a few weeks back. You may have already found out the answer to this, but I just called US Wellness in regards to your question about what they feed their pigs. They definitely DO feed their pigs a 100% vegan diet, but it DOES consist of corn and soy.

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I'm not Melissa, so this isn't an official why answer at all. Here's just my $0.02:

Corn and soy are not inherently evil. In fact, they're perfectly appropriate for some animals - just not humans. It could be that the corn and soy feed is appropriate and healthful for the pigs.

I'm not a pig farmer, so I really don't know, but its a thought...

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I'm really sorry it took me so long to respond to this - we've been a little busy the past week. ;)

First, what the animals eat have nothing to do with our Whole30 program. We do encourage people to eat pastured, grass-fed, organically-raised animals, but it's not a mandate for Whole30 Approval, or your own individual W30 program.

In addition, it's really, really hard to find 100% pastured pigs or chicken. In most areas of the country, weather, other environmental conditions, and the land itself mean that these animals would not be able to feasibly get 100% of their omnivorous diets from "natural" sources. The vast majority of pastured, organically-raised pigs' and chickens' diets are supplemented with things like corn, soy, and other grains.Thi

This does not present the same health issues as supplementing ruminants' diets with these foods. Ruminants (like cows, buffalo/bison, elk, lamb, goat, etc.) have special compartments in their stomachs meant to digest grasses, and unsuitable for digesting things like other animal byproducts, corn, soy, and grains. Feeding factory-farmed ruminants these kinds of foods makes them sick - literally. So sick that they have to be given preventative antibiotics so they don't die before they can be slaughtered. This is what makes factory farming of ruminants like beef such a travesty... the animals literally cannot properly digest the food they are being given.

With omnivores, however (pigs and chickens), these foods are perfectly acceptable. They're perhaps not the healthiest source of calories, and the addition of corn, soy, and grains to these animals' diets does skew the N6:N3 ratio is an even less beneficial manner, but they don't make the animals sick.

Based on your description, Brian, of the conditions under which your local farm's pigs are kept, I'd say this is as close to ideal as you can get. US Wellness Meats sourcing of pork comes from a farm with similar conditions - pigs are allowed plenty of access to the outside, can express normal social behaviors, are organically raised (without the use of hormones or preventative antibiotics), and are fed a diet as close to "naural" as possible. These are happy, healthy pigs, and the meats they provide are more than worthy of Whole30 Approval.

Hope this helps - but if you have additional questions, please post them here.

Melissa

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