Pork got a bad rap a long time ago under Jewish dietary law when civilization such as it was did not understand bacteria or the conditions that led to its propagation — primarily heat. Guess what — we live in the era of refrigeration. Leave it behind, folks!
Pork was the dominant table meat in America until the early to mid 20th century for a lot of reasons. Pigs are social animals — they like hanging around us, they grow fast, produce a lot of offspring each year, and offer a wide variety of tastes because they are omnivores. The latter characteristic is important — unlike beef, a purely herbivorous creature that dines on the salad bar of our native grass pastures exclusively, a pig's nutrition and taste profile can be influenced by the seasons and by mankind because of their interest in all types of food. They eat what our cattle eat — grasses, clovers, broadleaf plants, but they also eat what we eat, such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts.
Some specifics: our pigs grow up in our old wood forest and native grass pastures. This forms their dining as well as their living room. For their approximate 11-12 months in their "house", and depending on the seasons, they will have their choice of grasses, clovers, sapling roots, dewberries, mustang and muscadine grapes, acorns and pecans, oats, rye, corn, barley and beans to name most of them. When they reach a point of growth that indicates they are within 4 weeks of becoming table fare for us and our customers, they are moved to our finishing yard where their diet is further enhanced with fruits, roasted peanuts and herbs and other green vegetables as well as alfalfa hay. The long term goal is to grow all of their fruits on the farm, and it will consist of peaches, melons, figs and pears. Currently, we supply peaches and melons in season while we develop our fig and pear orchard. In the meantime, we purchase apples to fill the gaps when our peaches and melons are not in season. Our figs and pears are still growing up.
Starting to get the picture? Whatever goes in is also what comes out in any food. Because our pigs eat from such a wide smorgasbord of healthy foods, their nutritional profile must be both wide and deep. Ditto for their taste, which I bet you haven’t experienced before - this product is not to be found in our generation or even our parents. The heritage pig was replaced by the factory cages and narrow diet, a big mistake both for taste and good health. Just like the pig who is healthiest when allowed to eat from the entirety of earth's harvest, we too should shun these experts who advise eliminating any natural food from our diet. Every plant and animal offers a different nutritional profile that our bodies and minds can use. Eating from the entire harvest exposes us to these nutrients. That can only be good. If you are eliminating, eliminate processed, drugged and poisoned food. Eat everything else.