Pigs are at least as smart as your toddler. If you are an eater of pork, please consider the living conditions of these animals before purchasing factory-farmed meat at your big box grocery store.
When we pick up our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box, they oftentimes have meat for sale from local farms. The selections change based on what is available at the time, but they also provide avenues for people to purchase “shares” of meat. We haven’t tried this since we generally try to eat less meat, but it’s nice to be able to buy from time to time.
This week, we opted for a Pork Roast.
We got about 3 lbs for less than $20 and it fed us for several meals – and was delicious! I am willing to pay more for meat that I know is local and was raised humanely.
We used our crock pot to cook this roast. 10 hours on low.
Prep: lightly coat with olive oil, then cumin, garlic powder, oregano, paprika, S & P
The first meal we made was tacos! Almost everything in this taco was locally sourced (the avocados were from Mexico, which will have to be close enough!). To make the tacos, simply get a tortilla (we used flour but you could certainly do corn tortillas) and fill it with shredded pork, avocado, lettuce, and salsa. Super simple and super tasty!
Next up: Pork Hash! This meal actually was completely locally sourced. The potatoes and onions came in our CSA box, and we were able to purchase the eggs from a local farmer. And let me tell you – these eggs look much much different from the eggs you get at your big box store. The yolks are ORANGE. I did a little digging around and found that the difference in color is due to the diet of the hens. Free-range hens eat more green plants while hens that are part of factory farms are typically fed more wheat and corn based food which produces a more yellow yolk. As far as nutritional content, unsurprisingly, different folks stand on opposite sides of this aisle. When heaps of money are at stake, you can bet that there will be studies done that amazingly have contradictory results. I didn’t commit too much time to researching this because I will continue to buy local eggs even if the nutritional content is the same as other eggs. I simply don’t think it’s ethical to force a hen to live in a space smaller than a piece of paper and never see the light of day.
Still, there are quite a few studies that indicate the nutritional value of eggs from free-range hens is superior to the eggs of hens in factory farms:
We think these dramatically differing nutrient levels are most likely the result of the different diets of birds that produce these two types of eggs. True free-range birds eat a chicken’s natural diet — all kinds of seeds, green plants, insects and worms, usually along with grain or laying mash. Factory farm birds never even see the outdoors, let alone get to forage for their natural diet. Instead they are fed the cheapest possible mixture of corn, soy and/or cottonseed meals, with all kinds of additives…