From pork rinds, to pork chops, to pork ribs, pork is a beloved meat that is often associated to be delicious as it is unhealthy. While pork is the front and center of many indulgent meals, pork in itself is healthy.
Pork is often misjudged by those trying to start or maintain a healthy lifestyle, but in fact when it is raised properly and given healthy food, pork not only fits into, but contributes to a healthy diet. Pork is rich, iron, and B vitamins, it’s highly satiating, and rounds off a meal with lean protein.
Is Eating All-Natural Pork Better For You?
There are several reasons why pork is misunderstood as unhealthy, one of the reasons is the quality of the pork itself based on how it was grown. The key factor to fitting pork into your healthy lifestyle is to choose all-natural pork.
Compared to conventionally grown pork, all-natural pork can make all the difference to a healthy diet that incorporates this red meat.
Why Choose All-Natural Pork?
- All-Natural pork is cleaner
It is free from antibiotics and growth hormones.
When you consume conventionally grown pork, you are exposing your body to all the chemicals used to grow it. It may be hard to imagine that an innocent looking pork chop is saturated with all kinds of growth hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides.
As with any food, it was grown and treated a certain way, and with conventionally grown pork, that means it was injected with growth hormones, treated with antibiotics, and fed pesticide laden feed which goes from the pig, to your plate, to your body.
All-natural and organic pork is safe from these chemicals, and therefore keep consumers safe from the harmful effects of exposure to pesticides, antibiotics, and artificial hormones, which have been linked to various disease such as endocrine disorders and diseases from antibiotic resistant bacteria.
- All-Natural pork is fed 100% all-natural feed
Pigs get to eat real food they would naturally eat, such as vegetables and grain.
The degree of animal welfare when raising all-natural pork can be seen in what they’re fed. Conventionally grown pork are injected with artificial hormones to meet the high demand and turnover for its meat, while cramped and unsanitary living conditions require antibiotics just to keep them alive. These hormones and antibiotics are often found in their food as well.
All-natural pork on the other hand are fed all-natural feed that a pig will naturally choose to their liking. A mixture of vegetables, whole grains, and produce scraps are given to pigs, resulting in cleaner meat that isn’t saturated with unwanted non-food substances.
- All-Natural pork live in open spaces
Pigs raised in open spaces are happier and healthier.
As previously mentioned, conventionally grown pigs are subject to antibiotics to keep them alive amidst living in cramped and unsanitary living conditions. With less than a square foot of free space to live in, conventionally grown pigs do not see the light of day.
All-natural pork comes from pigs that are raised more humanely. Instead of being subjected to a cramped cage, all-natural pork is raised in open spaces where they get to freely walk and roam. Their natural behaviors such as lying down, foraging digging, and wallowing in mud are available to them.
While eating pork is a matter of choice, you may take a second thought as to where your meat comes from and how it was raised. Conventionally grown pork compared to all-natural pork vary greatly in quality and flavor due to how it was grown. To get the most health benefits of this delicious meat, skip the health harming substances that can go into it, and choose an all-natural alternative instead.
All-natural pork is available at select Healthy Options stores.
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Pork belly is a boneless cut of fatty meat from the belly of a pig. It's best when roasted, grilled, stir-fried, or smoked, and can be served as Bacon, Steak, Tonkatsu, Shabu Shabu, Yakiniku (Japanese style Barbecue), or Korean Style Barbecue.
Pork chops are a loin cut taken perpendicularly to the spine of the pig and usually containing a rib or part of a vertebra. Pork chops are leaner than other cuts of pork with a lighter flavor.
Pork jowl is a cut of pork from the head of the pig's cheek. It tastes and cooks similar to thick-cut bacon and is a tough cut that is typically smoked and cured.
Pork shoulder is the top portion of the front leg of the hog. It's best when Smoked, Fresh Cured, Sausage, Ground/Minced, Braised, Stewed, or Stir-Fried. They can also be served as Pulled Pork Kebobs, Sweet/Sour Cubes, Tonkatsu, Shabu Shabu, Yakiniku (Japanese style Barbecue), Smoked Ham, and Ground Pork.
Pigs’ feet, also known as trotters or pettitoe, are low in fat and are very high in protein, particularly collagen in tendons and skin. Best used in soups and stews, this pork cut is also good for joints and skin health.
Rib chops are tender and have a light flavor – and also have a little more fat than pork loin. Rib chops should be cooked quickly – high heat roasted, fried, seared, grilled, or broiled and not overcooked.
Pork Soup Bones
When boiled, pork bones release collagen, glutamine, and glycine which support the inhibitory neurotransmitters that relax and calm your nervous system. All this goodness together in a broth is a great way to drink up nutrients.