Why buy Padden Family Farm Pork?
it's not the other white meat...
Pasture raised pork from heritage breed pigs bears little resemblance to most supermarket pork. The first thing most people notice is the color--more similar to the rich red of high quality beef--but there is also a difference in fat distribution. Typical supermarket pork is generally pale pink, even textured, with a fat surround and no internal marbling. Pastured pork is a strong red with lots of inter and intra-muscular marbling. The chops could be easily be mistaken for a prime grade rib-eye steak.
so we all have heard...
fat = flavor
And not just flavor but tenderness and juiciness. So it should come as no surprise that the taste of our pasture raised, organically supplemented heritage breed pork is just as different as its look. I have always been fond of saying
you are what you eat, AND
you are what you eat, eats!
So how does the diet of a factory farmed, typical supermarket pig compare to the diet of our pigs at Padden Family Farm? CAFO (CONCENTRATED ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS)raised pigs generally receive a very limited diet consisting of conventionally raised (often GMO) corn and soybean meal with vitamin/mineral supplements. Their feed is designed to produce very efficient fast growth. They are generally raised indoors on concrete in very densely packed areas.
There are many articles available online describing the sad lives of factory farmed animals, so I won't dwell on it here. Instead let's look at how the pigs raised at Padden Family Farm live and eat.
happy pigs are tasty pigs
We have 10 acres, approximately 7 of which are in paddocks and pastures. Our breeding stock and weaned feeder pigs are on pasture year round and receive high quality hay grown here on the farm during the winter months. They also receive a custom all organic mix of grain, legumes, kelp, flax meal and alfalfa meal that is soaked 24 hours in water plus organic apple cider vinegar and molasses--no corn or soy. They also get organic produce, eggs from our hens and milk from our goats. All in all, they eat the way we eat here on the farm--fresh, wholesome and organic. They are healthy and happy. So far our medicinal needs have been taken care of with garlic, herbs, pumpkins, and rotational grazing.
why did we choose this method?
Science is just now coming around to what I have believed for years. Farmers know that fat doesn't make livestock fat. But corn does. And what an animal eats determines the kind of fat it produces and how it is distributed. Like other animals the kinds of fats we eat affect our cholesterol numbers. Pastured pork fed a diet like we feed has fat that is higher in omega 3 fatty acids, with a fat profile closer to olive oil than it is to supermarket pork fat. In addition by feeding only organic feed we are doing everything possible to eliminate pesticides, herbicides and other toxins from the meat we raise.
enough from my soapbox...
I believe in our product.
I wouldn't eat anything else.
Why would you?
Something new and exciting I am dreaming about
Have you ever heard of something called an "AGRI-HOOD?" I just discovered this concept and it has really got my juices flowing. As I understand it, an agri-hood is a community designed to melt into the landscape and lifestyle of an agricultural area, but that is near enough to a metropolitan area to allow for commuting to jobs and/or cultural opportunities. Most are geared towards maintaining a healthy and environmentally responsible lifestyle for their inhabitants. There are lots of variations on this. Google it and you will find several near major urban areas.
I personally have always aspired to become completely self sufficient....grow all my food, provide my own needs, as much as I possibly can, on all fronts. I work at it but there are a lot of things that are much easier if there is some collaboration among humans. So this concept has a lot of appeal to me. Add to this the fact that I am not a spring chicken any more, and I am suddenly sketching and doodling and dreaming-- doing the math, checking out land for sale. Basically going off the deep end. Nothing new for those of you who know me personally. But I really think this might be the best way for humans to live. A neighborhood built within a fully functioning, striving to be self sufficient, organic farm. Yep, with gardens and woods, orchards and wildlife-filled meadows, pastures and barns...my head is spinning, and I think of some new possibility every day.
Think about it. Assume you are a 20 something, environmentally conscious, enthusiastic yet slightly uncertain human, looking for a way to learn more about say... organic farming methods. You would be a perfect resident worker in this agri-hood. Check out the modular tiny house "hive" near the barns.
Or assume you are a 30 to 40 something parent searching for everything a child needs to grow up to be a responsible, well adjusted, healthy and amazing human. You would be a perfect co-op shareholder with a home site near the woods. How exciting would it be to take a role in the agri-hood schoolhouse. Your family would reap the benefits of the best of homeschooling but with a cooperative network of parents and professional specialists, all in an environment designed to nurture and educate your kids.
What if you are older, say 50 to 70 and you want to continue a career but also let go of some of the day to day of a big house and yard, and enjoy a space filled with serene homages to nature, eat food grown in your 'hood and contribute to a real community. Who knows maybe you finally take that yoga class, join a theater group. You could discover the limitless joy of watching a mother pig give birth to a dozen little wigglers, or help plant the potatoes you will serve for Thanksgiving, or knit a sweater from the wool of the agri-hood sheep. And if you're 70+ and have retired, what better place for your grandchildren to visit. Consider the joys of a 2 bedroom cottage near the pond and community center.
This would be almost like having your own farm. So much more exciting and fulfilling than that over 55 community or a tract house in the suburbs or a ridiculously expensive apartment on the north side. We humans are meant to live in multi-generational groups. Scientists say it is why we have a life expectancy that is much longer than our reproductive lives. We thrive in a tribe. My dream is for this to be as diverse and enriching for every member as possible. Different ages, different backgrounds, different experiences-- the only defining commonality a desire to live as a community, with the goal of healthy, responsible, cooperative self sufficiency. Oh and of course, that community would have the backdrop of a farm.
This is just a dream right now. There are a million things to figure out. Stay tuned.