The Top 10 Reasons to Celebrate Pigs on National Pig Day:
While there are many very interesting and very valid reasons to celebrate National Pig Day (March 1), our favorite is obviously the fact that pigs produce our favorite meat candy, BACON! Here at The Simple Grocer, we have teamed up with Pederson’s Natural Farms, a company that chooses to celebrate pigs 365 days a year instead of just 1.
So, how exactly do they celebrate pigs every day of the year, you may be asking? Well, Pederson’s Natural Farms celebrates pigs by only using pork that has been responsibly raised.
Responsibly raised - now that’s a phrase that could have a lot of different meanings to a lot of different people.
To us, responsibly raised pigs are the product of a well developed process. First, you start with a responsible farmer. Pederson’s Natural Farms works with self-sustaining family farms because these farmers have proven to be good stewards of their land, and they feel the ethical obligation to provide their pigs with a comfortable life. Not only do these farmers raise their pigs right, but they also grow the grain used to feed their pigs. This allows for a higher quality, well monitored feed, free of any animal by-products. They live their lives in open pens with deep bedding and plenty of room to romp, frolic, and engage in natural pig behavior. With no growth hormones or antibiotics, Pederson’s pigs grow slower than those at industrial “farms,” and they’re quite alright with that. This provides a better life for the pigs and produces the best (if we do say so ourselves) pork we’ve ever eaten.
Pederson’s Natural Farms takes celebrating the pig beyond the farm with their Whole Hog initiative. Going Whole Hog in the food industry is a call to action. It means promoting environmental stewardship and reducing waste by utilizing every possible portion of the hog.
In 2014, there was borderline hysteria among bacon consumers due to a potential pork belly shortage. Between increasing demand for bacon and a nationwide pork shortage at that time, buyers were scrambling to get their hands on the precious pork belly. This sent the Research and Development team at Pederson’s Natural Farms back to the drawing board to find new ways to utilize other portions of the pig for bacon production. Aside from being the responsible thing to do, incorporating other areas of the pig for bacon production had the potential to strengthen the industry as a whole and alleviate some of the effects of the belly shortage that were being felt globally.
The task of making more bacon with the same amount of pork led Pederson’s Research and Development team to create new and innovative products that utilize other areas of the pig, such as the loin and shoulder, in the bacon making process without sacrificing the flavor and quality that has made them famous. Under the Whole Hog initiative, a pig has the potential to go from yielding approximately 10% bacon to 43%.
Pederson’s Natural Farms is extremely proud, as are we here at The Simple Grocer, of their Whole Hog campaign because it helps to further promote their sustainability initiative.
All of the Pederson’s Natural Farms products you will find on The Simple Grocer not only contain no sugar, no antibiotics or growth stimulants, no nitrates/nitrites, no gluten, no lactose, no msg, and no preservatives, but they are also all a part of the Whole Hog line. The Uncured No Sugar Bacon is your traditional bacon and is made from the pork belly. The Uncured No Sugar Buckin’ Bacon is made from the center of the pork shoulder, which makes it leaner, meatier, and heartier than the traditional belly bacon. The Uncured No Sugar Canuckin’ Bacon is made from the loin. Traditionally, this cut is called Canadian style bacon. Because the pork loin is used, Pederson’s Canuckin’ bacon is one of their leanest No Sugar, Whole30 Approved products. The Uncured No Sugar Ham Strips are made from the pork ham (the pig’s boootay) and merge our love of ham with our love of bacon. It’s ham… no wait, it’s bacon.