Not long ago, Mr. Salatin said, a chef sat in an acorn glen at Polyface Farm and, after some quiet reflection, said: “I have never been next to a live pig. I don’t know anything about pigs. But I think if I was a pig, this is the way I’d want to live.”

Joel Salatin

Are you tired of the same bland factory-farmed pork found in most supermarkets? Pastured pork can provides a nutritionally-dense and flavorful alternative to its conventionally raised counterpart.


  • Pastured pork is a healthier and more ethical choice, with higher levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, antioxidants and no antibiotics or hormones.
  • It offers improved taste due to its heritage breed genetics and diverse diet
  • Raising heritage breeds on pasture preserves rare pig breeds while providing unique flavors and qualities for consumers.

Health Benefits of Pastured Pork

Pastured-Raised Piglets Playing On A Farm

Pastured pork offers a plethora of health benefits. The meat boasts higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and antioxidants, which are vital for our overall well-being. Moreover, pastured pork is raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones, making it a healthier choice for consumers.

Higher Levels of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

The higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in pastured pork has been linked to improved heart health, cognitive development, and reduced inflammation. Pastured pigs have a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, resulting in meat with higher levels of these anti-inflammatory healthy fats compared to factory-farmed pigs.

Higher Levels of Vitamin D

Did you know that pastured pigs have higher levels of vitamin D in their meat due to their access to sunlight? Vitamin D plays several vital roles in our health, such as promoting bone growth, enhancing immunity, and supporting muscle function.

Higher Levels of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are our body’s defense against harmful free radicals, and they can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Pastured pigs raised on a combination of grasses, legumes, and other forage, as well as organic feed, have a higher concentration of antioxidants in their meat than factory-farmed pigs. So indulge in pastured pork and give your body the protection it deserves.

No Antibiotics or Hormones

Choosing pastured pork from Willow Creek Ranch ensures that you’re consuming meat free from antibiotics and hormones, which can pose potential health risks. Pastured pigs are raised in a natural environment that doesn’t require the use of these substances, resulting in a healthier and more ethical product.

Other Advantages of Pasture Raised Pork

Pastured Pork Chops

Besides the health benefits, pastured pork also offers other advantages such as improved taste, environmental sustainability, and enhanced animal welfare. From the rich flavors that come with a diverse diet to the knowledge that you’re supporting ethical farming practices, pastured pork is a choice you can feel good about at every level.

Improved Taste

One of the most noticeable differences between pastured and factory-farmed pork is the taste. Pastured pork has a more robust and distinct flavor due to the breed of the pig and the variety of food they consume while grazing on the pasture. The well-balanced muscle-to-fat ratio results in desirable marbling and an appealing fat cap, making pastured pork a gastronomic delight that’s hard to resist.

Environmental Sustainability

Raising pigs on pasture is more environmentally sustainable than factory farm methods. Pastured pork operations can help minimize soil erosion, enhance water quality, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Multi-paddock regenerative grazing is built on the concept of bio-mimicry, or trying to recreated natural processes as closely as possible. This means working with nature instead of trying to conquer it. These techniques result in improved soil health, better wildlife habitat, and less use of fossil fuels.

Enhanced Animal Welfare

Pastured pigs experience better living conditions, leading to improved animal welfare. Raising pigs on pasture allows them to exhibit their natural behaviors, reduce their stress levels, and promote harmonious interactions with each other and with handlers. Joel Salatin describes this as preserving the “pigness of the pigs.”

By opting for pastured pork, you’re contributing to a more compassionate approach to animal agriculture.

Raising Heritage Breeds on Pasture

Heritage breeds raised on pasture offer unique flavors and qualities, while also preserving rare breeds. These pigs are well-adapted to life on pasture and exhibit a powerful genetic inclination to forage.

About Kune Kune Heritage Pigs

Pastured Pork

Kune Kune pigs are a heritage breed originating from New Zealand, known for their smaller size, docile nature, and distinctive curly tail. They are well-suited for pasture-raised pork production due to their hardiness and resilience in outdoor conditions. Although slower-growing than conventionally-raised pigs, they are able to obtain a large amount of their required nutrition from forage on pasture or in woodlands.

Kune Kune pork is renowned for its sweet, nutty flavor and tender, juicy texture, making it a delicious and unique choice for pork lovers.

Preservation of Rare Breeds

Raising heritage breeds on pasture helps preserve rare and unique pig breeds, ensuring that these distinctive breeds are not eliminated due to industrial farming practices. By supporting pastured pork from heritage breeds, you’re contributing to the preservation of genetic diversity and the continuation of these unique flavors and qualities.

Heritage breeds are known for their unique flavor and texture, and pastured pork from those who raise heritage breeds is a great example of this.

Unique Flavors and Qualities

Heritage breeds boast distinct flavors and qualities that set them apart from conventional pork. The superior farming practices used to raise heritage pigs, combined with their diverse diet, contribute to the overall quality and flavor of their meat.

Conventional pig breeds have been bred specifically to grow fast. By putting on pounds quickly, these breeds increase profit margins. However, many of the nutrient-concentrating and healthy characteristics have been bred out of them. By choosing pastured pork from heritage breeds, you’re indulging in a culinary experience that celebrates the uniqueness of these pigs and their delicious meat.

Pastured Pork

The Process of Producing Pastured Pork

Producing pastured pork involves multi-species rotational grazing and a combination of pasture forage and organic feed. This mimics natural grazing patterns in nature and decreases the hogs’ exposure to parasites. It improves soil and ecosystem health. This method focuses on providing a natural and healthy environment for the pigs, resulting in a higher quality and more sustainable product.

Multi-Species Rotational Grazing

Rotational grazing helps maintain pasture health and promotes natural foraging behaviors in pigs. By rotating pigs through various sections of the pasture, plants can recuperate, resulting in better forage utilization and efficiency. This method not only benefits the pigs, but also contributes to the health of the pasture and soil.

Feeding Practices – Pasture Forage and Organic Feed

Agriculture Arable Barley Blur
Photo by Pixabay on

Pastured pigs at Willow Creek Ranch are fed a combination of pasture forage and organic feed, ensuring a balanced diet. The pasture forage provides essential vitamins and minerals, while the non-gmo feed supplies the necessary proteins and carbohydrates.

This diverse diet contributes to the health and well-being of the pigs, as well as the exceptional taste and quality of the meat.

Comparing Pastured Pork to Factory Farmed Pork

Farm Wooden Farm Animals Mammals
Photo by cottonbro studio on

As opposed to conventional pork, pastured pork is raised in a natural environment, with access to fresh air, sunlight, and open pastures.

Antibiotics and Hormones

Factory-farmed pork, often produced in overcrowded indoor confinement centers, contains antibiotics and hormones, while pastured pork does not. The use of these substances in factory-farmed pork can pose potential health risks, such as antibiotic resistance, detrimental effects on normal gut microbiota, and allergic reactions. By raising pork in more natural conditions on pasture, and avoiding the overcrowding found in CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations), routine antibiotics and hormones are not necessary.

Synthetic Pesticides and Herbicides

Pastured pork at Willow Creek Ranch is raised on pasture free from synthetic pesticides and herbicides, making it a cleaner choice for consumers. The use of these chemicals in the feed used for factory-farmed pork has been linked to various health risks, such as neurological and hormonal system disorders, birth defects, and cancer.

Taste and Nutritional Value

The taste and nutritional value of pastured pork surpasses that of factory-farmed pork. Pastured pork is richer in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and antioxidants, making it a healthier option.

Additionally, the diverse diet of pastured pigs and their access to natural environments result in a more flavorful and tender meat that is truly exceptional.

Ethical Considerations

Choosing pastured pork supports ethical farming practices and improved animal welfare. Pastured pigs inhabit natural environments and have access to pasture, encouraging their welfare and enabling them to partake in natural behaviors.

By opting for pastured pork, you’re contributing to a more compassionate approach to animal agriculture.


In conclusion, pastured pork offers numerous health benefits, exceptional taste, and ethical farming practices that set it apart from factory-farmed pork. By choosing pastured pork, you’re not only treating yourself to a delicious and nutritious meal, but also supporting sustainable agriculture and improved animal welfare. Make the switch to pastured pork today and experience the difference for yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is pastured pork?

Pastured pork comes from pigs that are free to roam and forage in fields and woods. At Willow Creek Ranch, they primarily eat natural forage in addition to supplemental organic feed. This results in significant nutritional and environmental benefits.

Is pasture-raised pork better?

Pasture-raised pork contains higher levels of nutrients, such as double the amount of Vitamin E and three times the amount of Vitamin D, than commercially raised pork, making it a better option.

These nutrients make pasture-raised pork a healthier choice than commercially raised pork. It is also more sustainable, as it requires less fossil fuels to produce.

For these reasons, pasture-raised pork is a great option for those looking for a healthier and more sustainable meat.

What are the main health benefits of pastured pork?

Pastured pork is nutritionally superior to factory-farmed pork, containing higher levels of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and antioxidants.

This makes it a healthier option for those looking to improve their diet.

How does pastured pork promote environmental sustainability?

Pastured pork operations help minimize soil erosion, enhance water quality, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions, making them a great contributor to environmental sustainability.

These operations also provide a more humane environment for the animals, as they are able to roam freely and engage in natural behaviors. This is beneficial for both the animals and the farmers, as it reduces stress and increases the quality of the food.