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US Wellness Pork II

What makes our pork products special?  Lots of things, so we decided to put together a special pork post!

Raised in Missouri, our pigs are sourced from a small cooperative of like-minded farmers.  They are now using the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) 5-Step rating system.  We are really excited about these changes as we are hearing about more and more producers getting involved in the GAP program, and more retailers and consumers paying attention to that label.  To learn more about GAP, please visit their website for a breakdown of the steps, and for details about what producers have to do to stay in the program.

There are five steps in the GAP program.  All new producers have to start out at Step 1, which means they cannot use crates, stalls or cages.  Most of our Step 1 producers actually do have their pigs outdoors, even though this first level does not require it.  Our pork cooperative works with their new producers to help them move up as soon as possible, and make the commitment to move their farm to the next level.  Our co-op works very closely with each farmer to get them to the Step 3 & Step 4 commitment levels (enhanced outdoor access and pasture centered). 


What do they eat?  Pigs are foragers, and most of our pigs are outdoors every day (weather permitting) to forage for bugs, sticks, roots, etc.  Since pigs have a single stomach, unlike the four chambered stomach of cattle, we cannot raise a healthy animal on grass alone, so their diets are supplemented with corn and soy.  This is usually a non-gmo feed ration, however, due to the historic dought of 2012, it has been very difficult (and in some rural areas, almost impossible) for our producers to source and feed a 100% non-gmo ration.  We are getting closer to 100% non-gmo, and this post and our website will be updated just as soon as we can claim 100% non-gmo feed once again.  Since production is combined, we cannot currently split the gmo and non-gmo fed animals.  We hope to have 100% non-gmo fed pork by the end of 2014.

What about antibiotics & hormones?

We do not feed any antibiotics or growth hormones throughout the life of the animal. 

What about nitrites?  It is near-impossible to find pork in grocery stores that does not include some type of nitrites or nitrates.  They are usually used in the curing process, and unfortunately have been suggested to be possible carcinogens. Most of the "nitrite-free" pork products are cured with celery salt, however this is another possible danger, as celery salt contains naturally occurring nitrates.  The Weston A. Price Wise Traditions Magazine explored this subject in great depth as related to bacon. While there are countless ways to make bacon - the actual health benefits of this popular product depend on a host of factors, from the raising and processing, down to the cooking process.

The Wise Traditions article suggested that our ancestors had bacon figured out a long time ago.  All it takes is a dry rub (we use sea salt) and a cure (ours cures for 2-3 days) then a slow smoke (our bacon is hickory smoked).  The end result is deep pork flavor, healthy fat, and a new family favorite.

BaconWhat makes our bacon so special?  The only ingredients are pork bellies and sea salt.  That's it - no sugar, maple syrup, spices, honey, or sweeteners of any kind.  We do not use any nitrites, nitrates, celery salt or MSG in the making or processing of the bacon.  It is so clean, we even have Whole30 approval, a feat we are very proud of!

Since the new bacon went over so well, we have been working on several other pork recipes.  Our Pork Breakfast Sausage is an office-favorite and a staple in our kitchens every morning.  The new recipe contains only: pork, salt, rubbed sage, ground red pepper and black pepper.  No sugars, sweeteners, nitrates, nitrites, or MSG, and the flavor is amazing!

A holiday favorite is the Sugar-Free Ham.  This petite ham has the same ingredients as the bacon: pork, sea salt and water.  Be sure to check out the Sugar-Free Options section online for more sugar-free choices. 

LardA very popular pork offering is the highly sought after Pork Lard.  After numerous customer requests and a new kettle purchase, we are able to render pork lard now.  Lard is full of healthy fats and a very versatile oil to cook or fry in.  We offer the pork lard in a 2-lb pail.

Our newest additions to the pork department are Pork Rinds!  Fried in our pork lard, both varieties - Salt & Pepper and BBQ Spice - are tasty, shelf-stable snacks that both young and old will enjoy.

Looking for pork recipe ideas?  Not sure how long to cook a ham?  Here are some of our favorites pork recipes by some of our favorite chefs:

Citrus Glazed Ham


The Domestic Man: Honey & Citrus Glazed Ham



Black Forest Ham


Against All Grain: Black Forest Ham



Pork Tenderloin


Paleo Cupboard: Stuffed Pork Tenderloin



Honey Baked ham


Civilized Caveman: Honey Baked Ham with Spiced Apples & Peaches



Breakfast Sausage


PaleOMG: Pork Breakfast Sausage




The Domestic Man: Bourbon & Cider Braised Bacon



 Pork Sirloin

The Domestic Man: Roasted Pork Sirloin



Pork Roast


Everyday Paleo: Roasted Garlic & Herb Pork Loin Roast



Find more recipes for a variety of pork products in our Recipe Section.

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We are sincerely thrilled to have you as a possible resource for our internet fitness/wellness clients. "Organic" does not necessarily mean "humane": Please tell us about your humane methods of slaughter for pigs, cattle, chickens. Do your farmers meet the GUIDELINES?  
We hope so!  
Thanks, Sandy
Posted @ Wednesday, January 22, 2014 8:02 PM by Sandy L.
Looking for sugar-free pork products.
Posted @ Sunday, March 09, 2014 11:01 AM by Margaret Ohlheiser
I tried cooking bacon from natural pork (like yours). It was very thick bacon and 90% fat. It never got crispy and wasn't very good. I'm sure I didn't cook it properly. Can you please share the right way to cook your bacon? 
Posted @ Monday, March 24, 2014 8:49 AM by Darren
For the Salt and Pepper Pork Rinds, what type of salt is used? Thanks.
Posted @ Sunday, April 06, 2014 8:06 AM by Walter
Where did all of the old (and very useful) comments go? Also, any progress in soy-free pork? 
Product request: Thick cut bacon. 
Posted @ Monday, April 07, 2014 1:49 PM by chris
So... is it really 7 grams per serving? Your label has a blank 'servings per container', but that would be 97, right? How long should a package last me?
Posted @ Monday, April 07, 2014 9:04 PM by Ion Freeman
I can see the sugar free bacon does not have gluten/wheat as an ingredient, but can it be classified as gluten free? Sometimes gluten is added in the process of making the product (machinery, etc) Please advise.
Posted @ Sunday, April 27, 2014 12:42 PM by julie
I would love to order your sugar free bacon, but want to stay away from corn and soy, isn't there some other supplement feed to use
Posted @ Monday, June 30, 2014 1:43 AM by Judy
Thank you for your comments!  
- Yes, all of our pigs are harvested in USDA inspected slaughter plants, therefore they do have to follow the Humane Slaughter Act.  
- We have plenty of sugar free pork products! Bacon, ham, chops, and breakfast sausage are a few of our best sellers! 
- We always cook our bacon in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. We only flip it one time, then let drain.  
- We use just regular salt in the Salt & Pepper Pork Rinds.  
- This is an updated pork page, all of the comments are still on the original pork page.  
- Ion: please let us know what product you are referring to and we can send more information.  
- Our bacon is not certified gluten free, however the only ingredients are sea salt. The pigs are still fed some grains, so if you are especially gluten intolerant that might be an issue.  
Posted @ Friday, August 01, 2014 12:38 PM by US Wellness Meats
Is the Canadian Bacon slices/ends cooked? Or must I actually cook/fry/saute it and then cool it down to include on a salad? Thanks
Posted @ Sunday, August 24, 2014 2:26 PM by Crystal
What brand of sea salt do you use for the sugar-free bacon? Thanks!
Posted @ Thursday, October 02, 2014 10:07 PM by Aly
I am also interested in the salt you use in the bacon, specifically if it is iodized. 
I have thyroid issues and iodized salt is a no no for me. 
Thank you for your reply.
Posted @ Monday, October 06, 2014 4:33 PM by Heather Burkhardt
I absolutely won't eat pork fed corn and soy. 
I have seen other farms supplement with dairy and not supplement at all and have it work out.. 
If this is something that you guys do you will have a lot more customers... 
A lot of people won't eat pork that is fed corn or soy, even if it is non-gmo... 
"Pasture is low in lysine (an amino acid building block of proteins) and calories so we supplement with dairy including whey, milk, cream, butter, yogurt and cheese. On pure pasture pigs grow a couple of months slower and are leaner – we’ve raised four experimental groups just on pasture and it is do-able. With the addition of dairy to provide lysine and calories they grow faster, about the same speed that pigs do on grain or commercial hog feeds – roughly six months to finish in the warm season and slightly longer in the cold months. Diet varies with the season and over the years but is typically pasture/hay (~90% of the their diet) and dairy (~7%) are freely available to the pigs at all times. In the winter we replace the pasture with hay – storing summer for the winter just like we can for our home cooking. The remaining ~3% of the pig’s diet consists of pumpkins, beets, turnips, kale, apples, sunflowers and other vegetables we grow as well as a little bit of boiled barley from a local brew pub and occasional small treat of bread from a local bakery which is great for training and leading pigs."
Posted @ Friday, October 24, 2014 5:55 PM by Sean Rippin
As someone whose body can't even handle the amount of gmo corn in one dose of painkiller, I have been waiting excitedly for the end of 2014. I'm just wondering if you guys have a new time frame and what that time frame is. Thanks! :D
Posted @ Sunday, January 04, 2015 12:16 AM by Bethany
Any updates since this article Jan. 2014 on GMO's? Does the pork still have GMO's?
Posted @ Wednesday, March 11, 2015 10:49 AM by Sandy
Hi Sandy! The pork has been switched to a non-gmo feed, however, we're still working through current inventory so we will not be able to claim 100% non-gmo until this summer.
Posted @ Wednesday, March 11, 2015 12:36 PM by US Wellness Meats
Do you have any plans to sell pig feet? I didn't find them listed in your products. (But I was thrilled to find lard!) Thanks.
Posted @ Wednesday, March 25, 2015 7:16 PM by Brenda Waterman
Hi Brenda! We do not have any immediate plans to sell pig feet. We will add that suggestion to our customer wish list.
Posted @ Thursday, March 26, 2015 12:02 PM by US Wellness Meats
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