Attadale Farm's Answer to a Pig's Paleo Diet, In a Nutshell
A Few That Can, May; Many That Can't, Will Fake It
Those Embedded in Mediocrity Will Shun It
The Paleo Diet Has Opened Our Eyes And Our Possibilities
The newest (but really oldest) diet technique, at least new to us, is the Paleo Diet*. It derives its name from the scientific named period of the beginning and history of mankind. The general idea of the Paleo Diet is for people to eat like man did back at a time prior to the domestication of animals, farming and the processing of all manner of food products. This is supposed to be reflected in what science calls the Paleolithic Period. Man hunts, gathers and then eats what he has collected; the available natural animals, fruit, vegetables and whatever else can be safely and beneficially gathered and consumed. It shuns sugars, processed foods, scientifically created rations for animals, synthetic additions like fertilizers, insecticides and other such treatments.
The Paleo Diet notably eliminates bread, pasta, corn, soy, dairy and beans, the current underpinnings of today's diets. It probably is too hard for most of us to adopt. It is ripe for scammers and institutions wanting to include the word "Paleo" in their marketing to capture the money of those lazy ones who are only strong enough to diet on a label. Please understand that the terms Paleo and Jurassic are not used to promote or suggest any method of Creation or Evolution. This is not an arena for developing religious or non-religious facts or opinions. One must never try to incorporate anything more into this discussion than the fact that the diet is meant to hearken one back to a time when the food sources were pure and undefiled. The intent of the diet is correct and good--- but not just for mankind.
COWS ARE EASY, PIGS ARE HARD!
We all know, or should come to know, the great advantage of grass-fed beef. The idea or reason for grass-fed beef is the nutritional advantage for both the cow and its consumer. The saturated fatty acid and vitamin profiles in true grass-fed beef are far superior to grain fed cows. The beef from grain fed cattle has an unhealthful imbalance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio and is depleted and seriously reduced in its vitamin content. Since the cow is a ruminant animal, just keeping them on grass keeps the grand quality and nutritional advantage of the beef when it is consumed. Only an over-educated University-ite would spend their life (and your money) creating an elaborate cattle raising scheme of grain feeding and drugs, messing it up for the cattle and the people. Evidently they just don't believe and appreciate that if "you" have your health "they" have everything, Grass-fed is good for us as well as the cow. There are no more opinions about this. It is well documented! Discussion closed!!
Pigs are a whole different story. Pigs have only one stomach, not four like the cow. They are mono gastric in nature as is the human. The pig needs a wide variety of natural foods to satisfy its dietary requirements. Pigs naturally eat grasses, roots, dirt, tubers, grubs, leaves, berries, acorns, nuts, insects, rodents and more. The pig's diet also affects its health, fatty acid profile, vitamin levels and well being. But where in the world can a pig find all or most of this on a farm or in a pasture? They can't in today's pig warehouses, and they can't on most pastured pork farms. So, when the hogs are confined to a building or a pasture, the farmer must cart food to the pigs. Some farmers can grow turnips, alfalfa, clover, beets, and other crops, but the diet still has to be supplemented. Today, the cheapest and most used supplements are corn, soybeans and their byproducts. This is what most pastured pork receives today as a diet. This still meets the USDA's definition of Pastured Pork because they are not housed in a building. However, the corn and soybeans are just as bad for the pig in the pasture or a building as they are for us and a cow. And then, when we eat the corn fed pork,---well its the same message as with the cow. The hard, hard part is trying to provide a natural diet (Paleo or Jurassic) for a pig.
The pig, technically, is not included in the Paleo Diet plan because it is not Paleo or pertaining to the history of humans. But the needs and benefits of a pig can be summed up in the same general nutritional goals and ideas. Thus, our name for our hogs in their living environment, Jurassic Pork. Jurassic Pork is Attadale Farm's answer to a pig's Paleo Diet, in a nutshell. In a nutshell means what it suggests, nuts in their diet.
Timber is what Attadale Farm has available. Our timber comprises about 1/2 of our farm and appears to have never been defiled, at least not in any visually detectable way. Our standing timber areas are thickly covered with natural vines, (grapes, black and goose berries to name a few), grasses, numerous varieties of plants, rotting wood, grubs, tubers, insects, mushrooms, roots, oak, black walnut and hickory trees, and many species of other trees and undergrowth. It is difficult to even walk through our timber, especially in the spring and summer. And this is where the pigs will reside and thrive. This is the environment in which healthy, real, great tasting pork is developed. This is an environment where a pig can actually live as a pig. Establishing the perimeter fencing and paddock cross fencing lines has been excruciating. This is a hog's haven, not mine. I see why precious few have attempted or accomplished this.
THIS IS NOT WILD BOAR OR FERAL HOGS
This is not an exercise in raising "Wild Boar" or trying to contain ferral hogs. This is as close to Italian and Spanish acorn fed pork as we can currently get. These pigs are well monitored and subjected to daily contact; multiple times most days. We may even provide a non GMO supplement as the circumstances dictate. Even so, pigs have the tendency to be invasive. It is because of the way they dine, cool, warm themselves and reproduce. This is the way they choose to live. A polite, tidy pig isn't worth much. A pig is a pig. So, our pigs have a great potential to wreak havoc in our timber. But, by careful observation, rotating them through our timber and keeping our timber "paddocks" strategically placed, we believe we can actually improve the quality of the existing flora and fauna. Just as we rotate our cows through our pasture paddocks to maintain the quality of our pasture grasses, so we rotate our hogs through our timber to enhance the vegetation landscape under the canopy and the trees of the canopy. Our intent is not to decimate our farm with pork gone wild, but to use them carefully, methodically, and efficiently. Allowing the hogs to destroy their habitat ruins it for everyone, including themselves. I must conclude that as fall and winter approach it will most likely be that we will need to supplement our hogs with non GMO products. Depleted and dormant timber flora will most likely not be sufficient to maintain the growth and maturity developed in our hogs. As I said, Pigs Are Hard to get right. And for most farms it is either too hard or just not possible.
Bucking The System
Having said all of this, and carefully making this transition, we are well aware that the controlling government body in this area, the USDA, will not allow us to use any special term other than "Pastured Pork" on our label. They have no idea what the distinct advantages of raising hogs in a true natural environment are and are so steeped in bureaucracy that they will not allow putting Jurassic Pork on product labels. Our options are to continue with Pastured Pork on the label or abandon the special claims labels that require USDA approval. I guess we'll figure it out.
Having begun the transformation 10/29/2015, we now have a great supply of Jurassic Pork to offer. We are hard at work building our model of a "Pig's Paleo Diet", fencing large areas of timber through which our pigs continue to rotate. If you have any thoughts or comments we would like to hear them. I will add information to this page as it becomes relevant and important. I could have just kept things as they were, raising USDA certified pastured pork. But my health, your health, our pigs health and great tasting and nutritious "real pork" are always at the top of the list. Why live a contemporary, government acknowledged and regulated dull life when you can incorporate Jurassic Pork into it?
*You should research the Paleo Diet yourself to get a much fuller description.
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