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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

We Are What We Eat

If we are what we eat (and we are), is it any wonder we have disease and general ill-health nearing epidemic proportion in the U.S.?

We have gotten used to trusting the foods stocked on grocery store shelves.  We are used to paying low prices for our food without thinking about why that food is so cheap.  We are used to not thinking at all about the big picture when it comes to our food.  If it looks good, smells good and comes at a good price, it must be good.

Sadly, this is no longer the case.  There are thousands of entry points to this conversation and not enough room on this page to paint the big picture.   To simplify things for a moment, consider one of our favorite national spring foods; ham.  Spring and Easter are just around the corner.  Let’s take a moment to consider the pig.

The majority of pork available for purchase these days comes from animals raised on CAFO’s (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations).  The animals raised in factory farms live in horrifying conditions. Yes, ethical issues abound.  The animals are pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones, and fed beyond substandard diets.  Basically, they aren’t allowed to be pigs and do what pigs do. The result is a product that is bad for your health, bad for the earth and destructive to local economies.

When an animal, (be they pigs, chickens, sheep or cows) spends their days in the sunshine and fresh air, drinking clean water, free to express their natural tendencies with access to appropriate food for their breed; something very interesting happens.  The meats from these animals exhibit superior flavor, texture and nutrient values than meats from animals raised in confinement, indoors with cocktails of antibiotics and growth hormones.

When compared to pork raised indoors in confinement, pastured pork has been show to have:

  1. More omega-3 fatty acids (heart healthy & reduces inflammation)

  2. More Vitamin E

  3. More Vitamin D (in the pork fat)

  4. Higher levels of other beneficial nutrients.

  5. Noticeable flavor and texture improvement compared to pork from confined animals.

Just Local Food Cooperative has been selling locally raised and pastured, chemical/hormone free meats for over ten years.  We have developed deep relationships with our local farmers and know exactly where our pork, lamb, beef and poultry products come from.  We know how these animals have been treated, raised, fed, processed and brought to market.  And we only work with local and regional processors to ensure the quality of the product we sell is high.  Supporting these small businesses bolsters our local and regional economies.

What does this mean for you?

  1. You enjoy a more delicious & healthful meal.

  2. You gain more nutrition for your money.

  3. More money stays in our local or regional community.

  4. Local farmers are receiving fair prices and access to market, allowing them to continue to steward the land.

  5. Healthy land is the key to good, nourishing food since it is the land that feeds the animals.

When considering where you Easter ham will come from this year, take a moment to think about the true cost of what you choose to feed your family.   Just Local Food Cooperative is proud to offer an excellent selection of locally pastured ham and pork products from Deutsch Family Farm in Osseo.  Our knowledgeable staff are available to answer any questions you might have.

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