In this recent New York Times article on industrial hog production (The Truth About Your Bacon), Nicholas Kristof exposes the inhumanity and environmental cost of grocery store pork. This is more than enough for me to completely avoid eating pork from farms I do not know. When I add in the lack of flavor, and my concerns about cleanliness and safety, I completely avoid it.
I wanted to share this article with you because the journalist, Nicholas Kristof, asks all the right questions without the usual sensationalism and heart wrenching that aims to make us swear off all meat forever. Some of the imagery is disturbing – so be aware before you watch the video.
Cheap food comes at a cost. Environmental pollution, inhumane crowding and cruel animal treatment, and equally horrible human conditions for low paid workers who are most often recent immigrants — this, in fact, is a heavy price to pay for cheap food. That does not even begin to tell the story of what it is doing to our health when we eat this food.
Our partner farmers who supply you with pork are committed to humane conditions for animals and workers. Most of their workforce are members of their family, plus a few trusted staff. The animals are in their natural environment – on pasture, in the woods, or in open, airy barns when the weather turns.
If you have avoided pork because 95% of the pork available for purchase here in the U.S. is produced industrially, then give our farmers a chance to change your mind. Their practices and the quality and flavor of their pork certainly changed mine. I had sworn off pork chops years ago because I was afraid — undercook them and you risk getting sick, or overcook and you are left gnawing on shoe leather. Yes, you will pay more for meat raised ethically. Eat a bit less, and do it with a clean conscience and peace of mind that you, the environment, the animals and the workers will all benefit. When I think of it that way, it's definitely worth the cost.
Enjoy good pork!
Thank you, Singing Pastures, for the photo