Happy Pigs = Tasty Pork

We all know that true barbecue lovers take the regional style of their 'cue and its sauce seriously, but have you ever thought about the source, diet, and lifestyle of the pig your pork is made from? Grateful Growers Farm, in Denver, hopes the answer is yes. Grateful Growers raises Tamworth pigs, a variety suited to outdoor living. They are fed a diverse diet of antibiotic and growth-hormone-free food that is custom blended by a family-owned mill in Statesville. The farm eschews traditional pens and leaves pigs free to graze, play, and exercise in the fresh air of outdoor pastures. "I liken their days to what Thanksgiving is like for people: eat, sleep, play, eat some more, repeat the sequence," says co-owner Natalie Veres. "They love to chase each other around, explore the soil and the woods, root in the dirt for food and wallow in mud holes to stay cool." Not only is their life happier and healthier, it is also much longer than that of the typical pig raised for pork. "We process our hogs at a heavier weight and older age than mass-production operations so the flavor of the meat and the intramuscular fat [the marbling that produces flavor and juiciness] have a chance to develop." When the time comes to convert the perfectly raised pigs into delicious pork meat, Grateful Growers puts its trust in Mays Meats in Taylorsville, a family-owned processor that knows how to treat each pig in a totally stress-free manner. The processed meat is packaged and sold week by week to restaurants and at local farmers markets, so it's always fresh, local, and delicious, no matter what sauce you smother it in. Visit ggfarm.com to find out where to purchase Grateful Growers pork in Charlotte.
Categories: Feature, Food + Drink, Restaurants & Food