Pasture-raised pork is the better choice. It's ethically-grown
and free from the confinement practices found at most conventional pork producers. And it's healthier and free from antibiotics, too.
A matter of ethics:
Conventionally-raised pork comes from animals that have been raised in factory farms, where the living conditions are horrifying. The factory farms' dismal hygiene and safety records are major problems, too. Runoff from the manure has caused outbreaks of E. Coli and other diseases when the contaminated waste floods into rivers and streams. They’re bad for communities, as well: Factory farms destroy local economies and actually increase unemployment and income inequality.
Free from antibiotics:
80% of antibiotics in the U.S. are actually fed to animals, mostly to make them grow faster and prevent them from getting sick and dying in filthy and crowded conditions. The problem is that bacteria are clever little microbes, and quickly evolve resistance to common antibiotics.
Better for you:
Truly pastured pigs get more Omega-3s. Green grass and leaves are major sources of Omega-3 fats in animal diets – these are foods available to truly pastured pigs, but not to factory farmed pigs that actually live in a barn. In other words, pigs eating their natural diet get a lot more Omega-3s than pigs in a factory farm.
Photo by Paula Pickhardt