The Whole Hog: What Should Hogs be Fed? [Series]

We recently started offering cooking classes in Cincinnati to patients that are in treatment for obesity, and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder. During the classes, participants pick up basic cooking tips for preparing “clean” luscious tasting dishes, dressing, marinades, desserts and soups.

In our most recent class we had a great discussion about pork. We talked about everything from the health benefits of pork to how to find a reputable source for purchasing the healthiest pork. This series of blog articles will provide you with all the information we covered in class!

Pastured Pork

What Should Hogs be Fed?

Preferably, the animal is outdoors eating grass, roots and whatever it can forage. Even when the pig is pastured it must be supplemented.  What those supplements are will determine how healthy the pig is to eat and how it tastes. Ideally it would be “slopped” with kitchen waste. Or, it might eat the rotten fruit from an orchard, which I understand makes a delicious pork.

But even if it is fed corn or soy feed, as long as it is not GMO, it will be far better for you than if it is fed GMO grains.  The way to ensure as much as possible that it is not eating GMO grains, is to buy organic. If you do not buy organic pork, find out if the grain is GMO or not. One of the questions to ask a local farmer is what kind of feed they use.  Of course it goes without saying that you do not want meat that has hormones or unnecessary antibiotics.  Be aware that “natural” is not necessarily natural.

Organic vs Natural Meat

Healthy pigs result when they have plenty of fresh air, sun- shine, freedom for natural behavior, shelter as needed, healthy feed, PASTURE, variety in the diet, clean water, good sanitation and manure management. The major concern for most small-scale hog growers is intestinal parasites. These can be managed with proper pasture rotation.

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of obesity and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED) and the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

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