Sensory Overload on the Pork Sustainability Tour

What was your most memorable pork foodie moment?

That question kicked off the Pork Checkoff Sustainable Pork Farm Tour that I attended for the last two days, a trip that brought together six bloggers to get up close and personal with hundreds of sows and their adorable pink piglets in the heart of Ohio at the Wuebker Family Farm.

Newborn piglets suckling their mother
Newborn piglets suckling their mother within first few hours after birth.

At 7:30AM this morning, a baby pig was literally born at my feet. I held his squealing sister who had been born an hour earlier. I watched two brave bloggers (Alejandra and Chris) boldly go further than any blogger had gone before when they artificially inseminated two sows. And I listened and learned as Jeff and Allen Wuebker explained and demonstrated the radical changes the hog farming industry has undergone in the last twenty-five years. They were open to our most intimate and direct questions about their finances, antibiotic use, and future prospects.

pig farmer

It was an amazing trip, filled with an overload of sights, smells, and sounds. I’m still processing it all, reviewing my notes, planning a longer post to share some of what I learned as well as the answers to many of your questions.

Protective Sow
This “mama pig” looked on nervously at these strangers approaching her babies.

In the meanwhile, I’ll leave you with my two most memorable pork foodie moments: cooking a whole hog last summer in our Caja China and first tasting Chris Dillman’s pork caul, a delicate lace of pig fat that can be wrapped around food to slowly drip fat and flavor throughout cooking. We heard many times today that everything on the pig gets eaten but the squeal, and after getting near so many pigs big and small today, I’m more enthusiastic about bacon and all the other delicious pork cut surprises I still have left to discover.

 

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