Pork as it used to be is making a comeback

ILLINOIS - "The other white meat" has been pork producers' slogan for a decade, but some are now using an even newer identity for their products: niche pork.

After years of trying to slenderize pigs and market pork as a smart alternative to chicken, a small number of pork producers have taken to reintroducing pork the way it used to be: with fat and without additives.

Demand for niche pork has grown, and Carpentersville-based Trim-Rite Food Corp. is banking on that demand to continue as they prepare to build a $17 million processing facility in Freeport.

Niche producers avoid giving pigs antibiotics, flavor enhancers, sodium or growth hormones. They offer up a kind of meat product that tastes and looks the way pork did in the days before fears of high fat changed the market, and they cater to a growing number of suppliers.

One of the few emerging producers that raises niche pigs is Prairie Grove Farms, based in DeKalb. Prairie Grove has its own farms primarily in Iowa, Illinois and Oklahoma, where they market 125,000 pigs per year.

"We are a true, 100 percent natural pork, which means our animals are never given antibiotics, from birth to box. We do not use any artificial growth stimulants or hormones," said Pat Watkins, vice president of sales and marketing.

Source: The Courier News
calendar icon 20 March 2006
clock icon 2 minute read
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