Farmers hope this all-natural little pig goes to market

FLORIDA - Frankie Hall is helping small hog farmers bring home the bacon.
calendar icon 17 July 2006
clock icon 2 minute read
Hall, executive director of the Florida Pork Producers, is helping promote eight regional farmers selling all-natural pork. Part of the push is determining whether consumers will pay more for pork that's locally raised and free of hormones and antibiotics.

"We're trying to let our customers know where their food comes from," he said.

A focus group held Saturday at the Florida Farm Bureau's Gainesville headquarters gauged whether 15 local residents could taste the difference between all-natural and other store-bought pork. The group was also polled on whether they understood the meaning of the term all-natural and whether it would influence their buying decision.

All-natural hogs are raised on open pasture and bedded pens without the use of antibiotics or artificial growth hormones. The animals are never fed any meat or meat by-products. But their feed can be grown using pesticides, so the product falls short of being labeled organic.

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