What’s more important when you’re looking for safe and ethical pork products? That they’re allowed to free-range, they’re nitrate and growth hormone free, or certified organic? And while many of us are aware of these health concerns, and the cancerous issues recently raised by eating preserved and cured meats, let’s not forget about the added gluten, GMO soy, antibiotics, hormones and preservatives use in pork products. There are so many choices now that it’s almost impossible to navigate this world of pork, and easier to ignore your better judgment because it’s all too hard, and resign yourself to buying pork from the supermarket. Here’s why you don’t want to be doing that.
More of us are trying to buy free range pork, but what do you look for on the label? “Bred free range“ means the mother pig is ‘free to range’,too that is until she weans her piglets. After that they are all housed in shelters, and this is where ‘free-range’ pork comes from. You’ll often see the word “bred” dropped at retail level, and this is allowed.
Growth Enhancers are allowed to be used in Australian pig farming. These are not an antibiotics, but instead they alter the animal’s metabolism so that the pig can produce more lean tissue (muscle) and less fat. Natural pig farming opposes the use of growth hormones to artificially accelerate the pig’s growth and weight gain.
Over 65 per cent of small-goods sold in Australia come from Denmark, Canada and the United States where they have been intensively farmed using routine antibiotics. Pork producers have found that by giving small doses of antibiotics to hogs via their feed, the animals are able to grow larger in a shorter amount of time.