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Serving: WI
A pig lying in a bed of hay Courtesy of Wisconsin DATCP
WISCONSIN PIGS: In December 2018, there were 325,000 hogs on Wisconsin farms, according to Wisconsin DATCP.

Ham it up during National Pork Month

Alice in Dairyland: Pork is an excellent source of protein. Explore new ways to eat it in preparation for National Pork Month in October.

Growing up on a dairy farm, I didn’t know much about hog farming until my little sister decided she wanted to exhibit two pigs at the county fair. That summer she was devoted to raising her pigs and preparing them for the show. I learned about how pigs are cared for and behave, and how they develop into maturity.

Today, I often find myself enjoying pork by eating bacon for breakfast or preparing a pork roast, but this fall I plan to use pork in new ways. October is National Pork Month, and it’s the perfect time to experiment with new recipes.

Great source of protein

Pork is an excellent source of protein and provides several important vitamins and minerals. A 3-ounce serving of pork is a great source of thiamin, selenium, protein, niacin, vitamin B-6 and phosphorus, and a good source of zinc, riboflavin and potassium. Pork is also considered to be heart-healthy, as it is naturally low in sodium and can help regulate blood pressure.

Did you know that pork is the most widely consumed and versatile protein in the world? Pork can be used in a variety of ways and is available in many different forms. From spiral ham during the holidays to bacon in the morning to charcuterie meats on cheese boards, pork can be eaten as a snack or meal any time of year. 

In December 2018, there were 325,000 hogs on Wisconsin farms. Every day, Wisconsin farmers work hard to care for and produce high-quality products for consumers around the world.

Through changes in feeding and breeding techniques, pork producers have responded to consumer demand for leaner pork. Today’s pork has 16% less fat and 27% less saturated fat as compared to 1991. Many cuts of pork are now as lean as a skinless chicken breast.

Support pork producers

This year, many farmers faced hardship as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted supply and demand across the nation. To assist farmers, the Wisconsin Pork Association and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection created a program called Passion for Pork. This program connects Wisconsin pork producers with smaller, local meat processors who are working to process and package pork to help meet the growing demand for food bank and food pantry resources. Wisconsin food banks are getting the pork into the hands of those in need.

As you grocery shop, I encourage you to seek out new pork options and try new recipes. Whether you are interested in making ground pork tacos or oven baby back ribs, or trying a pork roast in your crockpot, pork is easy to prepare and is perfect to fuel families while working or attending school, or from home. Buying local products keeps dollars in our state and supports our farmers, processors, communities and economies.

You can find a variety of pork recipes and information about different cuts of pork on the pork checkoff website, pork.org.

Headshot of Julia NunesNunes is the 73rd Alice in Dairyland.

TAGS: Hog Marketing
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