Let Them Eat Acorns: Preaching the Gospel of the Forest-Fed Pig

“SWOOPE, Va. — Hog heaven, it turns out, is a place on earth, a sun-dappled mountainside in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where one day this fall a herd of Gloucestershire Old Spots, Hampshires, Yorkshires and Durocs contentedly gorged their way toward 300 pounds.…

   Some vacuumed the underbrush with their snouts, noisily ingesting grasses and herbs, acorns and persimmons, with the occasional grub and worm. Others squeezed their portly forms into communal wallows, legs splayed in cool, damp soil.…

   Among the nation’s most famous farmers, he has lately turned to preaching the gospel of the forest-fed pig. At a time when 90 percent of America’s pork is produced in huge confinement operations (the largest, Smithfield, is now owned by a Chinese corporation), Mr. Salatin, 56, is urging the return of the pig to its ancestral home. Like Virginia farmers of a century ago, when herds roamed and foraged these mountains, he has unleashed his pigs into the nooks and crannies of 450 acres of Appalachian hardwood forest on his Polyface Farm.…”

New York Times article by Kathyrn Shattuck here.

Photo by Andrew Shurtleff

4 Responses to Let Them Eat Acorns: Preaching the Gospel of the Forest-Fed Pig

  1. and how is he going to keep them on the 450 acres? and fine 'em and shoot or catch 'em? and how will that keep the fauna and ecology of those lovely mountains wonderful? When there was some disease of some pig farmers in Hawaii….the Government was going to come and kill 'em all on the farms…the farmers let 'em go wild. They bread with some other older wild ones….hoooooooooooo boy. what a mess in the digging up the old forests and then in some places……….they are dangerous. My husband and boys caught many of these. I will say, the meat was the BEST. So this guy has the right idea for the best meat…..but they will find the corn farms and other things other farmers plant…and there will be trouble.

  2. Irene, you make some good points – I'm not sure if you have read the whole article though? http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/01/dining/preaching-the-gospel-of-the-forest-fed-pig.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0

  3. Looks beautiful to me.No red commie factory meat.
    Do you trust Red China that put plastic plates in there baby formula.

  4. Anonymous says:

    that fellow doesn't realise what he has there…
    just watched a Chef show tonight, and they were using Spanish "Iberico " Bacon, at Two Hundred Dollars a pound. Show said the pigs were raised on Acorns and Hazlenuts, similar.

    found a link, link says diet of acorns and roots (very much like above)


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