Heritage pork is nothing new. These breeds were popular before World War II, when pigs were raised outdoors on mixed-use farms. Because of the exercise they got and the fat they needed to get through winters outdoors, heritage breeds produced pork that was darker, meatier, more tender and more marbled than what is commonly available today. Some of the heritage breeds are:
- Gloucestershire Old Spots
- Mulefoot Hogs
- American Guinea Hogs
- Large Black
- Red Wattle
What are Heritage Breed Pigs?
Heritage breed pigs come from bloodlines going back hundreds of
years when livestock was raised on mixed-use, open-pasture farms.
Through the years, these hogs have developed changes in their genes
and have become known for several characteristics, including a deep,
rich flavor to their meat, excellent marbling and velvety fat.
Today, these breeds still carry excellent qualities, but many are not
suited for commercial farming practices. As a result, they are in
danger of being lost forever. It’s our obligation to preserve whats left
of our heritage pigs today and support their continued existence by
buying heritage breed pork. As fewer heritage breed pigs are grown,
their gene pool decreases, and some breeds are now becoming critically
Why should we raise them?
The future of heritage breed pigs is reliant upon small farms that can afford
to raise them. Once a demand is created for this type of meat, these wonderful
hogs may be saved for, and enjoyed by our future generations.
Today, many local butchers, markets and restaurants are beginning to carry
heritage breed pigs.