This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Brad's Firm Pork Primer

This series of posts grew out of a pamphlet I circulated to fellow hog farmers early this spring.  For years I’ve been stressing the importance of “firm, barley fed” pork to farmers, customers, feed mills and anyone else who will listen.  Soft pork is a threat to humanity I would always say.  Over the winter I received several groups of hogs that I was sorely disappointed with.   The pork was soft!  It was time to get back on the soapbox.

What I saw was this:

IMG_2005 (1)

This is a meat rack with two different batches of sausage.  There is only difference between the batches.  The top batch is made with nice pork, firm pork.  The bottom batch is made with soft, greasy pork.  The top batch is bright red with nice definition between the fat and lean.  The bottom batch is light pink, smeared with soft fat.

In a nutshell, soft pork is pork with a high content of polyunsaturated fat.  Typically the culprit is linoleic acid, the main component of most vegetable oils.  You’ll see it around the web referred to as PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acid), Omega-6 fat (a chemical term denoted the location of the first double bond) or polyunsaturated fat.  I’ll usually just call it vegetable oil or linoleic acid.

In this series we’ll talk about what makes firm pork and how we can ensure it, the historical and geographical history of firm pork, what it’s effects on human health might be and some things I’m working on to create more opportunities for firm pork going forward.

At the end of this introductory post I’m attaching the original firm pork primer.

Firming Pig Feeds – Sheet1

Series NavigationHistorical Trends in Pork Firmness >>