Niche Pork

FAQ's about Niche Pork

1. What do you mean by niche pork?

  • Pork that has certain attributes prefered and valued by some groups of customers. These attributes include: pork raised without antibiotics, growth promotants, or animal by-products in the feed; heirloom breeds such as Berkshire pork (also known as Kurobota pork); organic pork; and locally grown or farm direct pork. These attributes typically require unique production practices, which can limit supply and availability, making them niche products. .

2. how can i find sources for niche pork products?

  • Use the database* to find niche pork producers and processors. You can search by geography, type of niche category or company name.

3. If I am looking for locally grown pork, how can I find pork producers in my area to buy from directly?

4. If I can't find the type of pork I'm looking for in my area, can I buy pork online?

  • There are producers and processors in the database* who offer mail-order service. Search the category of Mail Order with your selected niche category.

5. Where can I learn more about pork preparation? How can I find out more about the different cuts, cooking times and cooking methods?

  • Pork cooking tips can found here.

6. I'm seeing more and more food porducts claiming "natural" on the label. What does this mean on meat products?

  • The "natural" claim can meaen different things from one product to another:
    • It can simply mean the meat product contains no artificial ingredients or added color and is only minimally processed (this meets USDA standards for "natural" label claims.)
    • It can also mean the product has been "naturally raised" and offeres additional attributes such as raised without antibiotics, growth promotants or animal by-products in the feed, or pasture-raised. These attributes will likely be listed on the label.
    • Read the label carefully. If you still have questions, try to contact the company on the label for more information.

7. Do the terms "organic" and "natural" basically mean the same things?

  • No, although they are often used interchangeably and incorrectly. Click here for the definitions of these and other niche terms.

8. There is a lot of talk and concern about growth hormones, how can I be sure my pork doesn't contain growth hormones?

  • Hogs are not given growth hormones.

9. Berkshire pork and Kurbota pork are featured at many restaurants and mentioned frequently in the news. What's the difference between them?

They are the same. Kurbota pork comes from the Berkshire breed of pig. In Japan, Kurbota means "black pig."

10. What is the difference between a pork producer and a processor?

Pork producers actually raise the pigs and they may be responsible for the processing and sale of the pork, or they may supply the pigs to a processor who processes the pork and sells it. The database* contaings both producers and processors who offer pork products having niche attributes.

* database producers/processors are self-proclaimed. The National Pork Board has not verified that the information these producers/processors have listed is correct.