Pasture Perfect Pork

Certified Organic, Pasture Raised Pork



Good Food In the Country

By Jack and Miriam on August 15, 2007

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You would think that living out in the country would mean that we could access great food no problems, but the reality for a lot of country people is that if you don’t grow it yourself, its very hard to come by. One thing that is great out here though is that people are being more proactive. There is no organic store here so a co-op is being started up. I cant wait until I can easily get my whole milk, organic or chemical free veg and fruit as well as some of the great local grass fed lamb and beef.

One of the things that I miss most about not travelling to South East Queensland every weekend is the food! Camille’s beautiful butter and Cheeses, the lovely Sourdough Breads, Full Fat Organic Buffalo Mozzarella, Pasture raised chickens, Incredible fresh organic vegies and seasonal fruit. We were lucky enough to have friends that were the distributors for whole, unpastuerised milk and cream as well. You can imagine me loading up every week with all of the goodies, many of which I was able to swap our pork for. Farmers Markets were the places where we had found great, fresh foods, reminiscent of our time travelling.

One of the biggest turning points in our lives was when we took time off from farming and travelled in South America. Previous to this we weren’t eating the best. I thought I was doing the right thing, trying to cut back on fats, increasing our complex carbohydrates etc and always cooking with fresh veg. Jack was an asthmatic, and had some weird skin disorder where he would break out in these little clear blisters. We were both carrying a little more weight than we should and ran short of energy easily.

The first place we went was Argentina… Grass Fed Beef Heaven. I remember the first Lunch that we went to at a specialty Parillada and Asado restaurant. The way that they cook beef in these places is not directly on heat but placed well enough away that you can leave your hand between the coals and the meat. Wow, melt in your mouth and so delicous. They had very simple salads to accompany. I think I ate over a kilo that fist day, Ditto or a bit more for Jack. We thought that we would feel really heavy after this, but surprisingly we didn’t. We also thought that we would have to really be careful about what we were eating, but as time went on we just felt better and better and started to lose weight.

We continued travelling and finding the best food we have ever tasted, Fresh ice cream made with cream and eggs (we would actually watch the trucks back up and unload crates of eggs and huge cream cans) in San Carlos de Bariloche, then we travelled on to Chile and tried the south pacific seafood. INCREDIBLE My favourite there was this dish they call Curante. It was made with all types of muscles, scallops and shellfish that are simmered in a broth based on a fatty smoked pork sausage, they then add about a pound of butter and fresh parsley and sauteed garlic. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is just thinking about it!! We tried this in a little seafood market and then decided that we would not eat at restaurants any more, but at the local markets, because we really wanted to taste the flavours that the locals were eating. I think it was the best decision of the trip.

We continued to travel through Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador tasting the amazing local foods (most of which the other backpackers would turn their noses up at). I remember the most amazing sweet potato porridge for breakfast that had cinnamon and cloves and was served with freshly deep fried doughnut sort of things with honey drizzled over them. Of course all of the fried things that we ate were cooked in the highly saturated fats of palm oil or lard. The very incredible Ceviche (Raw Fish Salad)from Peru as well as the lovliest Beef liver sauteed with onion and peppers (this was an order error that turned out to be wonderful… Jack thought that he was getting steak) and Ecuador had the best pork I had ever tasted, in fact in Australia I had always found pork to have a funny flavour and to be quite dry, but they cooked the whole pig in a big bakers oven overnight there and… well you guessed it, it was the best we had ever tasted.

After 7 months of travel, and eating absolutely everything in site, we had lost 12 and 4 kg respectively and we felt fantastic. Jack had not had an asthma attack (not even when we were at very high altitudes in the Andes) and his skin had cleared up completely. I had always had hormonal pimples, but they had also cleared.

When we went back home we noticed a change immediately. The thing was, we just couldn’t get the great, fresh vegetables and fruit or meats that were not laden with chemicals or pumped up with grain. Not only that, we started to look on all of the other ingredients I had been using to cook with and noticed the numbers everywhere. Boy, was it hard to find things without numbers!! Its incredible, we learned more about food and nutrition travelling in third world countries than in school or from the many TV show that scare so many people.

I must say that I did have a very good Doctor though (who was also a personal friend) and when we went to him about the skin conditons etc. and told him about our trouble free time in South America, he told us that if that was the type of food that made us feel energised and obviously improved our health, that we should keep trying to eat that way.

It was such a great feeling to have all of the things that our bodies were telling us put into writing in the Nourishing Traditions book. When I read it (and then borrowed it for about a month from a friend) I promptly bought one, then Jack got on the internet and found Vicki Poulter and we ordered a box of twenty. After giving one each to all of my sisters and Sisters in Law and Mum and my Best Friends (Yes that is how you can tell you are my best Friend!!) I always took one to the markets and would loan them out (which would always end up in the reader buying one) to customers

I was often asked by customers (that had been to their doctor that week) if we had any bacon with less fat, or if the sausages could be made with less fat. I was always quick to pull out Nourishing Traditions and start the converstaions. I would always tell them that I no longer used vegetable oils for cooking and that I was using my lard instead for deep or shallow frying. That I always had butter on my sourdough and that it was put on so thick that it looked like how others would have cheese. They would always look at me with a mixture of amazement and worry (amazement that I was slim and healthy, and worry that I was doing my arteries damage), but after a little talk and being able to give them some points from NT, prinouts from the WAP website as well as the anecdotes from our travels, I was able to allay their fears and they would actually buy something that looked fattier than usual.

Lets hope we can all keep up the good work and keep learning.

Yours
Miriam

COMMENTS - 4 Responses

  1. Dear Jack and Miriam,
    I really enjoyed reading you story. As an avid traveller one of my favourite things to do whilst abroad was to always enjoy the local gastronomic delights. I congratulate you both on your big turn around. I too suffered hormonal acne for the last 15yrs but after 5 months of increasing my good fats and eliminating sugar out of my diet I no longer suffer them. Yay! Before my husband met me he did not pay attention to the effect food has on your health. He just returned from New York and during his stay he commmented on how much juice his hosts drink each day. He shook his head in disbelief when he caught himself checking the sugar content on the juice bottle (hee! hee!) and informed them on how much sugar there was in the juice. He is moving up in the world. I too find that when I mention increasing good fats to people that they look at me as if I am mentioning the unforbidden or I am a crazy lady. I am trying to find a short and effective way to respond to these responses.
    kind regards
    Rebecca

  2. Hi Miriam,
    I loved reading your blog. I live in the Byron area and would absolutely love to obtain some of your pig fat or lard from you. How can I get my hands on some??? At the moment, I’m rendering down fat from the local organic butchers, but their pigs are grain fed not pastured.
    Cheers,
    Karen.

  3. Thanks Rebecca,
    Sometimes I don’t know if I just prattle on for too long.
    I totally know what you are talking about with checking out the labels etc on foods. I feel like some sort of food police when I go over to friends places. Most of them know now that I wont have a biscuit, although when I refuse the first couple of times they thought I was on a diet. Unless they ask why I often wont say anything because they keep pulling things out of the cupboard and going “But this one is ok isn’t it?” I often just loan them the Nourishing Traditions book to help explain.

  4. Hi Karen,
    Thanks for your interest, I am actually visting the processor tomorrow, so I will ask them if I can get any extra fat kept. I don’t think that they will render it, but I am sure they could keep it aside for me if I ask. You can contact me directly on my email (I will send you a message)so that we can discuss the amount (kg) that you would like to try out. Also, just to make things clear, we do feed our pigs certified organic grain, but they (the pigs) are always able to graze, so long green stuff is growing (and we have been really lucky with rainfall these past 12 months) Our farm just seems to stay greener for longer than others around it, so I hope that means we are doing something right :)

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