Chops on the Block

P

opular Pork ~ It might surprise you to learn that pork is the most popular meat in the world. According to the FAO, 36% of the world’s meat intake is pork. The U.S. produces 12% of the world’s pork. In 2021, U.S. pork exports will surpass $8.1 billion in value. In total, more than 6.4 billion pounds of pork were exported to other markets. Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

Health Benefits of Pork

Unfortunately, there’s a misconception that pork is unhealthy. However, today’s pork is 75 percent leaner than the pork your parents grew up with. Both the pork tenderloin and pork sirloin roasts contain less than 5 grams of fat, 2 grams or less of saturated fat, 480 milligrams or less of sodium, and 23 grams per 3-ounce serving. In fact, pork tenderloin, one of the most popular cuts of pork, has less fat and fewer calories than boneless, skinless chicken breast. As you can see, pork is one of the healthiest meat options on the market, making it easy to include in a healthful and balanced diet ~ which we discussed perviously in our recent Meal Planning Guide for 2023.

Pork Has an Unfair Reputation 

Pork has suffered a poor reputation due to excessive overcooking of certain cuts. While some cuts of pork simply become tastier as they cook longer, leaner cuts of pork that are low in fat and saturated fat do not require as much cooking and can easily be overcooked. To help avoid tough meat, there are three simple things to do. Firstly, you could tenderize the meat by flattening it with a rolling pin or the bottom of a pan before cooking. You could bathe the meat in a tasty marinade; even 10 minutes while other ingredients are being prepared will have a significant effect. Finally, you could allow your meat to rest after cooking. Even a two-minute rest will help keep it tasty and juicy.

P

opular Pork ~ It might surprise you to learn that pork is the most popular meat in the world. According to the FAO, 36% of the world’s meat intake is pork. The U.S. produces 12% of the world’s pork. In 2021, U.S. pork exports will surpass $8.1 billion in value. In total, more than 6.4 billion pounds of pork were exported to other markets. Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

Health Benefits of Pork

Unfortunately, there’s a misconception that pork is unhealthy. However, today’s pork is 75 percent leaner than the pork your parents grew up with. Both the pork tenderloin and pork sirloin roasts contain less than 5 grams of fat, 2 grams or less of saturated fat, 480 milligrams or less of sodium, and 23 grams per 3-ounce serving. In fact, pork tenderloin, one of the most popular cuts of pork, has less fat and fewer calories than boneless, skinless chicken breast. As you can see, pork is one of the healthiest meat options on the market, making it easy to include in a healthful and balanced diet ~ which we discussed perviously in our recent Meal Planning Guide for 2023.

Pork Has an Unfair Reputation 

Pork has suffered a poor reputation due to excessive overcooking of certain cuts. While some cuts of pork simply become tastier as they cook longer, leaner cuts of pork that are low in fat and saturated fat do not require as much cooking and can easily be overcooked. To help avoid tough meat, there are three simple things to do. Firstly, you could tenderize the meat by flattening it with a rolling pin or the bottom of a pan before cooking. You could bathe the meat in a tasty marinade; even 10 minutes while other ingredients are being prepared will have a significant effect. Finally, you could allow your meat to rest after cooking. Even a two-minute rest will help keep it tasty and juicy.

What Makes Our Pork So Good?

Cooking a perfect pork chop is easy, especially when you start with thick, center-cut, bone-in pork chops from Cheshire Farms. These aren’t the pork chops you’ll find at the grocery store. Cheshire Farms At Cheshire Pork® has had the advantage of more than 45 years of selective breeding by choosing only the top 3% of their heritage breeds, which is what gives our pork superior flavor, consistency in texture, and marbling. They have selectively bred a herd of Chester White hogs that are widely known for their intramuscular fat and superior taste. So it’s no surprise that these center-cut bone-in pork chops are richly colored, well marbled, and always juicy. And if that weren’t enough, the bone-in approach adds another layer of exquisite flavor that can be summed up in just two simple words: Dang Delicious. 

The Best Way to Cook Pork Chops

In our opinion, the best way to cook a pork chop is to utilize your oven and a skillet to provide both a beautiful brown sear and a tender, juicy interior. This can be accomplished by searing, then baking, or by reversing this process by baking first and finishing with a pan sear. You’ll learn about the searing and baking method in our Apples and Curry recipe below.

Fun Pig Facts!

There’s a lot more to pork than pigs in the mud so, we’ve compiled a list of lesser known facts out there about pork!

Pigs are very clean animals.

Pigs are actually very clean animals. In fact, they’re some of the cleanest animals around and refuse to eat and relieve themselves in the same area in their pen.

Pigs can’t sweat.

“Sweating like a pig” is another misleading phrase as pigs can’t sweat! Pigs don’t have many sweat glands, so they roll around and sleep in mud and swim in water to keep cool. Even pigs need SPF, as rolling in mud helps keep a pig’s skin from getting sunburned.

Pigs are smarter than your dog.

It’s true! Pigs have the intelligence of a human toddler and are ranked as the fifth most intelligent animal in the world! In fact, pigs are even capable of playing video games better than some primates.

Pigs are excellent communicators. 

They have more than 20 distinct grunts and squeals that have been identified and range from expressing hunger to calling for mates. 

Pigs have an excellent sense of direction.

Pigs are navigators: they can find their way home over large distances. They can often trot long distances and can reach up to 11 miles per hour running.

Pigs like to sleep nose-to-nose.

Pigs love to stay connected with each other by sleeping close together. Few animals are more social than pigs, who form close bonds with other pigs and humans.

Pigs have excellent memories.

Pigs have exceptional memories, especially when it comes to object location. If they find a great spot for grub, they’ll remember to look at the exact spot again!

Apple & Curried Pork Chops Recipe

A delicious dinner ready in under 30 mins? These Curry Pork Chops bring the flavor to busy weeknight dinners! The bone-in pork chops are pan seared and then baked in the oven, giving them a golden exterior while finishing them off in the sauce means you get such juicy tender pork. The tasty curry sauce is a mixture of curry powder, onions, apples, broth, cream and a pinch of sugar. Customize it to your taste ~ add your favorite Heartland Foods protein, like our Murray’s Farms Chicken or our Cheshire Farms Pork!