pastured pork, very purple carrots, and turnip thursday

Our first order of meat arrived on Friday: several varieties of pork, along with a couple lamb ribs and sweet Italian sausage (also lamb).

In contrast to most of the livestock consumed in this country, Friday’s meat came from pigs and sheep who were pastured (in other words, they lived how pigs and sheep were meant to live) and grass-fed (in other words, they ate what pigs and sheep were meant to eat).

One of my favorite lines in The Omnivore’s Dilemma comes near the end of part two, as Michael Pollan reflects on his weeklong visit to Polyface Farms: “When chickens get to live like chickens, they’ll taste like chickens, too.” The same can be said of the pork we sampled over the weekend.  The chops (lightly seasoned) didn’t taste altogether different from other pork chops I’ve had, but they had a more intense pork flavor than I’m used to.

It was also some of the leanest pork I’ve ever eaten — no doubt owing to the fact that these animals had open space to move about, unlike industrially reared pigs, who are packed in warehouses so tightly that their tails have to be docked so they don’t get bitten off. The pork was so lean that I had to be more careful than usual not to overcook it and dry it out — nothing a good brine can’t help, though.

The fruit and vegetable experiment continued as well. We made a pretty satisfying meal of three roasted turnips on Thursday. (Never thought I’d see myself typing that.) And Sunday’s pork chops were accompanied by some of the most ridiculously purple (and good) carrots we’ve ever tasted.

All in all, a pretty good first week of trying to eat off the grid.

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