Lucies Farm Kobe Pork
Small farming operations have advantages. We can afford animals extra time and care to mature. We can raise rare breeds that do not meet commercial requirements for production. The Berkshire and Tamworth have survived in part because of the efforts of farmers like ourselves. Our willingness to continue historic lineages means chefs and gourmands the world over may appreciate superior quality food.
Pork will pick up the flavor of the pig's food. Pigs fed peanuts will produce meat with a distinct peanut flavor, for instance. (Think about that when your Christmas ham tastes like Ben & Jerry's "Chubby Hubby.") The reason for this is that any fat the pig eats goes directly to the muscle, rather than being processed through the digestive system. Some restaurants will pay suppliers extra for pork with specific "flavourings."
Any animal that is stressed will burn energy at the expense of intramuscular fat. This type of fat imparts the juiciness and tenderness to a cut of meat. Stress an animal, and the meat will be tough, stringy and dry. That's a strong argument for a little fresh air, sunshine and healthy food, not to mention compassion, gentle handling and a soft voice. Tamworths, for example, have always been foragers. They'll follow behind cattle and salvage crops. They stress if they can't roam free.
Happy, contented animals make for better dinner.