Hogs Are What They Eat
By George Anderson
A Canadian company has found a way to sell a healthier ham.
Prairie Orchard Farms of Winnipeg, Manitoba has found that, by giving its hogs feed rich in omega-3, it can increase the level of these important polyunsaturated fatty acids
in meat cuts sold to humans.
Willy Hoffman, president of Prairie Orchard Farms, told Reuters, “As far as we know, we’re the first in the world to do this.”
The concept behind the pork rich in omega-3 is not unusual. Makers of yogurt, milk and eggs have found they can also achieve higher concentrations through a variety of means.
“Omega-3s are part of the fat, so the higher the fat content, the higher the omega-3 content,” said Mr. Hoffman.
The leaner the cut, the less omega-3 fatty acids in it. Prairie Orchard’s ham, for example, contains 0.4 grams of omega-3 per 100 grams. Its bacon contains two full grams of
omega-3 per 100 grams. “That’s considered an excellent source (of omega-3),” said Susan Whiting, a nutrition professor at the University of Saskatchewan.
To date, Prairie Orchard has sold its pork to local supermarket operators. The company is looking to expand with sales to the wider Canadian market as well as the U.S. and Japan.
The company’s cuts sell at approximately 25 percent premium to standard pork prices.
Moderator’s Comment: Do you see a widespread market for pork containing higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids? How is the trend to healthier foods through
science such as nutraceuticals developing? – George Anderson –