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Foraging vs. Factory?

Did my first local-farm-raised, foraging, natural pork butt today.  I hate to admit this, since I truly believe in local, sustainable, non-factory food... but it tastes like SH1T!!  Yes, there are several variables.  It was delivered frozen solid, sat in my freezer for a few weeks (freezer burn?) & I didn't inject.  But it was also visibly smaller & less fatty than factory-raised grocery store butts.  The middle is dry as a bone & has no flavor.  It has a nice bark & the fatty parts taste great.  I followed SOP: dry rub night before, ~300 degrees for ~5ish hours to IT of 196.  FTC for 2 hours.  It did reach ~400 at one point early for maybe 15 minutes but that can't be the culprit, right??  All of my Smithfield butts, following same protocol, come out like BUTTA!    
So what's my friggin question?  Here it is... is farm-raised pork the equivalent of grass-fed steak (better for us but can't compare in taste to a prime, corn-fed peer) or did I mess something up??  

Smoke On!  

Comments

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 9,524
    I guess I'm an old southern guy but animals were made to eat. At what point does cruelty come in. Read about foie gras last night and the outraged people.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 744
    henapple said:
    I guess I'm an old southern guy but animals were made to eat. At what point does cruelty come in. Read about foie gras last night and the outraged people.
    I have no qualms about eating animals but I do feel that animals should have as humane a life as possible.  I won't buy Kosher or Halal meats, buy free range eggs and try to support businesses that feel the same way.  It's not a religion for me but I do feel better about consuming ethical food.

    Gerhard
  • I've tried my best to do the grass fed thing but it just doesn't taste right.  Maybe I'm just not dedicated enough but grain fed meat is what I'm going to go with. 
    I raise my kids, cook and golf.  When work gets in the way I'm pissed, I'm pissed off 48 weeks a year.
    Inbetween Iowa and Colorado, not close to anything remotely entertaining outside of football season. 
  • 500500 Posts: 1,044
    I think it has partly to do with what we have been conditioned to eat. Back in pioneer days there weren't factory farms. I feel the same way about the taste of grass fed beef. It just doesn't taste the way I expect it to taste. I do eat organic eggs, chicken, and milk, but that's about it. I prefer their taste over the factory products.
    Large BGE; Midlothian, Virginia
    I like Pig Butts and I can not lie.
  • JeremiahJeremiah Posts: 565
    @Shrek, to answer your original question, and this is purely opinion, but I've had plenty of "yardbirds" and in the same respect, local beef---and I'd much prefer local stuff-- but local stuff that I know has been fed good stuff: "you are what you eat" maybe you just got a bad one. That's maybe the downfall of local stuff. Repeatability.
    Aiken, SC
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,009
    There are all sorts of reasons I can think of why the pork wasn't satisfactory. The first one that comes to mind is that whatever the pig ate while foraging wasn't very good. Pigs are the only animal that I know of that transfers the fat in the food they eat to their own fat. If they eat lots of acorns, the classic diet for fine pork, or peanuts, they end up tasting spectacular. The fact there wasn't much fat may indicate the forage food was not very good. It may also mean the pig species was not a very good fat producer. The Berkshire hog is noted for its excellent fat production, Tamworths for their copious bacon fat.

    Beef is similar. Do a search on "Mark Schatzker steak." The fellow traveled around the world looking for the best steak and found that the quality of grass fed ranged from awful to sublime.

    I buy pastured organic beef and pork. The beef tends to be somewhat tougher and less fatty than commodity. But the flavor is astounding. The farmer lets the cattle eat whatever they want, and he says they seem to like millet. My DIL's family has a small herd they let roam around their farm in Idaho, and again, while the meat is tougher, the flavor is spectacular.
  • AviatorAviator Posts: 1,402

    Seriously, I hate grass fed. Every time this feeling of ethical BS takes over me, I go and buy this expensive "grass fed" piece of cardboard that no one in the family can eat. Even my dog Ooie looks up at me and implies: now, what exactly do you want me to do with this, daddy?

    I am all for the "manufactured and perfected" variety. Just my opinion.

     

    ______________________________________________ 

    Large and Small BGE, and a baby black Kub.

    And all the toys to make me look like a Gizmo Chef.

    >:)

    Chattanooga, TN.

     

  • Being lucky enough to live in Iowa, I have access to locally raised beef and pork.  I have a pal that raises both on his farm and does a combination of pasture and feed lot finish.  Fabulous meat with good flavor and texture.  I seem to be getting the best of both worlds.  The weather here can really suck at times but the options for grilling make up for that.
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • ShrekShrek Posts: 34
    henapple said:
    I guess I'm an old southern guy but animals were made to eat. At what point does cruelty come in. Read about foie gras last night and the outraged people.
    Cruelty doesn't really come in to my evaluation.  It doesn't take a scientist to understand what it does to YOUR body to eat a happy cow who grazed on grass vs. a fat, drug & cord-fed cow who was tied up by his tail.  And if you want to read some science, cows (nor humans) are meant to eat corn.  It turns their fat toxic.  You eat that over long periods and it causes cancer.  Yeah, yeah... we all die anyway, and the stuff does taste better... but a Twinkie tastes better than a carrot.  I'm just saying....
  • Hi54puttyHi54putty Posts: 1,258

    Being lucky enough to live in Iowa, I have access to locally raised beef and pork.  I have a pal that raises both on his farm and does a combination of pasture and feed lot finish.  Fabulous meat with good flavor and texture.  I seem to be getting the best of both worlds.  The weather here can really suck at times but the options for grilling make up for that.

    This is how I get my beef and it is by far my favorite. Grass fed most of its life and then grain finished. I buy a half cow each year and have trouble eating anything else.
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