Open Prairie® Natural* Pork Frequently Asked Questions

What defines “natural” pork?

Pork can be labeled as “natural” if it is minimally processed with no artificial ingredients. In addition to being labeled as natural, Open Prairie Natural Pork is always free from anything added. This includes:

  • No antibiotics – ever
  • No added hormones or growth promotants**
  • 100% vegetarian diet; no animal byproducts, except for milk
  • Minimally processed
  • No artificial ingredients
  • No additives
  • No preservatives

 

What does Never Ever mean?

Never Ever means the hogs are raised with the following requirements:

  • No antibiotics – ever
  • No added hormones or growth promotants**
  • 100% vegetarian diet; no animal byproducts, except for milk

 

What exactly does vegetarian diet, except for milk, mean for hogs?

The hogs in the Open Prairie Natural Meats program have diets developed by an animal dietician to meet their evolving nutritional needs as they grow. With the exception of milk, they are never fed any animal byproducts and do not get any of their protein from animal sources. They are finished on a vegetarian diet primarily of corn and soybean meal. Their diet provides a healthy balance of nutrients for the overall well-being of the hogs and delivers a flavorful product for you.

 

When we talk about a vegetarian diet in hogs, we always include “except for milk.” Why? Because when piglets are weaned from their mothers, they are fed a supplement that includes vitamins and minerals to help them grow. The piglets do best when these supplements are milk-based.

 

What does no added hormones mean?

There are naturally occurring hormones in all animals. That said, there are no additional hormones** given to the hogs raised for the Open Prairie Natural Pork brand.

 

Are the hogs ever given antibiotics?

No. The hogs in the Open Prairie Natural Pork program are never ever given antibiotics. Period.

 

What happens if an animal gets sick and needs antibiotics?

The animal’s well-being is the priority and their needs are cared for in all circumstances. Vaccination protocols and parasite control are encouraged to minimize and prevent illness. If an animal should become sick, they receive veterinarian oversight and are treated accordingly. If antibiotics are provided, the animal is removed from Open Prairie Natural Pork program.

 

Is your product certified organic?

No. The Open Prairie Natural Meats team is dedicated to bringing better pork to consumers at a reasonable price. To be labeled Certified Organic by the United States Department of Agriculture is a costly endeavor. Because of this, it is also difficult to find consistent suppliers of organic feed. Instead, we put our focus on supplying you with the highest quality pork, from hogs raised without antibiotics, added hormones or growth promotants. Additionally, Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. insists that the farming practices used by the independent ranchers to raise our Open Prairie Natural Pork brand are of the highest safety and quality standards available.

 

Is your pork non-GMO?

The hogs raised for our Open Prairie Natural Pork brand are not genetically modified themselves; however, we do not make a non-GMO claim, as the feed they are fed more than likely contain GMO grain. To make a non-GMO claim would entail sourcing 100% non-GMO grain for feed. This would be exceedingly expensive, creating a price point for our product that would be beyond reach for the average consumer.

 

Is your pork gluten-free?

Yes. All raw pork is considered gluten-free. While animals may have been fed grains that contain gluten or soy, the metabolic process of animals breaks these foods down, and there are no traces of soy or gluten in the meat.

 

Are your hogs given Ractopamine?

No. Hogs in the Open Prairie Natural Pork program are never given Ractopamine.

 

Do they live in an open pasture?

No. Because hogs are very sensitive to both cold and heat (they have very little hair and do not have sweat glands), as well as vulnerable to natural predators, the hogs are raised in safe, climate-controlled barns. There, they get just the right amount of food to eat, along with care and attention from the farmer.

 

What does minimally processed meat mean?

For the Open Prairie Natural Pork brand, minimally processed means that our pork has not been altered in any material way. There are no solution enhancers, added flavors or added salt.

 

Do you irradiate the meat?

Even though some meat is exposed to low levels of gamma radiation in order to help preserve it, we do not irradiate the Open Prairie Natural Pork brand meats.

 

Do you have animal well-being requirements?

Yes. Ensuring the well-being of animals is not only the right thing to do, we believe it is our responsibility. We conduct audits and on-farm verification of the independent farmers and ranchers. The animal well-being standards are third-party verified by Where Food Comes From, Inc.

 

**Federal regulations prohibit the use of added hormones or growth promotants in pork 


 

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