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; but, “natural” for the Open Prairie Natural Pork brand means:

  • Minimally processed
  • No artificial ingredients
  • No antibiotics ever
  • No added hormones or growth promotants**


Are your pigs ever given antibiotics?

No, our pigs are never ever given antibiotics. Period.


Why do you say no “added” hormones?

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


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. The only “processing” our pork receives is to be cut into portions to be packaged and sold to you.


What happens if one of your pigs gets sick and needs antibiotics?

If a pig gets sick, we make absolutely sure that we take care of the animal with the use of whatever medical attention is necessary – including antibiotics. However, once they are treated with antibiotics, they are no longer allowed to be included in the Open Prairie Natural Pork brand program.


Is your product certified organic?

We are 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 free from antibiotics, added hormones or growth promotants. Additionally, Tyson Fresh Meats insists that the farming practices used to raise our Open Prairie Natural Pork brand are of the highest safety and quality standards available.


What are pigs typically fed?

The pigs, like most other pigs, are typically fed a mixture of corn and soybean meal with added vitamins and minerals. Their diet has been specially formulated to be a healthy balance of nutrients for the overall well-being of the pigs.


Are the pigs grass fed?

Pigs are monogastrics (meaning they have one stomach), so they do not thrive on a diet of grass or hay. Our pigs receive a nutritious diet of corn and soybean meal with added vitamins and minerals in a precise formula that is monitored on a daily basis.


Do they live in an open pasture?

Because pigs are very sensitive to both cold and heat (they have very little hair and they do not have sweat glands), as well as vulnerable to natural predators, our pigs 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.


Why does your pork cost more?

Because we take the extra steps to ensure that our pigs are raised in a healthy environment where antibiotics and added growth hormones are not needed. Implementing these practices results in an increase in cost.


Do you irradiate the meat?

Some meat is exposed to low levels of gamma radiation in order to help preserve it. With the Open Prairie Natural Pork brand, we do not use irradiation.


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

For Open Prairie Natural Pork, a vegetarian diet means that the animals are not fed any animal byproducts and do not get any of their protein from animal sources, including fats and fish oil. Their diet has been specially formulated to be a healthy balance of nutrients for the overall well-being of the pigs. When we talk about a vegetarian diet, we always include “except for milk.” Why? Because when piglets are weaned from their mothers, they are fed a supplement that includes vitamins and mineral to help them grow. The piglets do best when these supplements are milk-based.


Where are the pigs raised for this product?

The pigs are raised by independent family farms, most of which are located in Iowa and South Dakota.

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