Category: Animals

A taste of veld raised pork

Most pigs and chickens, more than any other animals, are raised in large overcrowded farm factories, pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics, to grow faster.  Fortunately there are alternatives. For the past two years Wickedfood  Earth has been farming with totally free-range pigs.  Our pigs live in large low-density outdoor camps where they are encouraged to forage.  They never receive growth hormones and are only treated with antibiotics if sick.  They grow much slower than factory-raised pork, and the taste is in the meat.

From time to time Wickedfood Cooking School runs special  5-course dinner events.  In collaboration with Wickedfood  Earth we are once again going to be running a series of taste experiences over the next few months.  The first event is  A taste of veld raised pork

For our first special  5-course dinner event at Wickedfood Cooking School, Sunninghill, you not only get to taste this great pork, we will be sharing the secrets of how to best prepare the different parts of the pig.  This will be an interactive sit-down dinner as opposed to a hands-on cooking class.  At the end of the evening, we will also have limited cuts of pork for sale.

When: Coming soon, contact the school for more details.

Where: Wickedfood Cooking School, Sunninghill

Cost: R250pp (drinks not supplied, please bring your own)

To Book or for more information: Tel: 076 236 2345 sunninghill@wickedfood.co.za

April 30, 2013
A taste of veld raised pork

Grassfed beef the Facts

Chemicals, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics are just a few of the nasty toxins we make our bodies ingest everyday through the consumption of certain meat and dairy products, vegetables and fruits. While awareness of the harmful chemicals used in the growing process of fruits and vegetables is increasing, many people remain unaware about the use of antibiotics and hormones used commonly in the production of grain fed, or feedlot meat (click here for the full story). Did you for instance know that 70% of all antibiotics manufactured in the United States are used to feedlot meat industry.

The problem has become so critical that the Natural Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, and other health and science groups filed suit against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for allowing factory farms to do just that — waste precious antibiotics on healthy livestock, just to help them grow fatter faster. Read more…

At Wickedfood Earth, we believe strongly in the concept of natural farming. We have made a conscious healthier lifestyle choice. When eating meat, we opt for free range. And for beef it means grass-fed. Not only is grass-fed much more humane than feedlot, it is also much healthier for you.

In a recent study that was a joint effort between the USDA and researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina, USA, grass-fed beef came up as better for human health than grain-fed beef in these top ten ways:

  1. Lower in total fat
  2. Higher in beta-carotene
  3. Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
  4. Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
  5. Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium
  6. Higher in total omega-3s
  7. Better ratio of omega-6 to 3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)
  8. Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter
  9. Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed into CLA)
  10. Lower in the saturated fats linked with heart disease.

Information in this article was adapted from information published by the the American Grassfed Association, Click here for more information on the subject.


June 24, 2011
Grassfed beef the Facts

Hunting for pigs

Farming communities are generally incredibly generous, helping each other out whenever the need arises.  They can however also be very secretive.

At Wickedfood Earth we are continually looking for indigenous breeds of animals to farm with, as we believe these animals can survive best in the natural environment.  We heard a rumour that there were some European wild boar in the area, the granddaddy of all domestic pigs. The first time we heard the rumour was via the local security expert,  but he could not or would not give us any further information apart from saying that he had tasted it and it was delicious.

A sounder of free range wild boar

A few weeks later, while dealing with some rather bothersome municipal matters related to the incompetence of the local municipal officials I came across charming Elsabé, who at that time was our local ratepayers association representative.  In passing we started talking about my favourite subject, food, and she mentioned that she was a chef and butcher, and that a large proportion of their diet consisted of animals that lived freely on their property.

After a stress free natural life pig was dispatched humanely, single bullet through the brain

As she was in contact with many of the ratepayers in the area I asked her if she knew anybody who had wild boar.  To my great surprise I discovered that was in fact on their farm that this sounders(group) of wild boar lived. I mentioned to her that I would be looking for breeding stock to start my own sounder, and left it at that.

European wild boar

Skinning the wild boar

A few weeks later out of the blue, I received a phone call from Louis, Elsabé’s husband, asking if I would like a pig – of course.  We made an appointment for the next morning to meet and have a look at the pigs.

Patrick, the Wickedfood Earth site manager, dressed up in his nines  for the outing. When we arrived, we started looking for the pigs, remember that they are free range and have the run of the 20 hectare property. After an hour of zigzagging the property, we found them in a rather dense gully.

As I wanted to get a photograph, Louis suggested that I go to the end of the gully and they would herd them down. I positioned myself, eye glued to the viewfinder, oblivious of everything around me, waiting for that perfect shot.  The next minute an almighty shot rang out.

I looked up in surprise, and I’m sure also fear.

“There’s your pig” said Louis, matter of fact.  So much for my breeding stock.

After a stress-free natural life the 9 month, 24kg pig had been dispatched in the most humane way feasible, with a single bullet through the brain.

Elsabé, Louis and Bradley breaking down the carcass of the wild boar

Shock over, the pig was skinned and disembowelled – poor Patrick managing to puncture the bladder as he removed the intestines and getting sprayed with urine – it took me three days to get used to the smell!

Patrick claimed the head and lungs, while I took home the heart, liver and kidneys. The rest of the carcass all 12kg got hung in the cold room.

The following day Elsabé kindly gave myself and Bradley, my chef son, a lesson in breaking up a carcass with only a knife and hand saw.

Hunting for pigs