Cider-Brined Porterhouse  Pork Chop

October brings with it Pork Month, a chance to highlight some of the uses and benefits for pork. Jason Menke, director of marketing communications for the National Pork Board, says flavor is what makes the meat popular.

“Pork has a flavor profile completely different from the other animal proteins,” he says. “It’s great on the grill with minimal seasoning, but it also takes rubs and marinades with different flavor profiles.”

Menke says pork has several nutritional benefits.

“Pork is a complete protein, which means it comes packed with all essential amino acids, more so than plant-based proteins,” he says. “When you add pork to your meals, you feel fuller longer, which in turn can help lower post-meal glucose and insulin levels and assist in weight loss.”

There can be even more benefits for older adults, he says.

“It’s been shown to help resist against the natural decline of muscle mass and bone density, as well as providing the body with a source of Vitamin B12, which is a common deficiency in adults over the age of 65,” Menke says.

Menke says the pork tenderloin and sirloin are certified “Heart Healthy” by the American Heart Association.

“Producing safe and healthy pork starts at the farm and continues through the entire production chain,” Menke says. “Genetics, animal nutrition, ethical animal welfare practices, properly trained pig caretakers and transportation professionals, and a strong commitment to food safety at processing are all foundational for giving us the safe and healthy pork supply we enjoy.”

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Ben Herrold is Missouri field editor, writing for Missouri Farmer Today, Iowa Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.