Regenerative pork production

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Regenerative pork production is the rearing of swine according to principles of regenerative agriculture, typically by using a combination of old-fashioned, traditional methods and more recent innovations to produce both the highest quality pork and the highest possible welfare for the animals while maximizing the economic viability of the business. This is in stark contrast to the industrial methods of swine rearing which rely on cheap, subsidized grain, agro-industrial methods and economies of scale to raise pigs quickly.


As omnivores, pigs have a very different diet than herbivores such as cattle - while typically fed subsidized grains in the American agro-industrial pork system pigs are capable of thriving on a variety of foods. They are ideal recyclers of waste food streams and they can utilize many different types of annual and perennial forage. They cannot, however, thrive on a grass-only diet like herbivores can. To rank the various feed sources that can be profitably fed to swine, holistic evaluation of costs, nutritional needs, and sustainability just be considered. A general list of feed sources; from the most sustainable and preferred to the least preferred feeds for regenerative pork production follows:

  1. waste food inedible to humans
    1. organic wastes
    2. non-gmo/non-spray wastes
      • agricultural wastes
      • production wastes
      • pre-consumer waste
      • post-consumer waste
  2. Perennial forages
  3. Annual forages
  4. Organic/non-gmo/non-spray grains

Real-world examples