Thrive Market’s New Organic Pork Program Puts Animal Welfare First

Last Update: June 28, 2022

Expanding on our assortment of ethically sourced meat and seafood, we’re excited to announce Thrive Market’s brand new organic pork program. And this isn’t just any pork: ours comes from small family farms that take care of their animals, their workers, and the environment in tandem. 

Read on to learn more about how we source our pork with thought and care, and discover our favorite pork recipes and a guide to our entire selection of organic pork products.

Organic, Free-Range Pork Sourced with Care 

When sourcing our Thrive Market meat and seafood, the welfare of the animals is always our top priority. This is why when we set out to launch our new organic pork program, we decided to partner with Jeremy London, Director of Heritage Foods Pork at True Story Foods, and the multi-generational hog farmers he works with, who value animal welfare just as much as we do. It was a partnership three years in the making, and it’s one that we’re proud of. 

On many large-scale commercial pig farms across the country, female pigs are kept in cages so small they aren’t even able to turn around. They live in these “gestation crates” for the majority of their lives, let out only when it’s time for them to give birth to their young. London makes it his mission to ensure that the pigs raised on the farms he works with never experience that type of treatment. 

Our pork comes from pigs raised on a farm located in scenic foothills of the Ozark Mountains, where the animals have continuous access to the outdoors. Over the years, our farm partner has developed a strong coalition of family-owned farms that work together, which enables them to avoid influence from large-scale agribusiness and raise their animals in a way they believe is right: by prioritizing their health and wellbeing more than profit. 

Understanding Animal Welfare 

The Global Animal Partnership is an organization that labels foods according to animal welfare standards. Third-party farm audits help the organization to validate these claims, in an attempt to influence the food and agriculture industry to improve the way it treats animals. Our pork farms are G.A.P. Level 2 certified, which means that the animals are raised without added hormones, animal byproducts, or antibiotics, and that they’re provided with more space and enriching activities during their life on the farm.  

On these farms, pigs are provided with enrichment and socialization, which is a world away from how things look on many large-scale commercial farms. “It can be as simple as a hay bale for the animal to root around in, to give them something to do,” London says. “That’s a very big deal, to add that into their life. If you were in an empty room versus a room with something to do, that makes a huge difference.” London explains that while many commercial farms don’t provide this enrichment because it costs a bit more and requires a more management of the program, he and the farmers he works with believe that this type of enrichment produces a better quality of life for the animals, so it’s well worth it. 

The pigs are also fed a vegetarian diet (consisting of mostly grasses and grains), which is easy for them to digest and helps them to grow as they’re meant to. While some farms choose to treat their animals with hormones to promote unnatural growth in order to meet the demands of the commercial meat industry, the farms we work with never treat their animals with hormones of any kind. 

Our pork farm partners also prioritize the health of the planet as they care for their animals. This well-rounded, sustainable approach to farming is the way the farmers have done things for generations: by raising their animals using practices that work with the seasons and the landscape rather than efficiency-oriented practices that deplete the land. They raise hardy pig breeds that can withstand harsher climates, and this also allowed them to raise their pigs without relying on antibiotics to keep them healthy. 

When asked what sets Thrive Market’s organic pork program apart from others, these are the issues London feels most passionately about — and what he believes will help to change the entire industry for the better. “Getting away from crates, getting away from antibiotics, those are two big industry-wide issues,” London explains.  “Our goal is to add value to the pork, improve the lives of producers, and get a better quality product,” London says.

Shop Thrive Market’s New Organic Pork Products 

In the mood for sauce-smothered, barbecued ribs? What about juicy, tender pulled pork scooped straight from the slow cooker to a sandwich? Our new pork selections are made for just that — and much more. 

Our Favorite Pork Recipes 

Paleo Pork Potstickers Recipe 
These potstickers are paleo thanks to dough made of a blend of tapioca and almond flours, and they’re stuffed with ground pork, veggies, and spices for a flavorful (and filling) main dish. 

Keto Pork Chop Recipe With Creamy Mushroom Sauce
A keto take on a classic pork chop recipe, this simple yet memorable meal is perfect for date night, family dinner, or a gathering with friends. 

Keto & Whole30 Carnitas Recipe 
Carnitas are typically made with tortillas, but to make this recipe keto and Whole30-friendly, it calls for lettuce wraps — and our new organic pork butt, of course. 

Seared Pork Chop Recipe with Sage Butter
Elegant and herbaceous, this simple recipe brings out the flavor of pork’s light, white meat in under 30 minutes. 

BBQ Mustard Pulled Pork Recipe 
Summer’s calling, and that means it’s time to break out all your picnic classics — like this mustard-based pulled pork recipe, which is perfect for topping sandwiches or serving alone with your favorite BBQ sides.

This article is related to:

Farming, Sustainable Agriculture

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Amy Roberts

Amy Roberts is Thrive Market's Senior Editorial Writer. She is based in Los Angeles via Pittsburgh, PA.

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