Don Schrider, communications director for the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy in Pittsboro, points to all kinds of benefits, from hardiness to increased Omega-3 fatty acids in the fat of animals raised on pasture.
Then there's the taste factor. Everybody agrees that old breeds, raised in the right setting, have it all over industrial pigs that produce lean meat known for its consistency.
"These breeds on our list, like Tamworth and Ossabaw, all these breeds are winning acclaim for their flavor," says Schrider. "It's a stark difference between what you can buy in a grocery store. It's not a subtle difference."
South Carolina's Caw Caw Creek Farm lets their Ossabaw pigs live free and forage, rotating them between woods and pasture; they provide their pork to chefs like Daniel Bouled and Thomas Keller. Owner Emile deFelice will send all kinds of delicious pork straight to your kitchen via FedEX or DHL overnight delivery.