What’s your favorite go-to supper? Pork chops? Pulled pork? Pork kabobs. Pork is one of the most popular animal proteins on the planet, and with new breeding methods, pork is leaner than ever. It’s versatile, affordable, and you’ll find it in pretty much every world cuisine. My guest this week is dietitian and fifth generation farmer, Charlotte Rommereim, RDN, and she joins me for all things pork, including how to shop for the leanest cuts, how to cook it just right, and healthy recipes your family will love.
Charlotte lives in South Dakota where her family raises pigs, corn, and soybeans. The land they farm has been in their family since 1874, and Charlotte’s children are preparing to continue the farm tradition. Charlotte is a clinical dietitian for rural hospitals and healthcare facilities, and she truly lives the “farm to fork” lifestyle. Charlotte shares her perspective on how pigs are raised and bred, food safety, her favorite ways to use pork, and some surprising information on cooking temperatures. Her husband, Steve, is the president of the National Pork Board, and they have two daughters and an adorable grandson.
“Pork is an affordable, healthy, and lean protein that is available for any budget.” – Charlotte Rommereim, RDN
- How Charlotte combined her love of cooking and medicine into the field of dietetics.
- The Rommereim farm raises 2,500 pigs.
- The pigs are tended to daily in a temperature-controlled barn.
- How the nutritional profile of pork has changed: The 8 “lean” cuts available today have 16% less fat and 27% less saturated fat than 25 years ago.
- Pork remains an affordable protein option, with market prices remaining unchanged since 1990.
- The eight pork cuts that are classified as lean include: tenderloin, sirloin chop, sirloin roast, NY chop, ground pork (96% lean), NY roast, porterhouse chop, and ribeye chop. (Hint: look for the word “loin” for the leanest cuts.)
- Liz’s creation for Italian Summer Vegetable and Pork Kabobs: marinated pork with zucchini and bell peppers.
- Charlotte’s family favorites: pork loin sliced for sandwiches and chops or tenderloin with a simple marinade or spice rub.
- Grilling tips for pork:
- Use a timer
- Control flare-ups
- Sear on both sides and then move to indirect heat
- Use a thermometer and aim for 145 degrees F for medium rare.
- Charlotte’s advice on using fattier cuts like bacon and sausage:
- Use bacon as a seasoning or flavoring
- Use lean ground pork and your own seasonings to control fat and sodium
- Liz’s Pulled Pork: pork loin in the slow cooker with shredded carrot, diced onion, diced bell pepper, and all-natural BBQ sauce.
- Charlotte’s Perfect Pulled Pork: boneless blade pork roast in the slow cooker.
- Discover a world of pork recipes on Yummly.com.
- The two pork organizations Charlotte talked about: National Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board, which uses the money they receive from pork production for promotion, research, and education.
- Sustainability is a priority: Today’s farmers use 78% less land, 41% less water, and leave a 35% lower carbon footprint.
- How Charlotte’s farm illustrates “the cycle of life in action,” with manure for crops, crops to feed the pigs, and the pigs providing manure.
[Tweet “TUNE IN to the Liz’s Healthy Table #PODCAST All About Pork with dietitian and 5th generation farmer, Charlotte Rommereim w/ @nationalpork. We dish about how her pigs are raised, how to choose the leanest cuts, cooking temperature recommendations, and recipes like pork kabobs.]
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