Big Island native Brandon Lee is raising organic Berkshire pigs sustainably, and his goal is to create the optimal pig for Hawaiian cooking. In this episode of Cooking in America, host Sheldon Simeon stopped by Lee’s farm to find out what makes him so sure these are “the best pigs in the world.”
To create a healthy environment, Lee uses an open pasture system and rotational grazing. After the pigs graze in a field, chickens run through and eat all the fleas and maggots that have developed in the dirt, creating a clean pasture: There’s no stench, and the pigs are free of pests. Goats are the next animals up in the rotation; they come through to eat the weeds.
Lee grows multiple grasses, clover, and perennial peanuts. This variety keeps the pigs nourished and excited to eat. The pigs spend so much time roaming from pasture to pasture that it changes their body composition. Instead of a having a huge gut, their fat is more incorporated into their muscles. That means their meat is rich and marbled, and the flavor is clean. According to Lee, “these pigs are for people who want to taste what Hawaii is like.” Watch to learn more.