The buying local idea always seems great: keeping money in the economy in which you reside and giving back to the community you live in. Often, the How is the hard part, especially when it comes to buying from local farms. Living in a desert presents its own challenges to finding local food and farmers, but when you do find the farmer; the process can seem intimidating, the locations remote, and the product is often different from the store.
I wanted to take a moment and address some common concerns that may come up when you are looking at buying a pig, for fresh pork, from Las Vegas Livestock
The amount of meat:
A whole pig? I am used to buying a couple of cuts at the store. Where and how will I use it all? Storage can definitely be an issue; a full size market hog at 250 lbs live will yield 150 lbs of usable meat cuts (see figure 1.) These cuts then come rolled and packaged like the cuts you are used to in 1-5 lb packages. The meat cuts from an entire hog typically fit in 2-3 boxes. Each box is 2’ tall, 1.5′ deep, 2.5’ long box, to give you an idea of volume.
This can fit in a whole freezer if it was empty, but it is likely yours is not. This doesn’t mean you need the expense of buying a new freezer. An option is to split with people you know. We sell hogs as single units, but you can split the meat amongst friends and family, cuts can be customizable, and most cuts can be split up to 4 ways. This can help free up freezer space as well as lessen individual cost.
The cost of a whole pig can seem intimidating. The total cost of our pork calculates to $3.30/lb. Some cuts you see in the store may be less expensive than this, but most will be more. Buying in bulk allows you to distribute the cost of the more expensive cuts. Additionally, you are guaranteed a more fresh (and tastier) product than is available in stores.
The price for around 280 lb hog ( this is market weight, and will yield 170 lbs of retail cuts and ground meat) is $300 – including delivery to John Mulls in Las Vegas by LVL. Customized processing at John Mulls is a flat $220; this includes bacon, ham, spiced sausage etc. Here is their website: https://johnmullsmeatcompany.com/ if you want more info.
Cuts I don’t want/am unfamiliar with:
Our butcher allows cuts to be customizable, if there is a cut you know you don’t prefer it can be ground or potentially prepared another way. However, it’s a great time to learn how to use less common cuts. Check out (https://www.pork.org/cooking/cuts/) for some great recipes for all pork cuts! Some underrated cuts l think are the loin, which is as lean as a chicken breast, but much more flavorful, and the shoulder can make excellent pulled pork. New cuts can inspire and excite a creative palate.
The farm is far away:
We make pickup easy in town from John Mull’s meats in North Las Vegas, another great locally owned business. (https://johnmullsmeatcompany.com/) If you prefer, you can use your own butcher; in that case our farm is only 30 mins north of the heart of Las Vegas.
Is it really more Sustainable:
We feed food scraps from commercial businesses such as casinos and manufacturers that would otherwise end up in the landfill, increasing green-house gas emissions. Our farming practices allow us to reduce our carbon footprint of livestock farming as well as the carbon footprint of Las Vegas! For more information on how diverting food waste to livestock helps our environment please see the resources below in Figure 3, and check out their website (https://www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food/reduce-wasted-food-feeding-animals#success). Additionally buying local eliminates fossil fuels associated when transporting goods.
Is it more Humane:
Our pigs are raised outdoors in pens giving them 30 square feet per pig (compared to a industry standard of 12 sq. feet per pig) with large shades, a lot of fresh air and deep bedding to root naturally in. They are raised in group houses and handled minimally and cared for daily. Also, buying local eliminates the need for loading livestock on to trucks, minimizing their handling and stress. Check out our Instagram for more details of the pigs life on the farm!
Supporting family business/knowing your farmer:
Our family has farmed in Vegas for over 50 years . We love providing to the community that has supported us for so long. We appreciate you choosing our business to provide you with fresh pork and hope to have another 50 years continuing to do so.