Iowa Pork Tour #IATourdepork

This is NOT a sponsored post! Iowa Pork Producers Association treated me to a “Pork Tour” in Des Moines this past week. However, It was not in exchange for a blog post. All of these opinions are my own. I am writing this because I want to!

This an interesting time to be a food blogger. A wonderful time, but an interesting time.

I do believe that we are in the middle of transforming the way that we eat. Consumers are demanding to know what is in their food! AND they want healthier choices! And trust me, since I work with food brands, I notice new, healthier options coming out all the time. I do think that most food companies who are listening!

I think one reason why the “Iowa Pork Producers” Invited a group of “Iowa Bloggers” to go on a “Pork tour”, is because, the best way to close the gap on confusion in their industry, is to EDUCATE people on their practices. I came back from this tour better educated about where my food comes from, which is really cool.

I also ate a lot of bacon on this tour. And Ham Balls. Yum. AND I held a newborn Pig!

Let me tell you about #IAtourdepork

Holding a newborn pig at Brenneman Pork, located in Washington, Iowa
Holding a newborn pig at Brenneman Pork, located in Washington, Iowa

Several “Iowa bloggers” traveled to Des Moines last week to learn more about modern pig farming, plus, different fun ways to prepare pork. Ever since my partnership with Iowa Pork last year, I have started cooking my pork to 145 degrees per the new USDA guidelines. I can honestly say that I have really started enjoying the taste of pork much more!

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We took a tour of Brenneman Pork, the largest family pig farm in Iowa. Erin Brenneman gave us an awesome tour of their farm! It was so informative! It is so neat to see how food is actually produced!

We also ate dinner in downtown Des Moines and had a 5 course wine and pork pairing prepared by Chef Dominic Ianarelli of Splash/Jethro’s Restaurants. I ate pork in ways I never thought I would. Seriously, the Pork pâté he prepared was out of this world. A nice pork version of my favorite chicken liver pâté I get when I am home in Chicago.

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The second day, all of us ” Iowa Food Bloggers” let loose a little and made a “Pork Inspired” meal at chef Terrie Kohl’s house in Clive. She is a well-known Des Moines Chef who teaches cooking classes from her home. We also got a visit from Susan, who is a food stylist at Main Dish Media. She gave us some awesome tips on food styling!

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I had such a great time during this tour. I learned so much about modern pork farming, and had an awesome time getting to know the girls who work at Iowa Pork and the other food bloggers.

Which brings me to the next part of this post.

Iowa Pork Recipes

Being an ” Iowa Import” during this pork tour was interesting. I was the newcomer in this group. Many of these other “Iowa bloggers” grew up in the pork industry, and know how to cook really good pork. I rounded up some recipes from them to share with you!

Blackened Rosemary Pork Roast from Alicia at Fit and Farm

Pigged Out Patty Melt from Cristen at Food and Swine

Pork Tenderloin with a Mustard Seed Crust from In the Kitchen with Jenny

Italian Pork Kabobs with Summer Veggies from Kelli at The Sustainable Couple

Ham Balls from Val at Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids

Pork Tenderloin with Orange Gremolata from Jenni at the Gingered Whisk

Dry Rubbed Rubs by Midwest at its best

Pork Tacos Al Pastor by Monica from Rockin the Kitchen

All Purpose Pork Rub from Val at Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids

Pork Roast with a Pepper Jelly Glaze from this blog

Stay tuned! I am sharing with you a new pork recipe on Tuesday! I will also be giving away some Pork Coupons!