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Pork checkoff debuts Swine University at food festival

TAGS: Business
National Pork Board Piri Piri Mojo Pork Loin FDS.jpg
Educating consumers on pig farming and pork’s nutritional value is central focus of festival.

The National Pork Board (NPB) is introducing Swine University at the 2019 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF) this week in Miami, Fla.

The initiative, which includes a virtual tour of a pig farm and an introduction to the next generation of farmers, engages consumers and shares the sustainability story of today’s pig farming. Consumers will also learn about the health and nutritional value of pork, which is the most consumed protein in the world.

“Swine University gives us an opportunity to share what our pig farmers do every day to produce delicious, healthy and safe pork with influencers and consumers,” NPB director of multicultural marketing Jose de Jesus said. “With many of today’s consumers two to three generations removed from farming, it’s important to offer the unique opportunity to go inside a pig barn through the power of technology.”

By providing an interactive experience, consumers will learn how America’s pig farmers are building on generations of continuous environmental improvement. Compared with 55 years ago, research shows that today’s pig farming requires 75.9% less land, 25.1% less water and 7.0% less energy use, with a 7.7% smaller carbon footprint.

Pat Bane, America’s Pig Farmer of the Year, will attend the festival and share what it means to be a pig farmer today during the five-day festival, which runs from Feb. 20 through Feb. 24.

“Taking care of my animals and ensuring their well-being is critical, especially for consumers who have questions about pig farming,” said Bane, who farms in Illinois. “That’s why I am open to bringing people to my farm, showing them around and sharing my story. We want the public to know how we raise pigs and that every day we do what is right to care for our animals, to keep them healthy and to properly manage our farm.”

NPB is participating in five major events at SOBEWFF, and the pork checkoff is also collaborating with high-profile Latin chefs and influencers. This will include Jose Mendin, a five-time James Beard nominee and driving force behind Pubbelly restaurants; Ana Quincoces, a celebrity chef and lifestyle influencer, and Eddie Zamora, a social influencer and creator of the popular travel and food blog "The Yum Yum Foodie."

Mendin, the chef and owner behind one of Miami’s new restaurants, La Placita, will create a pork burger at the Heineken Light Burger Bash presented by Schweid & Sons. He also will roast a pig at Goya Foods’ Swine & Wine.

Quincoces will host a health-inspired cooking demo with children at the Goya Foods Fun & Fit as a Family event. She will share the nutritional benefits of including pork as part of family meals. A pork checkoff study released in January showed that 9% of all dinners at home in America are inspired by a celebratory occasion that emphasizes family, flavor and fun. Children typically request this meal occasion.

Quincoces, Bane and Zamora will serve as judges at Swine & Wine. Bane and Mendin also will serve as judges at a Coca-Cola Beachside BBQ hosted by Guy Fieri.

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