I recently had the opportunity to visit the wonderful organic pig farm Enjouanisson and thought it might be time to remind people of the health benefits of good quality organic pork meat. Although stories regularly appear in the media linking high meat consumption with ill health these links mainly arise from the consumption of cured and processed meats. Lean organic pork itself can be a nutritious contributor to our diet.

Pork contains valuable quantities of vitamins B1 and B6 and[more] the minerals zinc and selenium. The B vitamins are used in energy creation and nerve regulation, zinc is used for cell renewal and turnover and selenium is an anti-oxidant particularly important for the thyroid gland.

It could also be of special interest for women on oral contraceptives. Various studies have found that these are associated with lower serum levels of B6, selenium and zinc.

The farm also had a small market garden which had produced a seasonal glut of Jerusalem Artichokes. This root vegetable is often recommended as a prebiotic due to it’s high fructo-oligosaccharide content (a form of starch). Eaten in conjunction with pork it will provide the fibre the meat lacks and can be used in the following recipe, a great accompaniment to pork.

Take a large roasting tray and chop up scrubbed clean artichokes, add a couple of chopped onions and some garlic. Cover with olive oil, some salt, thyme, chicken or vegetable stock and some saffron. Roast in the oven at 180˚C for about an hour until soft.

By Saffron Rogerson

12 November 2013