Why DHA/EPA Omega-3?
Many consumers are used to getting their Omegas through other grocery store items, such as eggs, milk, cheese and orange juice, but now, they can access a wide assortment of our delicious products and reap the health benefits. DHA Omega- 3 supports the normal physical development of the brain, eyes and nerves – and is also known for its cancer prevention properties.
That being said, not everyone likes the taste of fish. While Willowgrove Hill DHA/EPA Omega-3 pork is enriched nutritionally with human-grade fish oil, it does not contain any “fishy” taste. That means your family is getting these essential fatty acids from a great-tasting product – and no more fights at the dinner table to get them to eat healthier.
What’s the difference between DHA/EPA Omega-3 and ALA Omega-3?
In a nutshell, DHA/EPA Omega-3 is the better alternative. Specifically, Willowgrove Hill pigs are fed Omega-3 derived from human-grade fish oil, versus other products that contain ALA Omega-3 from flaxseed oil. The key difference is that flaxseed oil contains only alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), which is the parent compound from which other Omega-3 fatty acids are derived. This leaves it to the body to do the conversion to the other, more beneficial forms it needs, i.e., eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The issue is that the conversion is not always efficient, and the body often uses the ALA for extra energy, leaving less for conversion to the other types, and resulting in less absorption of the Omega-3 that the body really needs. Fish oil, on the other hand, contains DHA and EPA and delivers nutrients directly to the body without the need for conversion. The human body does not produce these types of Omegas ‒ they must come directly from the diet. DHA supports the normal development of the brain, eyes and nerves. EPA is for the management of cardiovascular disease and promotes heart health.
What was behind your decision to modify your pork?
Like most Canadians, we want only the best for our family. That means health, nutrition, quality and value. After losing our son to liver cancer, we were motivated to make our product as healthy as we could without sacrificing taste. In learning of some of the compelling human health research on DHA/EPA Omega-3s and their possible impact on heart disease and certain types of cancers, we began working on a product to ensure our family and our customers have access to healthier choices. Eating fresh, home raised, locally produced, nutritionally-enriched pork is a great way for families to be health-conscious – and we wanted to be the first to offer this great product in North America.
What was the product launch date?
We began the formulation for our premium, DHA/EPA Omega-3 pork enriched nutritionally in the fall of 2007. Before the product was fully developed, we discussed our concept with a number of contacts, who expressed great interest. By the spring of 2008, we were ready. Initially, we approached a few independent butchers, as well as chefs, to obtain feedback, all of which was extremely positive. We then sought out a distributor, and approached Gordon Food Service, which was very impressed with the products and the concept.
What’s the brand name of products?
All of our products are identified as Willowgrove Hill, which is our family farm.
Have any competitors since entered the market?
We are the first farmers in North America to deliver pork enriched nutritionally with DHA/EPA Omega-3 from human-grade fish oil. Research published in the Journal of American College of Nutrition says that getting DHA/EPA Omega-3 from fish oil, which is our method, is biologically more potent. We also have a patent pending on our product.
How do you get the DHA/EPA Omega-3 and organic Selenium into your pork?
We introduce DHA/EPA Omega-3 and organic Selenium naturally through feed, based on a specially formulated diet.
What exactly is DHA/EPA Omega-3 and organic Selenium?
DHA/EPA Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (which the body cannot produce on its own) have been linked, in various international studies, to supporting the normal physical development of the brain, eyes and nerves. Since lack of these fatty acids leads to deficiency symptoms, and they can only be obtained from the diet, they are essential dietary nutrients.
Selenium, a dietary antioxidant, is considered an essential trace element involved in the formation of a protein that defends against oxidative stress.
Why is it important to have DHA/EPA Omega-3 and organic Selenium in my diet?
DHA/EPA Omega-3 fatty acids are recommended as essential nutrients for the maintenance of general health, normal growth and development. Selenium is an antioxidant considered an essential trace element in the human diet. DHA Omega-3 supports the normal physical development of the brain, eyes and nerves.
What makes Willowgrove Hill pork so delicious? Does it taste different because of the Omegas and Selenium?
Our pork tastes so tender and flavourful because we are committed to top quality. Our pork has marbling which results in a more tender and flavourful end product. Also, adding Selenium to our product increases the shelf life and overall quality of the meat. Adding the Omegas and Selenium do not change the taste whatsoever, try it for yourself and see!
Are different levels of DHA/EPA Omega-3 and organic Selenium recommended for pregnant women? How about children?
Studies show that DHA/EPA Omega-3 fatty acids help in brain development of fetuses. Some research is also indicating that DHA/EPA Omega-3 DHA may ease depression in pregnant women.
For more information on DHA/EPA Omega-3 research on pregnant women, early child development, cardiovascular disease, mental disorders, cancers and other conditions, please visit www.dhaomega3.org.
If you are pregnant, it is important to have a discussion with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements.
Should breastfeeding women have DHA/EPA Omega-3 and orangic Selenium in their diet?
DHA/EPA Omega-3 is found naturally in breast milk, but some women may choose to make efforts to add more in their diet.
If you are breastfeeding, it is important to have a discussion with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements.
Is your product organic?
We use organic Selenium in our pork. There are stringent requirements for farmers to claim organic status. While our DHA/EPA Omega-3 feed is not certified organic, our product is natural, local, home-raised and without the use of antibiotics and growth hormones.
Can’t I get DHA/EPA Omega-3 from healthier foods like fruit and vegetables?
It is possible to get DHA/EPA Omega-3s from some vegetables and beans, but it is not as efficient as getting it from fish or meat sources because the body doesn’t absorb the nutrients as effectively. The Canada Food Guide recommends a balanced diet that is made up of a variety of meat, vegetables, grains and milk products. DHA/EPA Omega-3 Pork is part of that recommended list.
Is there enough DHA/EPA Omega-3 and Selenium in a portion to make a difference?
While no official recommendation exists as to how much DHA/EPA Omega-3 is required for optimum health, DHA Omega-3 has been linked to supporting the normal physical development of the brain, eyes and nerves. Here is a chart that lists the percentages of DHA/EPA Omega-3 and organic Selenium in our products:
* Suggested total Omega-3 intake is 1100-1600 for mg/day for adults. DHA + EPA should be approx. 10% of total daily DHA/EPA Omega-3 intake (i.e., 150 mg/day).
Are there other additives?
No, our pork is raised without the use of antibotics or growth promotants.
Does it lose any of the nutrients when it’s frozen? How about if I BBQ it?
Our testing shows that freezing or BBQ the meat does not alter the amount of DHA/EPA Omega-3 and organic Selenium in the product. It’s important not to keep pork products in the freezer for longer than six months to maintain optimum taste. It is also important to cook Willowgrove Hill DHA/EPA Omega-3 and Selenium-enriched pork to an end temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.* Pork should be slightly pink in the centre.
*The US Department of Agriculture recommends that pork be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
What cuts do you offer?
We offer a full selection of cuts including pork chops, tenderloin, bacon and ribs. To see our menu, please click here.
Which restaurants serve this pork?
Willowgrove Hill DHA/EPA Omega-3 pork is featured at the following restaurants:
Can I also get it at my local supermarket?
Our DHA/EPA Omega-3 pork is avilable at:
How well is your product doing in the marketplace?
Our product has been extremely well received, and several of our retailers are experiencing a growth in sales. For example, Remark Fresh Markets in London, Ontario has seen sales of pork increase by 50%, while commodity pork sales have stayed the same. In addition, Strodes BBQ and Deli in Brantford, Ontario has doubled its pork sales in two months because of the availability of Willowgrove Hill DHA/EPA Omega-3 pork.
I’ve heard pork is lean, is this true?
Yes it is. All fresh pork cuts, except spare ribs, qualify as “lean,” when trimmed of visible fat; that is, they contain less than 10% fat. In fact, a 90-gram serving of pork tenderloin has less cholesterol than a skinless chicken breast.
Are your pigs humanely raised?
We raise our pigs according to provincial standards and guidelines, which are among the highest in the world. We house them in state-of-the art barns that are extremely well-lit with natural lighting and are climate-controlled to meet the exact requirements of our pigs throughout their lifetime. We also incorporate modern air circulation methods to ensure ground heat and coolness are utilized, since air movement is essential for comfort and animal health. Our pigs are fed the best possible feed from two HACCP-approved feed mills and are raised without antibiotics or growth promotants.