Temple Grandin has done research showing that lower stress for meat animals means higher quality meat. When I was watching America’s Test Kitchen today, Jack Bishop mentioned that the main differences in heritage pork vs. supermarket pork is the higher pH of the meat, which is due to lower stress on well-raised animals. Supermarket pork pigs have higher stress, and more acidic meat, which also tends to be lighter in color, and less tasty. Bishop stated that the main obvious difference between containment pigs and the heritage breeds was the color of the meat, and that darker meat was tastier, and the color difference was due to higher pH, which means lower acidity.
I’m going to use this knowledge and make the educated guess that this pig had a low stress life. Today I mixed up the pancetta cure, and spread it over this piece of belly, after I cut it in thirds.