Montana farmer Kevin Johannesen, who prides himself on his ethically-sourced meat, has found that his free-range, pasture-raised pork chops do not do well in direct sunlight.
"We thought that the direct light would be good for boosting vitamin D content," said Johannesen, "but the chops seemed to have trouble absorbing it."
Johannesen noted, too, that after several days of intense Montana sunshine, the pasture-raised pork chops developed a funny smell, as well as a a thick coating of mold.
"We tried scraping it off, but when the problem didn't improve, we scrapped it," said Johannesen, emphasizing his farm's commitment to quality, free-range meat. "We also thought a little exercise might help, but even though the chops are given full access to acres and acres of land, they don't tend to take advantage of it."
As it is, Johannesen has largely shifted his free-range meat production to an indoor warehouse which prevents the meatstock from being over-exposed to the sun, but which has a door at one end easily wide enough for any pork chop to pass through, should it desire some fresh air or to root in the soil, as many pork chops enjoy earlier in their life cycle.
"Farming is always a balancing act," he said. "But, at the end of the day, we're committed to doing what's best for the well-being of our pork."