Sales from The Whole Hog also benefit Feed Ontario
By Diego Flammini
A new cookbook highlights delicious recipes and stories from Ontario’s pork farming community.
The Whole Hog, available through Ontario Pork, features 200 pages of recipes and stories from farmers, chefs, truckers, processors and others in the industry.
The Wiedricks, who raise hogs and cash crops in Norfolk County, are among the contributors to the book.
The family submitted a ham and potato casserole with corn, parsley, garlic and bacon.
The Wiedrick family's ham and potato casserole.
The recipe is one Kyla Wiedrick found online and is a staple in her family of eight’s meal rotation.
“It’s a great way to use leftovers and is so easy to put together, so kids can help prepare it too,” she told Farms.com. “Whenever we’re handing out meals that’s our go-to and it always comes back with good reports.”
In addition to providing a meal option to readers, the cookbook acts as an educational resource for people browsing it.
It’s easy to find stories that cast a negative light on agriculture, so farmers have to be the ones who highlight what actually happens on farms, Wiedrick said.
“We want people to know about humane farming because there’s so many misconceptions out there,” she said. “We want people to understand that we care for the animals and we want the best for them, and for everyone involved.”
The cookbook benefits the greater community as well.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of The Whole Hog will be donated to Feed Ontario, which helps food banks become more effective.
“Farmers feed people and this is another way for us to do that,” Wiedrick said. “Any way we can contribute to helping people have access to a meal is amazing.”
Teresa Van Raay agrees.
The answer is always yes when it comes to helping feed others, she says.
“We’re aware of our social responsibility and are always ready to help where we can. We’ve worked with Feed Ontario on other projects, and this seemed like a natural fit,” she said. “Not only are we helping to support families, but anyone who buys the book will be doing so as well.”
Van Raay, who raises hogs, cash crops and garlic in Norfolk County, submitted a recipe for pulled pork nachos with chili powder and jalapenos.
Teresa Van Raay's pulled pork nachos.
“It has a little bit of heat to it and it’s packed with protein,” she told Farms.com. “It’s a recipe we’ve had for a while and we love it.”
Part of the reason the family enjoys it so much, Van Raay says, is because the dish cooks in a slow cooker.
Being able to prepare a dish and leave it for a while is a great advantage, especially on the farm, she said.
“It’s so easy when you can put the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it do its job,” she said. “That certainly comes in handy on the farm when you could be out in the field in a barn.”
Van Raay is happy to contribute to a project that also helps educate.
Everyone eats, and everyone should have an understanding of how their food got to their plate, she said.
“This book is so attractive and is a great resource for people to learn about food,” she said. “I’m very passionate about ag education and try to be a myth buster for some of the wrong information that’s out there. If we can get this cookbook into the hands of someone who isn’t familiar with agriculture, it’s a win-win for everyone.”