By Darcy Maulsby
Charlotte Rommereim, a registered dietitian and wife of National Pork Board vice president Steve Rommereim, Alcester, South Dakota, attended FoodFluence 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal, earlier this year. Sponsored in part by the Pork Checkoff, FoodFluence is an invitation-only food and nutrition thought-leadership conference for registered dietitians. Rommereim spoke on behalf of the board and America’s pig farmers about the animal agriculture story to address dietitians’ concerns regarding sustainability, animal welfare and responsible antibiotic use.
What do you want people to know about how your family and other farmers produce safe food?
I share people’s concern for safe, affordable food when I shop for our family and when I counsel patients about choosing foods for healthy diets. Center for Food Integrity research shows that out of 18 life issues presented, study participants ranked “keeping healthy food affordable” and “food safety” in the top five.
I’m confident in the safety of our pork because pig farmers have good on-farm production practices in place to ensure safe food. With the education provided by PQA Plus® and the regulations in place to ensure safety, pig farmers provide food that’s safe and nutritious for the consumer.
To me, safe food also is connected to the health of the environment. As a member of a farm family that has been raising pigs for five generations, I know we have been doing our part to raise high-quality protein using natural resources in the most sustainable manner. And the nation’s other pig farmers have the same commitment.
How can safe, nutritious pork be a part of a healthy diet?
I support including a variety of foods in a healthy diet, including lean, red meats and plant protein sources. Red meat, such as pork, has a nutrient density that’s important to consider when choosing protein sources. This is relevant for people at any life stage, but it’s even more important as we age.
While we require fewer calories as we get older, we still need to maintain muscle mass. Research shows muscle is gained/maintained best by including sufficient nutrient-dense protein, such as pork, in every meal.
A 3-ounce serving of pork tenderloin, for example, provides about the same amount of protein as 1½ cups of black beans, plus it has 21 percent fewer calories. Beyond protein, pork provides key nutrients like thiamin, selenium, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, riboflavin, zinc and potassium.
What role does the We CareSM initiative play in your family’s farm?
The We Care ethical principles put into words what pig farmers in my family have been doing for generations. We take our responsibility to produce safe food seriously. By sharing how pig farmers follow the We Care principles every day, consumers can be confident that we’re doing our best for people, pigs and the planet.
|Top 5||Out of 18 life issues, people rank “keeping healthy food affordable” and “food safety” in the top five. – Center for Food Integrity|
Producers affirm their obligation to produce safe food.
- Use management practices consistent with producing safe food.
- Manage the health of the herd to produce safe food.
- Manage technology to produce safe food.