Minnesota Pork Board: Learn about pork’s delicious and nutritious attributes at the Essentia Health Fitness & Health Expo

The Minnesota Pork Board (MPB) is off and running in preparation for this year’s Grandma’s Marathon. This is the MPB’s third year as a Grandma’s Marathon sponsor and the MPB staff and volunteers are counting down the days to one of our favorite events.

The MPB delivers consumer education on behalf of Minnesota’s 4,200 pig farmers who proudly raise high quality and wholesome pork for grocery store meat cases. This event is a highlight for MPB staff and booth volunteer because of the terrific people who attend the Essentia Health Fitness & Health Expo. The runners, their family members and health conscious consumers make the expo enjoyable by asking lots of questions about pork and sharing their own pork-related stories.

At the Essentia Health Fitness & Health Expo, MPB booth staff will be handing out complimentary meat thermometers and pork recipes, plus serving freshly grilled pork samples. Savvy pork lovers know the key to a great eating experience with pork is to not overcook it, especially the lean pork cuts. For best results when cooking pork, use an instant-read meat thermometer and cook pork to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, and then let it rest about 3 minutes for slicing or serving.

The booth staff will also have nutritional information on pork. Did you know that several fresh pork cuts are among the leanest meats listed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture? For example, the pork tenderloin is as lean as a skinless chicken breast and other cuts of fresh pork, such as pork chops and pork roast, are leaner than a skinless chicken thigh. Pork also contains important vitamins necessary to our health and is classified as a nutrient-dense food because of its thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, phosphorus, protein, zinc and potassium content.

To further showcase pork's dietary muscle, Minnesota pork families are race participants and volunteers at the MPB’s expo booth. To follow along on the runners progress leading up to marathon day, visit the Pork Power blog to learn how Faribault County pigs farmers, Dale and Lori Stevermer and their children, juggle work, school, community involvement and farm schedules with training. Dale is especially active as he trains for the Boston Marathon and gets the farm equipment and fields ready for spring planting.

There will be other southern Minnesota pig farmers taking part in Grandma’s Marathon races too: John FitzSimmons from Mapleton, David and Suzanne Olsen of Blue Earth and the Teresa and Joe Stevermer family from Easton.

The MPB encourages you to visit the Pork Power blog at www.mnpork.com and post your own race training experiences, a pork-related question or share your favorite pork recipe.