Pork is nutritious, flavorful and fun to cook

Farm Forum

The leaves are changing colors and harvest is in full swing. The month of October is not only great for beautiful colors, tailgates and trick-or-treating, it is a great opportunity for South Dakota pig farmers to showcase their AMAZING product during National Pork Month.

Many consumers are looking for a healthy protein source that offers lots of flavor and a variety of cooking methods. You’ll find some great options with pork – whether you’re making a family dinner, grilling in the backyard or planning the perfect holiday meal.

Consumers are also in search of more knowledge about the different cuts of pork and with the recent makeover at the meat case the NEW pork cut names make it easier for consumers to pick out that perfect cut of pork. In order to ease confusion over the various names of pork cuts, the National Pork Board and The Beef Checkoff program joined forces to make the meat case more familiar for shoppers. Several pork chop names are now aligned with beef steaks, so consumers can easily identify their favorite cut. Consumers will now find the ribeye pork chop bone-in or boneless, instead of the rib chop, as well as the porterhouse pork chop and new york pork chop.

Consumers also have several questions on meat preparation. Too often you hear from a consumer that they feel pork is dry and tough, which is a result of being over cooked. But there is good news! You can have a delicious, juicy, great-tasting pork experience if you follow the current USDA guidelines which recommend cooking fresh pork to 145 degrees Fahrenheit with a three minute rest period.

Cooking to medium doneness for pork chops, tenderloins and roasts means just a blush of pink in the center. Cooking low and slow for ribs, loins and pork shoulder for classic fall-of-the-bone ribs and perfect pulled pork is a must!

Pork is so versatile it works with many flavors! No matter what time of the year it is, it is easy to adapt sauces, rubs and marinades to create a dynamic meal that will turn Blah into Ahh!

Over the last thirty years, pork has become leaner and contains less saturated fat. Cuts of pork that come from the loin such as chops and roasts are the leanest cuts of pork; pork tenderloin, the leanest cut of pork, ounce for ounce, it is just as lean as a skinless chicken breast. The pork tenderloin has received the American Heart Association’s Heart Healthy Checkmark, which means it can be marked and promoted as a heart-healthy product.

Pork packs nutrients in every lean serving and is a “excellent” source of protein and a “good” source of thiamin, vitamin B6, phosphorus and niacin, potassium, riboflavin and zinc.

For more healthy pork recipes and information contact Stacey Sorlien, program and communications director for the South Dakota Pork Producers Council at (605)332-1600, or visit

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Asian Dry Rub

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

• For roasts, chops and tenderloins

• Cook to 145 F with 3-minute rest


2 pork tenderloin, (1 pound each), trimmed

1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Cooking Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a medium baking pan with foil. Stir together brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt, black pepper, cloves, and cayenne pepper in small bowl. Rub pork with brown sugar mixture. Place pork in prepared pan and roast for 15-18 minutes or until the pork’s internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil, and let stand for 3 minutes. Cut into slices. Reserve 1 pork tenderloin to use for making Baked Pork Egg Rolls, if desired. Makes 4 servings, plus leftovers.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the sliced pork tenderloin with brown rice tossed with thinly sliced scallions and fresh chopped cilantro. Steamed bok choy or broccoli drizzled with a tiny bit of Asian sesame oil make quick and easy side dish options.Reserve 1 pork tenderloin to use for making Baked Pork Egg Rolls, if desired.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 140 calories

Protein: 24 grams

Fat: 2.5 grams

Sodium: 210 milligrams

Cholesterol: 75 milligrams

Saturated Fat: 1 grams

Carbohydrates: 4 grams

Fiber: 0 grams

Random Safety Tip: If using a microwave to thaw your pork, cook immediately after thawing.