Flax & Swine: Bringing Home the Omega-3 Bacon

There’s no denying the flax market tanked following the discovery of CDC Triffid in exports to Europe in 2009. The Flax Council of Canada set out a testing protocol for Triffid, but many farmers balked at the idea of sowing flax seed again. It’s been four years now —will we see a gradual shift back towards flax again?

It’s possible.  John Dreidger of FarmLink Marketing Solutions believes flax could be a good addition to many crop rotations.

“The other positive story for flax,” says Dreidger in Can Flax Make a Comeback in 2013?, “is the human consumption market… and, that’s something that’s expected to grow.”

So, what does the supply and demand of flax and health-driven purchase decisions have to do with bacon?  Well, research has shown that we can increase the abundance of omega-3s in eggs by feeding flax seed to chickens. Could it be much different with pork?

In this video, I talk to Mike Dugan, meat lipid scientist at the Lacombe Research Centre, who was involved in a multi-centre study to determine how to enrich the omega-3 fatty acid levels in pork. The results? An enrichment bountiful enough to warrant a “source claim” for omega-3s, and the potential to lure a diverse consumer demographic.

If you cannot see the embedded video, click here.


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