Our conservation and breed preservation work would not be possible if not through the loving support and publicity from our friends. To learn more about the Friends of Maveric, check out the links below.
If you would like to be listed as a friend on Maveric’s web page, please contact us for further information.
Good: Naturally delicious food created with care from healthy plants and animals.
Clean: Grown and harvested with methods that have a positive impact on ecosystems and biodiversity.
Fair: Produced by people who are treated with dignity and justly compensated for their labor.
Slow Food has helped promote the preservation of rare and endangered livestock breeds by putting them on the table.
Slow Food makes its support of biodiversity real by promoting artisanal producers of quality products. Created in 1996, the Ark of Taste is a growing catalogue of foods that have been forgotten or marginalized and are at risk of disappearing completely. The Ark identifies over 500 animal breeds, fruit and vegetable varieties, prepared foods and specific dishes and offers a resource for those interested in sourcing and promoting quality foods.
The Ark of Taste aims to rediscover, catalog, describe and publicize forgotten flavors. It is a metaphorical recipient of excellent gastronomic products that are threatened by industrial standardization, hygiene laws, the regulations of large-scale distribution and environmental damage.
Ark products range from the Italian Valchiavenna goat to the American Navajo-Churro sheep, from the last indigenous Irish cattle breed, the Kerry, to a unique variety of Greek fava beans grown only on the island of Santorini. All are endangered products that have real economic viability and commercial potential.
The Slow Food USA Ark has been immeasurably supportive of the endangered hog breeds raised at Maveric. The mulefoot and guinea hog have both enjoyed Ark recognition for taste, quality and conservation needs.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy’s programs include research on breed population size, distribution and genetic health; research on breed characteristics; gene banks to preserve genetic material from endangered breeds; rescues of threatened populations; education about genetic diversity and the role of livestock in sustainable agriculture; and technical support to a network of breeders, breed associations, and farmers.
The need for livestock conservation is urgent. Throughout agricultural history, each generation has taken its turn as steward of the genetic trust. Our generation is now in danger of bankrupting this trust and leaving little for the future. Each day, some breeds move closer to extinction. Each extinction reduces the diversity within the livestock species and the biodiversity of the Earth.
Have you ever eaten a meal rich with juices, flavors, and fragrances that have taken centuries to develop? A tender pear once planted in Thomas Jefferson’s orchards, an oily fish that built trade routes in the Northwest, a hot pepper that tells the story of Minorcan immigration to Florida-these are the stories of North American traditions that lie hidden within our foods. Yet many of these foods have been rapidly disappearing from our tables. In the United States alone, 63% of native American crop varieties have disappeared from cultivation since European arrival on this continent.
With these losses has come a decline in traditional ecological and culinary knowledge, and declines in the food rituals which link communities to place and cultural heritage. If these culinary delights persist only in our history books we will have lost an important cultural legacy and future generations will be deprived of the exquisite flavors found in these heritage foods.
There is and urgent need to maintain the incredible diversity of America’s edible plants, animals, and their food traditions because of the important ecological, gastronomical, cultural, and health benefits of biodiversity.
Ecological Benefits: plant and animal diversity sustains healthy ecological relationships; sustainable agricultural practices which support plant and animal diversity encourage resistance to pest and diseases also ensuring food security.
Gastronomic Benefits: inherent in a diversity of foods is a variety of aromas, textures, and flavors.
Cultural Benefits: preservation of traditional knowledge and sustainable production.
Health & Nutrition Benefits: resistance to disease including diabetes and heart disease.
The mission of SVF Foundation is to preserve germplasm (embryos, semen and genetic material) of rare and endangered breeds of livestock.
Rare breeds of livestock carry valuable and irreplaceable traits such as innate disease resistance, heat tolerance, parasite resistance and mothering ability qualities which may be needed at some time in the future. It is conceivable that a current popular breed may become jeopardized due to a shift in the factors that let to its predominant role, such as industry demand or infectious disease.
SVF Foundation, led by a Board of Trustees, is in collaboration with Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University to help protect the world’s food supply by preserving rare and endangered breeds of livestock. The efforts of SVF Foundation are to elevate the rare breeds conservation movement to a new level — the storing of germplasm in the frozen state for future use.
The Folks in New Orleans know great pork! Thanks for the awesome “Pig Out” at Savvy Gourmet, where we featured guinea and mulefoot hog dishes, prepared by our friends and chefs Frank Brigtsen, Steven Stryjewski, Donald Link, Corbin Evans, Gerard Maras, Darrin Nesbit, John Besh, Alison Rushing & Susan Spicer.
Poppy Tooker is the Patron Saint of Endangered Pigs, and we honored by her ongoing support of our work in saving these rare breeds by putting them back on the table.
“Eat it to Save it” ~ Poppy Tooker
Visit the Sedgwick County Zoo and see American Guinea Hogs and other rare breeds. The SCZ has the largest collection of Heritage and endangered livestock breeds in the US!
Many of the breeds of livestock in the Children’s Farms are listed as rare by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC), an organization dedicated to the preservation of rare or heritage breeds of livestock. How can a cow be considered rare? After all you can see cows any day as you drive up and down the road, right? Actually, many of the breeds on exhibit in the Children’s Farms are more rare than some of the exotic animals we have in our care throughout the rest of the Zoo. These heritage breeds were once the basis for animal agriculture worldwide, but the shift in twentieth century agriculture from small, sustainable family farms to the high-number, high-production units we are familiar with today has removed many valuable breeds from service. Many have already become extinct. The surviving breeds represent a genetic treasure chest of resources for agriculture. It is important to save these rare breeds because if they disappear, it is no different than when a wild animal becomes extinct.
The Memphis Zoo features our wonderful Guinea Hogs. The keepers at Memphis love the friendly and entertaining pigs, and show their dedication to rare breeds every day.
Visit the Virginia Zoo to see American Mulefoot & Guinea Hogs. These hogs are leash trained and take walks around the zoo to meet & greet people.
Visit our Belted Galloway Cattle and Jacob Sheep at the Great Plains Zoo.
What’s on my food is a public awareness organization that clearly defines pesticides found in our food. You can easily look up a pesticide to see what harmful effects it has on humans, the environment, water, animals, birds, fish and Honey bees. You can also search by food to see what the common contaminants are.