Because government mandates and subsidies for ethanol have caused grain prices to increase, pig farmers have instead looked for alternatives. One of those is distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), a co-product of ethanol that has expanded along with that industry.
But it is an evolving feed and some believe that unsaturated fatty acids in distillers dried grains leads to increased oxidation, which affects texture, color, juiciness and the overall flavor of pork products, and therefore the shelf life. Some producers believe they can counteract that by feeding pigs saturated fats which will undo the fat-softening effects of DDGS. Firmer fat means longer-lasting pork.