The New Delivery Service For Waiʻanae-Raised Pork (And More Natural Meats)

“When you’re a craftsman, you have your tools, your skills, and your materials. If you have the right tools, and you have the skills — you just need the right materials.”

So says Bob McGee, a butcher and charcutier (maker of cured meats) who started his own pork distribution company, Pono Pork, because he wanted world-class pigs to make world-class sausage.

What kind of a pig is that? “A pig that’s living a natural life, right down to the dirt it walks on.”

Pono Pork meats are grass-fed, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, and raised here on the west side at Waiʻanae’s Mountain View Farms.

Now, you can get Pono Pork and other sustainably-raised local meats delivered in a CSA-style farm box, curated by McGee.

A recent “medium” box ($125, plus a $10 delivery fee), consisted of:

  • 1 lb. Mountain View Farms Pork Belly
  • 1/2 lb. Mountain View Farms Bacon
  • 1 lb. Fennel & Garlic Pork Sausage
  • 1 lb. Maple & Sage Breakfast Sausage
  • 1 lb. Maui Nui Wild Harvested Venison
  • 3 lb. Puna Chicks Pasture Raised Chicken
  • 1/2 lb. Mountain View Farms Rendered Lard
  • 1 lb. Mountain View Farm Pork Stew Meat
  • 2 Keaʻau Hawaiʻi Raised, Grass-Fed Lamb Shanks
  • 1 lb. Keaʻau Hawaiʻi Raised, Ground Lamb
  • 2 lb. Mountain View Farms Pork Shank

“This menu evolves and changes weekly,” McGee writes on the website, “as it is a true and accurate representation of the local fare that my wife and I are able to provide from the whole animals that we bring to market, weekly and monthly.”

He started offering the CSA box in March, when coronavirus restrictions closed restaurants and cut farmers off from an important market.

“The farmers still have to get paid,” McGee says, “and the animals still need to get to market.”

Starting the delivery service helped save farms. My family is proud to be part of the effort.

Food Security and Healthier Eating for Oʻahu

Food security for Oʻahu is an important part of McGee’s mission. The vast majority of meat that is sold here is grown, processed, packed, and frozen on the mainland. This is risky, because we can’t supply ourselves in case of emergency.

It may not be healthy, either, because when we eat mainland meat, we’re ingesting mainland microbes. There are microscopic organisms in everything that you eat — do you want to be ingesting the microbes from a processing plant in Arkansas, or from a locally-owned farm using natural practices a few miles away?

Pono Pork animals also eat a natural diet, and live in healthy conditions. “We want the animal to be as healthy as we would like ourselves to be,” he says. “You are what you eat — and what it eats.”

Careful farming does mean higher prices, of course. Your average cost for Pono Pork meats will be around $10/pound, considerably more than you pay for mainland meat that arrives via container ship.

For our family, we’ve decided that our health and security is worth the extra cost. It’s also an investment — if more people buy local, the cost will start to go down.

Next for Pono Pork: Become A USDA-Certified Processor

When I spoke to McGee in early August, he was close to signing a lease on a space where he’ll be able to cut and process pork to USDA certifications. This means he doesn’t have to send that work to another processor, so he can prepare meat faster for sale to families and restaurants.

Only the support of dedicated local meat buyers has made this possible.

Ordering, Getting, and Cooking Pono Pork

Ordering is very easy at Pono Pork’s online shop. You can order a box with a variety of meat, curated by McGee, or choose from a la carte meat options. Delivery, a $10 additional fee, is on Saturdays. McGee calls during the day to arrange a time.

It’s nice to know what you’re getting ahead of time. I like to plan the week’s menu around it. If you’re a cook who likes to experiment, it’s fun to get something unusual like lamb shanks and learn to work with a new cut of meat.

McGee also provides extras like spice rubs and local salt — and he’s happy to share preparation and cooking advice.

See what’s available this week at Pono Pork’s online store.