A Conversation for Ask h2g2

This Little Piggy

Post 1

swl - Cool! I live on a battlefield

I've noticed that a very high proportion of the meat on supermarket shelves is from pigs - bacon, pork chops, pork steaks, pork sausages, gammon, roast ham, boiled ham, pork pies etc etc etc. In fact, there's possibly more pork products than beef.

So why when I'm driving around don't I see vast herds of pigs grazing the countryside?


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Post 2

hygienicdispenser

Because they're shorter than the hedges. smiley - flyingpig


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Post 3

winnoch2 - Biding my time..

Unfortunately, most are kept indoors in sheds, whereas sheep and cows are not as amenable to this form of housing and tend to be visible out in fields.


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Post 4

paulh. The lost isle of Arborvilla A87842460

Pig farms are not welcomed in most neighborhoods because of the stench that emanates from them. Therefore, they tend to be out in the boondocks, and even there they come in for their share of complaints from neighbors. smiley - yuk

I grew up in a very rural town. Last I heard, there were four pig farms there. They were not popular with the neighbors, but the pig farms had been there a long time. The town's biggest swamp is called Hog swamp.


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Post 5

paulh. The lost isle of Arborvilla A87842460

Annie Proulx wrote a book about the pig farm industry. The title is, "That Ol' Ace in the Hole." The main character is a naive young guy, just out of college, who gets a job scouting out places in the Texas panhandle where people are getting ready to sell their old family ranches. The company would buy the ranches are convert them to pig farms on the sly, without letting the neighbors know what they are doing until it's too late to stop the company.


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Post 6

Maria

I´m also from a rural area. There weren´t any pig farms, instead, every family had their own pigs. We bought them in March and by December they were killed.
Pigs were fed with cereals, peeling of watermelons, potatoes... figs, lots of figs... (There are four fig trees in my village house) corn, etc.
The veterinarian would come and take a sample of the meat just in case. No problem ever.
In pig farms, these animals receive lots of antibiotics and the food... well, I´m sure they don´t eat as well as my pigs used to.

Lots of reumatic and liver diseases are related to eating too much pork and other red meats.

THe tastiest and healthiest pork meat is the one coming from the Iberian pig. He lives and feeds in open fields called dehesas and acorns is part of their diet.
These autoctonous black pigs were celebrated by Romans, and you know you have to trust Romans on food pleasures.

http://www.google.es/imgres?um=1&hl=es&sa=N&biw=756&bih=432&authuser=0&tbm=isch&tbnid=bEieK0PTZgbWtM:&imgrefurl=http://www.ebarragan.com/cerdo_iberico.html&docid=bqfaSLOk_-v5oM&imgurl=http://www.ebarragan.com/images/cerdo_iberico.jpg&w=733&h=550&ei=mpncT5n6GMXb0QWyzuD2Cg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=240&vpy=4&dur=4320&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=77&ty=214&sig=110688302987805067404&page=1&tbnh=109&tbnw=145&start=0&ndsp=8&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0,i:74


This little Piggy

Post 7

swl - Cool! I live on a battlefield

Just found this - http://www.thepigsite.com/swinenews/15353/report-counts-how-many-pigs-are-in-the-uk

Apparently there were less than 5000 pigs in the UK in 2007 smiley - yikes Compared to about 36 million sheeps.

We must import a helluva lot.


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Post 8

Mu Beta

We do import far too much pork, and people need to buy more British. The pig farming business in this country has been subsistence only for the last twenty years, and things are getting worse as feed prices go up.

One point to remember is that you get a LOT more meat off a good porker than from - say - a lamb. And there's very little, if anything, that isn't good eating on a pig carcass, so you'd expect one pig to feed a family of four for a good few months.

B


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Post 9

winnoch2 - Biding my time..

Indeed; just think how far these hog roasts at weddings, etc go. I couldn't believe how many plates were filled from the one pig last time I had the pleasure of being at an event where one was being consumed.


This little Piggy

Post 10

Maria


I saw a doc on usanians chefs. They all met to have a meal. It surprised me a lot that there was lots of offal.


Offal is tasty and, on the other hand, it´s also excellent to help re- build tendons because of the jelly that kind of food has.

I don´t eat now offal except a meal called callos picantes and chicharrones. I also eat ham, but if it´s from a place I can trust. I don´t eat much meat anyway.

When we had our pigs, I would eat liver, fried brain... and my favourite was ear roasted on a bed of ashes in my chimney.

My mother used to cook a delicious stew with a few bones of the spinal cord and potatoes.

Most of the meat of our pigs were made morcilla and chorizo. Once dried, the long cords of them were cut, fried in olive oil and put in clay recipients with that same oil. That food would last until the summer.


This little Piggy

Post 11

minichessemouse - practising the art of toddler taming, now with added bump!

I have heard it said that the only part of a pig that cannot be eaten is the Squeal.

Mind I'll stick to ham and bacon for now I think.

minismiley - mouse


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Post 12

Whisky

SWL - check that link you posted again - the figures in that table were in 'thousands' of pigs...

Just under 5,000,000 pigs in the UK in 2007 not 5,000


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Post 13

swl - Cool! I live on a battlefield

Ah smiley - blush


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Post 14

Mu Beta

But we still import about the same number again, so the argument's not totally invalid. Just a little bit dim.

B


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Post 15

paulh. The lost isle of Arborvilla A87842460

My grandmother used to eat bacon fat by the spoonful. Her doctor scolded her for this, urging her to drop it and drink more orange juice.


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Post 16

atinythorn

...........she was 103 at the time, and he said it might damage her health!!


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Post 17

paulh. The lost isle of Arborvilla A87842460

Well, she was almost 70 and had about a decade of life remaining. As it was, the bacon fat constricted her arteries. Today she would have gone on statin drugs to keep her cholesterol levels down, but back then there was no treatment for that.


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