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Pot Pig

Apparently pot produces the best pork.  According to a recent article, when pigs are fed marijuana scraps, of roots and stems the result is savory pork compared to alfalfa fed cow or alfalfa fed pigs. 

Does it get you high?  Of course not.

The recent passage of adult recreational use of marijuana inspired the idea in Washington state.  At a butcher shop cuts from pot pigs (not to be confused with pot belly pigs), are labeled with a little pot leaf on the packages. 

The owner of the dispensary that is supplying the pot plant waste describes it as the "best tasting pork chop you've ever had".

Part flavor experiment, part green recycling, part promotion and bolstered by the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington state, pot excess has been fed to the hogs by their owners, pig farmer Jeremy Gross and Seattle butcher William von Schneidau, since earlier this year.

 Gross and von Schneidau now sell their "pot pig" cuts at von Schneidau's butcher shop in Seattle's Pike Place Market at a premium price – bacon is $17 a pound while chops go for $16.90 a pound.  Holy snapping pigs feet! 

The idea has brought worldwide attention. Recently, Gross hosted a crew from a German science show while von Schneidau has already been interviewed dozens of times.

 The men, though, are relishing the spotlight to advertise von Schneidau's idea of locally sourced food. Gross' hogs at his Snohomish, Wash., farm were being fed recycled byproduct before the marijuana idea.  What would you rather have?  Pork fed "recycled byproduct" or pork fed marijuana?

 While Gross raises pig on his property, he works full time as a construction foreman. The only way he can stay in the pig business, he said, is the free feed he collects from a local distillery and brewery. He feeds his pigs barrels of the distillery wheat "mash" every day, fortified by a nutrient mix his veterinarian created. Gross gets his free pig feed, while the distillery and brewery get rid of waste.  Talk about a win!  Win!

 Gross is applying that model to the medical marijuana excess and von Schneidau hopes it's an example people use as production of marijuana ramps up under the state-approved system.

 "Absolutely, it's a good opportunity to help people get rid of their waste," said von Schneidau, who is also attempting to start a privately-owned mobile slaughterhouse.

But currently the state draft rules say pot plant waste must be "rendered unusable" by either grinding it or mixing it with non-consumable, recycled solid waste, such as food waste, compost, soil and paper waste. The state's rules for medical marijuana do not say how to get rid of marijuana byproducts. 

 John P. McNamara, a professor at Washington State University's Department of Animal Sciences, doesn't find the experiment amusing.

 "Of all the crazy things I've seen in my 37-plus years, this is the dumbest things I've ever seen in my life," he said.  Well, well, well.... Mr.  John P. McNamara probably doesn't know about all the medical and nutritional benefits to marijuana.  I recently read about a salve being produced from only marijuana root, that claimed to have excellent results. It is very likely there are benefits from the plant beyond the flowers, leaves and seed. 

McNamara said in order to introduce a drug or medicine to feed that's being given to animals that make part of the food supply, the federal government must sign off on it after extensive review. He adds that research has shown that cannabis ingested can be transferred onto tissues. Oh boy... here we go. 

 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is the agency that oversees the nation's food supply.  Yea... and they're doing a really good job at keeping those genetically modified organisms out of our guts aren't they?  The agency, on its website, says it "approves the additives or drugs that are used in feed products." They didn't do much about the additive of additional genes though did they? 

 Currently, Gross is only feeding three pigs the marijuana mix. 

Asked if feeding marijuana affects the pigs, such as perhaps giving them munchies, Gross said can see no effect on the pigs.

Already all pigs do is sleep and eat, and.... oink! oink!

But his farm manager mentioned that one of the more salty sows mellows out after a feeding.  I know there are a lot of pigs out there who could use a little mellowing out.