Pot-Fed Pigs Grow Bigger, Tastier and Probably Mellower
With Los Angeles voters deciding on three ballot measures today (D, E and F) regulating marijuana dispensaries, here's some food for thought: Pigs fed marijuana stems, roots and leaves on a farm outside of Seattle grew 20-30 pounds heavier. (And happier, too?)
"They were eating more, as you can imagine," Susannah Gross, the farm owner with the porky pigs whose feed was supplemented with potent pot plant scraps, told Reuters. Also, they just wanted to wallow in the mud all day.
In November, the state of Washington made recreational marijuana use legal -- medical marijuana was already legal there. A medical marijuana grower named Matt McAlman provided Gross with the detritus of his business. He said he hopes the idea expands to other forms of animal husbandry, including chickens and cows.
Kinda gives new meaning to the terms "pot-belly pig," "herbed chicken" and "grass-fed beef," no?
McAlman's vision could become a reality. Draft regulations issued last week in Washington dictate that marijuana plant waste must be "rendered unusable prior to leaving a licensed producer or processor's facility." Mixing it with food waste is one solution deemed acceptable.
But, how does pot pig taste? Gross' pigs were butchered by William von Schneidau, who has a shop at Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. In March, he held a "Pot Pig Gig," serving the marijuana-fed pork as part of a five-course meal.
He quickly sold out of the pot-fed pork at his shop.
"Some say the meat seems to taste more savory," he told Reuters. (Dude, I don't know what it is about this bacon, but I could eat the entire package!)
Is it possible that the marijuana-fed pork contains measurable traces of THC, the mind-altering chemical ingredient in cannabis? Apparently this is something that hasn't been studied yet.
In 2011, the European Food Safety Authority reported that "no studies concerning tolerance or effects of graded levels of THC in food-producing animals have been found in literature."
The agency also noted that "no data are available concerning the likely transfer of THC ... to animal tissues and eggs following repeated administration."
Meaning, the weed pork chop could be the new pot brownie.
Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook, and follow Samantha Bonar at @samanthabonar.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Los Angeles dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.