It's National Agriculture Week!
Celebrate with a fun fact for the Day…
Did you know?
Not only is pork the number one eaten meat around the globe, but it is recognized as one of the top ten commodities in Tennessee, generating more than 55 million to the state’s economy annually! There are currently over 1300 hog farms across the state, ranking the state 22nd in the USA. Pork is considered by some to be “the other white meat.” A typical 3-ounce serving yields as lean as a skinless chicken breast afterall…
From small family farm operations selling sausage and fresh pork cuts to their local communities (which I might add are quite delicious as I have been privy to samples right here in Greene County) to larger grow-out operations well over 1000 head, Tennessee is dependent on this important industry.
Hogs contribute in a multitude of ways to daily living (similar to how we discussed corn on Sunday). I bet there are items you utilize every day in your household you never imagined came from a hog! Some may blow you away! Let’s explore a few…
So, obvious to most would be bacon, sausage, pork chops, bacon, tenderloin, ribs, brats…did I day bacon??? Some of the not so obvious, you ask? Ice cream, fruit juice, butter, and beer and wine? Yep, you read that right. Gelatin is used in many products to absorb cloudiness, regulate sugar crystallization, or used for texture. Additionally, coated medicines, film, paper, bullets, whipped cream, marshmellows, chewing gum, and cream cheese...
What about a paintbrush or fiddle strings? Pig hair! Washing powders and fabric softeners? Yep, these too. Have you ever played a tambourine? They’re made from pig bladders. Are you diabetic? Insulin is made from pig pancreas! What about energy bars and face masks? Collagen is used in both of these. Here’s a good one for all you dog owners…ever fed a milk bone to your furry friend? Hemoglobin is used as a red coloring agent! Pig parts are even used in human heart valve replacement surgeries. And for goodness sake, let’s not forget the football!
And one last fascinating snippet…did you know Wilbur (of Charlotte’s Web) resides in middle Tennessee? He sure does! Just right outside Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He graced the cover of the famous book written by E.B. White when the remake of the movie occurred in 2006. Wilbur has been educating the public on pork production ever since…
Pork is just another industry worthy of celebrating during National Ag Week and UT Extension Month. Hogs (pigs) provide so much in our everyday lives…most importantly? BACON!