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Pot Pigs: taking bacon to the next level


Staff member
Butcher feeds his pigs marijuana, reports ‘redder and more savoury’ pork

Some are calling it the new rendition of a “potbelly pig,” one Seattle butcher’s marijuana-infused prosciutto. You’re not high; you read that right.

William von Schneidau feeds marijuana refuse —stems, seeds, etc. — to his pigs, which subsequently become prized meat he aptly calls “Pot Pigs,” sold at his Pike Place Market butcher shop, BB Ranch, in downtown Seattle.

He usually feeds his pigs vodka, he says, but von Schneidau is adding even more local substance lately in the form of Top Shelf Organic medical marijuana.

“We’ve figured out something else new and cool — putting some weed to the feed, if you know what I mean,” the butcher jokes in all seriousness in a March video promoting Pot Pig Gig, the world’s first pot-infused pig event, he claims. We won’t contest that. “We’re actually feeding them marijuana,” he says in case you don’t quite believe him. Does it get the hogs high? Well, not exactly. It’s not clear that much if any THC, the active ingredient in pot that creates a “high” for the user, makes its way into the pig’s bloodstream. That said, von Schneidau reports butchering meat from the pot pigs that is “redder and more savoury” that what he’s used to getting from his animals.

But why are they doing this at all, you might wonder. We doubt these butchers needed a reason (beyond some free publicity), but NPR suggests the creative use of the plant has two main reasons. First off, the recent legalization of marijuana in Washington State and Colorado opened up the possibility of using the leftover scraps. The pigs are fed the stems, stocks and leaves of locally grown marijuana plants. Amid rising feed prices, farmers are looking for cheaper options, and marijuana leftovers are but one, albeit one with a nice marketing hook.

It’s unclear whether the pigs actually feel any effects from the weed scraps or if it’s safe to do so. NPR notes a study by European Food Safety Authority that recommended prohibiting the use of hemp in feeding dairy cows.

But von Schneidau isn’t particularly concerned with its impact on the pigs.

“If we had a vet that stepped up to the plate and wanted to check out their joints and mood, and what drugs make pigs happy, that would be great,” he tells NPR. “But me, I just get out there, and cut them up, and put them on a barbecue, and eat them.”

from National Post
Butcher feeds his pigs marijuana, reports redder and more savoury pork | Appetizer | Life | National Post

Radio interview from CHML:
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room