Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pigs are Always the Star

"Cattle Seller" mentions The Madison Club and By George Farm.

As the article explains:

Currently, the operation is home to 10 boer goats, 25 lambs, a half-dozen Mangalitsa pigs and flocks of Muscovy ducks, meat geese and laying hens.

Excitement is obvious for all of the livestock, but the hogs have created the most buzz for Fox.

“As far as I know, these are the only Mangalitsas in Wisconsin,” Fox says with pride.

The breed, descendants from Hungarian wild hogs, is unlike other livestock found in the swine industry. With long, wooly hair, the dark hogs have an abundance of lard when butchered. A delicacy, the organically-produced pork is set to be used in the menu for an upcoming chef’s award dinner in November.

But before they hit the dinner table, the hogs have already made an impact on the restaurant. Unused produce and table scraps are the main diet for the livestock as buckets of the waste are brought to them daily.

“We add some corn and soy, but the restaurant supplies most of the pigs’ diets,” he beams. “We figured it out, and about 19,000 pounds of waste per year are fed to the animals. That would normally all be thrown in the garbage.”
Mangalitsa pigs are always the star. They are smart, cool-looking and very easy to take care of.

I've written about The Madison Club and their farmers before, and about feeding pigs food waste. Pigs are better at eating waste than chickens, cows, goats, ducks, etc. -- plus, it is the most sustainable way to raise animals. In the case of Egypt, the pigs provided a useful public health service, something we take for granted now.

I should mention, it is still possible to produce excellent pork from garbage-fed animals - just make sure to switch the pigs to a proper finishing diet before killing them, so that you still wind up with the best fat. If you don't switch the pigs to the right diet, it is possible to produce awful pork.

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