Celebrate International Bacon Day With These Facts and Recipes

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Bacon-Wrapped Green Bean Bundles

Have you heard the old pork producers’ saying, “We use everything but the oink?” That’s because no other animal provides society with a wider range of products than swine, according to the National Pork Board. Along with all the food products that come from pigs – and the co-products used to make everything from handbags to insect repellent – their insulin is used in the treatment of diabetes. Specially preserved and treated hog heart valves are also used to replace damaged human heart valves, and pig skin is used to treat severe burn victims.

In Tennessee, about 1,300 pig farms take up more than 50,000 acres of land and make up the state’s 10th most lucrative agricultural industry.

In honor of International Bacon Day on the Saturday before Labor Day, here are some facts about one of the most delicious things to come from a hog: bacon.

  • • Preserving and salting pork bellies began in China around 1500 B.C. The Greeks and Romans kept up the tradition.
  • • BLT (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato) sandwiches became popular after World War II, when supermarkets expanded, making fresh lettuce and tomatoes available year round.
  • • In 1924, Oscar Mayer patented the first packed, sliced bacon.
  • • 11 percent of a standard pig’s weight is bacon. A 200 pound pig will yield roughly 20 pounds of bacon, depending on the butchering process.
  • • Burford Butler of Jackson, Tennessee, in 1933 owned the heaviest hog ever recorded. The Poland China pig, named Big Bill, weighed 2,552 pounds and measured 9 feet long with a belly that dragged the ground.
  • • The average American eats 17.9 pounds of bacon per year.

 

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