Farm Facts: Pork

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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.

Here are some other pork particulars:

• 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.

• Pork – representing 42.6 percent of total meat consumed – is the world’s most widely eaten meat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

• In 2006, Pig Improvement Company USA (PIC) – a world leader in genetic pig stock production ­– relocated its North American headquarters from Kentucky to Hendersonville, Tennessee.

• Ham remains the No. 1 lunch sandwich served in homes, and pork is the leader of meat pizza toppings.

• Pork tenderloin has fewer total fat grams than skinless chicken breast, based on 3-ounce broiled or roasted servings.

• Hogs are a source of nearly 20 drugs and pharmaceuticals.

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