It’s National Pork Month!
October is National Pork Month. But this year, pork is doing something a little different. The 25 year-old slogan, “The Other White Meat” has been abandoned. The Swine Flu Crisis hit the swine industry hard. Unfortunately, many of the consumers did not understand that this is a strain of flu that is airborne. You cannot get the Swine Flu from eating pork. The National Pork Board decided they needed to get marketing. Earlier this year, the National Pork Board came up with a new slogan – “Pork: Be Inspired”. The National Pork Board decided on this new message to get their consumers to incorporate pork into their meals more often. But there’s more to the animal than just their meat. They provide us with a wide range of items that no other animal can. So let’s be inspired with some of their fun facts!
- Swine was among the first to be domesticated which is about 6,000 years ago.
- A pig’s squeal can range from 110-115 decibels. Compare that to the Concorde jet, which is usually under 112 decibels.
- Baby pigs appear very greedy when they are competing for food from their mothers. For this reason the words “pig” and “hog” have come to be associated with greedy behavior.
- In the past hogs were fed table scraps and had a reputation for eating just about anything. The meat from hogs fed that way was very high in fat. The hogs would eat corn, grass, clover or even table scraps that would have otherwise have become garbage. The word “hogwash,” meaning something that is worthless, came from this practice.
- In some areas hogs would be turned out to find their own food. Hogs would roam freely, eating what they could find— acorns from the ground or roots, which they dug from the ground with their snouts. On Manhattan Island, New York, the hogs rampaged through grain fields until farmers were forced to build a wall to keep them out. The street running along this wall became Wall Street.
- Pork provides protein, B-vitamins and thiamin to our diets. Pork has three times as much thiamin as any other food. Thiamin changes carbohydrates into energy and promotes a healthy appetite.
- Insulin and about 40 other medicines are made from pigs.
- Pig heart valves have been used to replace damaged human heart valves.
- Pig fat can be used in weed killers, chalk, cosmetics, floor wax, crayons and antifreeze.
- A pig can run a seven-minute mile.
- Hogs are a source of nearly 40 drugs and pharmaceuticals on the market.
- In the colonial US, hogs were driven to market in large droves over trails that later became routes used by the railroads.
- Soldier pigs have gone to war. They have served as mine sniffers in battlefields.
- During the War of 1812, a New York pork packer named Uncle Sam Wilson shipped a boatload of several hundred barrels of pork to U.S. troops. Each barrel was stamped “U.S.” on the docks, and it was quickly said that the “U.S.” stood for “Uncle Sam,” whose large shipment seemed to be enough to feed the entire army. This is how “Uncle Sam” came to represent the U.S. Government.
During National Pork Month, together, let’s get our oink on!
Sources: Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service; Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry; Oklahoma State Department of Education. 2011. “Ag in the Classroom – Pigs, Pork, Swine Facts”. http://oklahoma4h.okstate.edu/aitc/lessons/extras/facts/swine.html#products. Crumb, Michael J. 2011. “’Pork: Be Inspired’: Pork Board Retires ‘Other White Meat’ Slogan”. March 4, 2011. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/04/pork-be-inspired-slogan-other-white-meat_n_831331.html.
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