With the state of Washington about to kick off its unprecedented market for recreational-use marijuana, one of the surprise consequences could be “pot-flavored bacon,” reports AllAboutFeed.com.
Susannah Gross, who farms five-acres just north of Seattle and is part of the group experimenting with feeding cannabis waste into pig food, reports that four pigs fed on the weed waste in their last four months before being shipped to a slaughterhouse were 20 to 30 pounds heavier than six other pigs given their usual food. Not surprisingly, they ate more!
Since Washington voters passed a ballot measure in November legalizing the recreational use of pot, weed farmers were having trouble figuring out what to do with the excess roots, leaves and stems. Giving farm animals the munchies has been one of the outcomes. (There are already about 20 states with medical marijuana usage allowed.)
William von Schneidau, a butcher in Seattle, said he's been feeding marijuana refuse to the pigs he turns into prosciutto for BB Ranch, his Seattle butcher shop, Polymic.com reports.
He salvages stems, leaves and root bulbs from Top Shelf Organic, a medical marijuana dispensary. “It doesn’t season the meat, but the meat from the first few "pot pigs" he's butchered has been "redder and more savory,” he says.
The question of whether pot-fed pork contains any measurable traces of THC, the mind-altering chemical ingredient in cannabis is not clear. So, even though it does seem to affect their appetite, farmers are not sure whether the pigs feel any of the effects of THC — the psychoactive substance that gets humans high. And, even more important, how much—if any--ends up in the meat and would be ingested by consumers.
High feed prices have reportedly caused farmers in other countries to supplement the regular diets of food animals, such as pigs and cattle, with food scraps and even bakery byproduct — bread, dough, pastries and cereal, reports AllAboutFeed.
In Europe, hemp, closely related to marijuana, has been used in feed for dairy cows. However, when the European Union Food Safety Authority determined that THC was discoverable in the milk, scientists recommended prohibiting the plant. Interestingly, the use of hemp seeds did not have the same results in their studies.
It seems that soon eating butchered animals may have some surprising results. Are we OK with pot-fed pigs?