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Potted pork

'Potted' pork: Pig farmers in legal marijuana states feeding leftover cannabis greens to animals

Tuesday, November 05, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: potted pork, pig feed, cannabis greens


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(NaturalNews) The definition of "grass-fed meat" is expanding in Washington state, where a fresh new source of all-natural animal feed has emerged from the unlikeliest of places: the booming recreational marijuana industry. William von Scheneidau of BB Ranch butcher shop in Seattle is one of the first livestock farmers in the state to begin feeding his animals the leftover scraps of commercial cannabis production, a unique rearing process that NBC News reports is revolutionizing the way many animals are being raised for food in the Evergreen State.

Scheneidau currently sells what he calls his "pot meat" at the historic Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle, but it typically sells out so quickly that only the earliest birds are able to get their hands on some of it. As it turns out, pigs that eat the stems, stalks, and leaves of marijuana plants produce delectably unique meat that is more marbled and flavorful than typical pork. And this, not surprisingly, has created incredible demand for this newest savory addition to the specialty meat market.

"All of a sudden marijuana became legal a few months ago, and... the commercial growers needed to get rid of some of their stuff," Scheneidau said to NBC News. "So rather than go into the compost pile, we said, 'Let's try it out.'"

Since pigs are already known to eat almost anything, including the leftover brewers grains from alcohol production, it only made sense for Scheneidau to take advantage of the leftovers from marijuana production. And business could not be better, with people all over the metropolitan area regularly flocking to his butcher shop for their own fresh cuts of bacon and chops.

"The flavor of the fat is extraordinary," adds Scheneidau. "And [customers] love the marbling of the fat."

Marijuana helps pigs grow fatter naturally, without the need for hormones or antibiotics

Besides serving as living, breathing recycling centers for the leftover byproducts of marijuana production, Scheneidau's pigs are also setting a new standard for other farmers to follow who are trying to raise commercial livestock without the use of growth hormones or antibiotics. As it turns out, pigs that consume weed tend to gain weight about 20 percent faster than other pigs, and also grow larger naturally.

"Schneidau's creative reuse of a local waste product is part of a larger trend of small farmers looking for new, free sources of livestock feed, especially since prices for corn and soy have been on the rise," writes Eliza Barclay for NPR. "In addition to the pot refuse, von Schneidau has linked up ranchers and farmers in the region with a vodka distillery and with vegetable vendors at Pike Place Market who have waste that would otherwise end up as compost or in the landfill."

In other words, the legalization of marijuana in Washington state means that small-scale farmers like Schneidau, who are committed to raising their animals as naturally as possible, now have access to an additional cheap source of beneficial, non-genetically modified (GMO) animal feed. And as a result, Washington's rural economy now has a sizable advantage over those of other states that still adhere to the outmoded confines of the failed war on drugs.

"This cooperative act of sustainable farming not only reduces waste costs... and reduces feed costs... it [also] produces some amazing pigs," explains an announcement posted at the BB Ranch website.

You can learn more about Schneidau's amazing "pot pork," as well as peruse his shop's other offerings, by visiting the BB Ranch website:
http://bb-ranch.com.

Sources for this article include:

http://usnews.nbcnews.com

http://www.npr.org

http://bb-ranch.com

http://bb-ranch.com

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