The United States is the second-largest pork producer in the world behind China. In 2011, there were 67,000 pork operations in the U.S., producing 21 billion pounds of pork from 110 million hogs.
Known as “the other white meat,” pork has had a mixed reputation despite the fact that cuts of pork, such as pork tenderloin, pork chops and pork roast, are actually leaner than a skinless chicken thigh.
Top Swine States
Hogs are raised in just about every state in the nation, but there are a few states that are hog-wild. Iowa is by far the leading swine producer, earning $6.97 billion in 2012 in revenue from hogs alone. This accounts for 31.4 percent of U.S. cash receipts generated by hogs. In total, the U.S. earns $22.19 billion from swine operations. Other top states are Minnesota, North Carolina, Illinois and Indiana.
Pork Products Are Versatile
Discover how pigs are used for more than just bacon:
1. Insulin: Until the 1980s, all insulin was made from pancreatic tissue extracted from cattle and swine.
2. Gelatin: Gelatin used in many desserts, candy and yogurt, is derived mostly from pig skin.
3. Cosmetics: The fatty acids and glycerine found in swine can be used in cosmetics such as lipstick.
4. Heart Valves: Pig heart valves function like human heart valves and can be used as a replacement after being treated to preserve the tissue.
5. Paint Brushes: Pig hair can be used to make paint brushes. These brushes are used for oil and acrylic paints because of how well the bristles hold the paint.
– Hannah Patterson