Confessions of a Fat Bastard
: Texas Monthly's Daniel Vaughn
on the life of a full-time barbecue writer.
"Since Texas Monthly named me the nation’s first and only full-time barbecue editor
in March 2013 (previously
), my health has been a topic of international discussion. My job requires that I travel from one end of the state to the other eating smoked brisket, one of the fattiest cuts on the steer. And I can’t forget to order the pork ribs, sausage, and beef ribs. Of course my diet is going to raise eyebrows. Including those of my doctor."
is the world's largest exporter of pork, killing approximately 100,000 pigs a week to cater to the growing global demand for meat. Alastair Philip Wiper
visited the company's abattoir in Horsens to capture a behind-the-scenes look at the entire process
, starting at the pens where the pigs arrive and moving through the spaces where the animals are slaughtered, butchered and packaged for sale.
: "The U.S. government on Friday approved Shuanghui International Holding’s bid to buy iconic U.S. pork producer Smithfield Foods in what would be the biggest Chinese takeover of a U.S. company to date." [more inside]
The Great Hog-Eating Confederacy
Early Southerners ate a rather limited and unvarying diet. At table the famished guest seldom found more than bacon, corn pone, and coffee sweetened with molasses. Pioneering sociologist Harriet Martineau complained that “little else than pork, under all manner of disguises” sustained her during her visit to the American SouthFor the most part, slaves observed the same diet as poor white farmers. Though many kept gardens, and thus supplemented their rations of pork and corn with a wide variety of vegetables, they had otherwise little opportunity to augment their diet.. Another traveler griped that that he had “never fallen in with any cooking so villainous.” A steady assault of “rusty salt pork, boiled or fried … and musty corn meal dodgers” brought his stomach to surrender. Rarely did “a vegetable of any description” make it on his plate, and “no milk, butter, eggs, or the semblance of a condiment” did he once see.
is a writer
for The New Inquiry
and runs the blog The Austerity Kitchen
. [more inside]
Death Of A Pig
, E.B. White.
I spent several days and nights in mid-September with an ailing pig and I feel driven to account for this stretch of time, more particularly since the pig died at last, and I lived, and things might easily have gone the other way round and none left to do the accounting. Even now, so close to the event, I cannot recall the hours sharply and am not ready to say whether death came on the third night or the fourth night. This uncertainty afflicts me with a sense of personal deterioration; if I were in decent health I would know how many nights I had sat up with a pig. [more inside]
If you missed this story, you missed one of the All Time Great stories on This American Life:
A while ago, a farmer walked through a pork processing plant in Oklahoma with a friend who managed it. He came across boxes stacked on the floor with labels that said "artificial calamari." So he asked his friend "What’s artificial calamari?" "Bung," his friend replied. "Hog rectum." Have you or I eaten bung dressed up as seafood? Ben investigated. (26 minutes) Dead Ringer
. Educational and hilarious. If you prefer, the entire episode.
The tragedy of climate change: the UK Pig Association is warning
that due to droughts
causing high pig food prices, a global bacon shortage
is now unavoidable
He does not cook like you do. But I would like an invitation for dinner: Cajun Stuffed Pork Chops with Bacon [more inside]
Sausage pork beef cheese whole milk butter margarine nuts and sausage pork beef cheese whole milk butter margarine nuts and
sausage.... [SLYT, 1:00, looping]
Rob Levitt of Mado in Chicago butchering
a pig. 19 more videos
submitted by chefs and butchers to Protein University
, a project that aims to "create an online resource populated with a family tree of butchery techniques from whole animal breakdowns to sausage making from across the globe". [more inside]
Hankering for a McRib
? According to the Wall Street Journal
, the elusiveness of this pork sandwich is driven by marketing, and that despite threats of retirement, the fiendish creation will get trotted out whenever they want to pull in the die-hard fans. If you're one of them, then you probably already know about the McRib Locator
. But what exactly are McRib's made of
Over the course of three years, designer Christien Meindertsma
tracked the products that had been made from the remains of a single pig. In doing so, she discovered that the skin, bones, meat, organs, blood, fat, brains, hoofs, hair and tail of a single pig might be used in more than 180 very diverse products
, from shampoo, medicine, tattoo ink, munitions, cardiac valves, matches, desserts and bubblegum, beer and lemonade, car paint and brake discs to pills and bread. TED Talk
. TED Bio
. Vimeo video: Reading through the pages of Pig 05049
(in Dutch). Design Observer: Pig 05049
. Amazon: Pig 05049 [more inside]
The National Pork Board believes in unicorns. Or, at least, its lawyers seem to think
that canned unicorn meat
is a real product. [more inside]
The Full English
: "[...]a mad, bad, salt-soaked road trip from culinary heaven to hell and back"
When we reach these, the bleakest and coldest days of winter, my mind inevitably turns towards the warm days of summer and one of America’s favorite pastimes: Barbeque
. [more inside]
"Our sole purpose is to defend the glory and the quality of our cassoulet."
PIG 05049 (TED 11.5min)
- Christien Meindertsma
explores the processing of raw materials
- in this case, anonymous Dutch pig.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley opens up another Ask Chuck Webcast.
The people respond.
A glistening chunk of pork! [more inside]
Don't you want to watch a critically acclaimed chef get drunk and shout about the wonders of ham
? (video is NSFW, due to cursing) [more inside]
Want to have a small bacon pick-me-up in the office or away from home? The food blog, Homesick Texan, presents the traditional recipe for Bacon Jam
is a culinary event featuring 5 chefs, 5 pigs, and 5 winemakers in a friendly competition for a cause. Each chef will prepare a 70 pound heritage pig from head to toe for 200 enthusiasts." (flash site) [more inside]
Theodore Gray, author of the new book Theo Gray's Mad Science
, has a personal collection of thousands of samples of elements
[previously on MetaFilter
]. In his Popular Science column, he has smelted his own titanium
and dissolved aluminum
Now, he cuts through steel with bacon
I know you all love bacon.
So if you're single, looking for a date, and want him to be edible... I present to you, bacon man
. Step-by-step photos
from NetDiva, his awesome creatrix.
Pork and Beans II
, now with twice the meme-fun. [more inside]
points us to the trailer
of Ramen Girl
, starring Brittany Murphy
as a American who decides to learn how to make the perfect bowl of ramen noodles (what?!?!) after she is dumped by her boyfriend in Tokyo. Tampopo
this isn't. [more inside]
"You know, we spent $3 million to study the DNA of bears in Montana. I don't know if that was a criminal issue or a paternal issue..." (previously)
The infamous bear study bought up by McCain in the first debate is one of his favourite pork barrel examples, but little actual information is given about the study. Here
is the website giving details about the project, with more info
, a quick fact sheet
and a podcast
. This is one of the rare times when a candidate will air an opinion on science in a popular setting.... [more inside]
Our Decrepit Food Factories.
Michael Pollan on what sustainability is really about. [Via Gristmill.]
with a fascinating (well, unless you're kosher) history of colonial curing methods.
mmhmm. If you're not one for the ever-generic chicken caesar, well, there are alternatives. (in keeping with recent baconposts, of course.)
Government vs. Blogger
who has a breastfeeding blog
tries to raise some money for the Mothers' Milk Bank of Ohio
by selling a t-shirt
containing a slogan that the National Pork Board
finds to be an infringement of their trademark
. Chaos ensues.
The Online Pork Rind Resource.
Once a genuine online store
, porkrind.com is now your premier source for pork rind in sculpture, music, poetry... and porn
(NSFW). Don't miss the reviews
! And the tour of Texas
! And the insanity
Pork's Dirty Secret
is a Rolling Stone expose on Smithfield Foods
, the world's top pork processor. via
The vision: a federally funded 5-acre enclosed rainforest
, supposedly the world's largest, will make Coralville, Iowa
into a world-class destination city and ignite the imagination of its heretofore benighted citizens. The problem: a federally funded
rainforest. In Iowa. Read some entertaining background and analysis on the inspiring project here
Merry Christmas, Taxpayers.
The latest chapter in the "Alaskan bridges to nowhere" saga.
Louisiana Leads in Army Corps Spending, but Millions Had Nothing to Do With Floods
In Katrina's wake, Louisiana politicians and other critics have complained about paltry funding for the Army Corps in general and Louisiana projects in particular. But over the five years of President Bush's administration, Louisiana has received far more money for Corps civil works projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion; California was a distant second with less than $1.4 billion, even though its population is more than seven times as large.
[H]undreds of millions of dollars have gone to unrelated water projects demanded by the state's congressional delegation and approved by the Corps, often after economic analyses that turned out to be inaccurate. Despite a series of independent investigations criticizing Army Corps construction projects as wasteful pork-barrel spending, Louisiana's representatives have kept bringing home the bacon.
Because the only thing better than bacon
is someone to cook it for you.
Pork Farmers in Hog Heaven!
Atkins and skyrocketing beef prices result in pork producers "experiencing demand far in excess of anything [they]'ve seen historically." Pork prices are very high on the spot and futures market but still a value relative to meat. Perhaps this will increase the demand for tasty Berkshire hog
pork, the kind that pre-dates the breeding which produced the "other white meat."
The PETA sinks to a new low.
This time drawing parallels between the gruesome Pickton murders
and the the slaughter of pigs for meat. Many of the human remains of Pickton's victims are still being found at the Pickton pig farm.
They were drugged and dragged across the room... Their struggles and cries went unanswered... They were slaughtered and their heads sawed off... Their body parts were refrigerated... Their bones were discarded.
Pork 4 Kids!
The National Pork Board brings all you children a fun trip through the world of pork! Yay!
mmm! Mr Brain's faggots!.
Ever tried one of Mr Brain's faggots? You can read a review of "Mr. Brain and his faggots"
or check out the Doodys the official faggot family
or even become a faggot fanatic
The life of a pig, from conception to Christmas ham.
A frank and charming slide show of the life of pig Onni, backed by horns, narrated in melodius Finnish, and subtitled in English. Be warned: it uses Flash, and ends in death.
Pork chop shoes
results in a lawsuit in Australia. A man who slipped on a grease trail left by pork chop shoes in a pub is awarded £23,000. I guess Nike better think twice before they release their filet mignon basketball shoes. What would be their marketing campaign?