Marijuana waste helps turn pot-eating pigs into tasty pork roast

Pigs are seen at a farm in Indiana April 20, 2012. REUTERS/John Gress
Pigs are seen at a farm in Indiana April 20, 2012. REUTERS/John Gress

With Washington state about to embark on a first-of-its-kind legal market for recreational marijuana, the budding ranks of new cannabis growers face a quandary over what to do with the excess stems, roots and leaves from their plants.

Susannah Gross, who owns a five-acre farm north of Seattle, is part of a group experimenting with a solution that seems to make the most of marijuana’s appetite-enhancing properties – turning weed waste into pig food.

Four pigs whose feed was supplemented with potent plant leavings during the last four months of their lives ended up 20 to 30 pounds heavier than the half-dozen other pigs from the same litter when they were all sent to slaughter in March.

“They were eating more, as you can imagine,” Gross said.

Giving farm animals the munchies is the latest outcome of a ballot measure passed by Washington voters in November making their state one of the first to legalize the recreational use of pot. The other was Colorado. Both were among about 20 states with medical marijuana laws already on their books.

The federal government still classifies cannabis as an illegal narcotic, and the Obama administration has not yet said what actions, if any, it will take in answer to the newly passed recreational weed statutes.

Matt McAlman, the medical marijuana grower who provided the pot leavings for Gross’ pigs, says he hopes the idea expands with the likely impending expansion of Washington state’s marijuana industry.

“We can have pot chickens, pot pigs, grass-fed beef,” he said.

Draft regulations issued last week to govern the burgeoning recreational-use industry seem to leave open that possibility. The rules dictate that marijuana plant waste must be “rendered unusable prior to leaving a licensed producer or processor’s facility,” adding that mixing it with food waste would be acceptable.

Gross’ pigs were butchered by William von Schneidau, who has a shop at the famous Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. In March, von Schneidau held a “Pot Pig Gig” at the market, serving up the marijuana-fed pork as part of a five-course meal.

He quickly sold out the remaining weed-fed meat at his shop but plans another pot-pig feast later this summer, he said.

“Some say the meat seems to taste more savory,” he said.

The results beg the question of whether pot-fed pork contains any measurable traces of THC, the mind-altering chemical ingredient in cannabis.

The European Food Safety Authority reported in 2011 that “no studies concerning tolerance or effects of graded levels of THC in food-producing animals have been found in literature.”

The agency also noted that “no data are available concerning the likely transfer of THC … to animal tissues and eggs following repeated administration.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

National

American middle classes no longer world's richest (guess…

America's middle classes are no longer the richest in the world – having been overtaken in the wealth stakes by their Canadian counterparts. For almost…

Local

Judge holds Amber Hellesten for trial on murder…

Amber Hellesten turns 16 next Wednesday, April 30. It could be her first of many birthdays behind bars.

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

The Word

What we learned from the premiere of 'True…

Does watching someone's marriage implode make for great TV? The show runners at "True Tori" think Tori Spelling's heartbreak is hot stuff indeed.

NHL

Lundqvist, Rangers take control as Flyers falter in…

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist turned away 31 Flyers shots to give the Blueshirts the series edge with a 4-1 victory Tuesday nigh

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

NBA

Breaking down the Sixers top draft options

With the NBA Playoffs now in full force, there’s only one thing on the mind of Sixers fans at the moment -- the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery.

MLB

Metro one-on-one: Q&A with Phillies centerfielder Ben Revere

Charlie Manuel used to say that the Phillies go as Jimmy Rollins goes. Well, Ryne Sandberg might have a new Phillies catalyst, Ben Revere, in his midst.

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.