Rolling Stone “Boss Hog”

Jeff Tietz from Rolling Stone Magazine wrote the following article focusing on the amount of pig shit produced by largest pork processor in the world.  This article sheds light on the dirty side of bacon.  This is from the December 2006 issue.

Smithfield Foods, the largest and most profitable pork processor in the world, killed 27 million hogs last year. That’s a number worth considering. A slaughter-weight hog is fifty percent heavier than a person. The logistical challenge of processing that many pigs each year is roughly equivalent to butchering and boxing the entire human populations of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose, Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Columbus, Austin, Memphis, Baltimore, Fort Worth, Charlotte, El Paso, Milwaukee, Seattle, Boston, Denver, Louisville, Washington, D.C., Nashville, Las Vegas, Portland, Oklahoma City and Tucson.

Smithfield Foods actually faces a more difficult task than transmogrifying the populations of America’s thirty-two largest cities into edible packages of meat. Hogs produce three times more excrement than human beings do. The 500,000 pigs at a single Smithfield subsidiary in Utah generate more fecal matter each year than the 1.5 million inhabitants of Manhattan. The best estimates put Smithfield’s total waste discharge at 26 million tons a year. That would fill four Yankee Stadiums. Even when divided among the many small pig production units that surround the company’s slaughterhouses, that is not a containable amount.

continue at Rolling Stone (via

Author Information -  During his spare time Eric writes for and maintains For his day job he works for an electronics company in San Diego, CA. Eric has been a vegetarian for about 10 years and believes that going 'green' and reducing meat consumption go hand-in-hand.

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Comment by rarebitNo Gravatar
2008-05-25 01:38:18

that’s… amazing.

Comment by ericNo Gravatar
2008-06-02 20:57:47

yeah…to say the least. It’s pretty horrific IMHO. :)

Comment by MiyaNo Gravatar Subscribed to comments via email
2009-05-07 10:03:35

although I’m still going to eat pork products, I’d have to say that make me feel bad…it is wrong in the eyes of some…but then some dont care.

Comment by ericNo Gravatar
2009-05-08 17:33:44

Hi Miya, your comment is appreciated. Consciousness is the first step to action. You being aware and disheartened with the inhumane process of raising pigs for pork does make a difference. Spread the word whenever you feel it’s appropriate, the more we all know, the more we can change.

Comment by The Red PigNo Gravatar Subscribed to comments via email
2011-12-14 18:31:43

Unfortunately the consumer’s drive for lower cost food has led us to this sorry state. There is however an alternative to commercially farmed pork. Try searching specality butchers or delis to find what we in Ireland call “rare breed” pork products. This is meat from the older breeds which are slower growing but far superior in taste, usually reared outdoors so the animals have a more natural and happy life. I keep a few of these pigs (Tamworths) and supply family and friends so I like to think I am doing my bit in some small way to stand against the large corporations like Smithfield while at the same time ensuring at least some of the food I eat is ethically produced.

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