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Sunday, February 12, 2012
At last–exploding pig poop explained
by Larry Geller
At last, an explanation is in for the pig poop explosions at barns in the Midwest that have plagued commercial pig farmers. In the latest incident, 1,500 pigs died and one worker was injured in an explosion in September 2011 in a barn in Iowa.
What? You haven’t been following this story? Are you a vegetarian or something?
If not, you soon may be.
The image of pig poop foaming up to four feet high is bad enough. Where did it come from? Do I really want to know about this?
In case you do, there is a great article in the University of Minnesota newspaper, The Minnesota Daily: Exploding hog barns beckon U researchers: A team is investigating foam that has caused Midwest swine barns to unexpectedly explode (2/7/2012).
The professors understand the problem, and they have a solution:
In Minnesota, dirty hogs are apparently an issue. Spraying water probably helps with that too.
Preventing the smudging has moved the investigation into high gear:
This sounds very plausible. They have not gone so far as to suggest that hog farm foam might be bottled as a gasoline additive, however.
If you are on the edge of vegetarianism by now, this next article could push you over. It’s from Mother Jones: The Mystery of Exploding Pig Poop (2/9/2012).
It is possible to purchase pork that does not come from these factory farms. Or, it is possible to do without. If you are not yet convinced, please check out the Mother Jones article at the link above, or the Rolling Stone article, and then see how you feel about all this.
Thank you for shining a light on the terrible conditions in factory hog farms. This type of revelation is what inspired us at http://www.MalamaFarm.com to prove out a model of gentle, kind and nurturing pig farming. We believe it is a privilege to eat meat, and we want to honor the lives of the animals. We have found that providing natural, clean conditions along with a diet of fresh vegetables, fruits and grains, and shunning vaccinations, antibiotics and growth hormones has led to larger, healthier litters and superior tasting meat. Most importantly, our pigs frolic in the sun, burrow their heads in fresh straw and roots, and cuddle with their littermates under rainbows and stars. We keep very low density operations and rotate our pigs regularly onto fresh pasture - this has created a wonderful cycle whereby the pigs' manure actually fertilizes the ground, helping the protein rich legumes and grasses grow and providing richer pasture for them on the next cycle. We consider ourselves "grass farmers" as much as pig farmers - because it all starts with the land. It really is possible to raise, buy and eat meat with a clear conscience - so please encourage your families, stores, restaurants and farmers to support this model of livestock farming. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. Mahatma Gandhi
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