PRIMGHAR, Iowa — Most people think about porkchops, bacon and ham when they think about pork production, but the pig is about so much more than that. The complete list of everyday co-products from pigs can be found on the Pork Board’s website (www.pork.org). Let me summarize for you the list of co-products discussed on the site.
The Pork Board points out that the hog is serving essential human needs every day. Safe and high-quality pork meat is not the only thing we get from pork production. Pigs produce a wide range of products including many valuable medical tools.
According to the Pork Board’s website, “Co-products from hogs play a vital, though less visible role, in maintaining and improving the quality of human life. Thanks to innovative research and new technologies, new and different co-products from hogs are constantly being developed.”
“Hog heart valves are used to replace damaged or diseased human heart valves… Skin from hogs is used to treat severe burn victims,” continues the statements from the Pork Board.
The amazing utility of the hog has motivated the saying, “We use everything but the oink.”
In addition to providing great bacon, ham and porkchops to eat, the pork industry is also a steady supply of co-products that are used in so many other industries and all kinds of ways by people.
Pharmaceuticals rank second only to meat itself in the list of important contributions hogs make to society. Rapidly advancing science and technology are continually adding to the list of life-supporting and lifesaving products derived from the incredible hog.
Hogs are powerful medicine. All told, hogs are a source of nearly 20 drugs and pharmaceuticals.
Hogs also make a very significant contribution to the world of industrial and consumer products. Hog co-products are sources of chemicals used in the manufacturing of a wide range of products that cannot be duplicated by synthetics. And, of course, pigskin is used extensively as high-quality leather for clothing, shoes, handbags, sporting goods, upholstery and more.
Some examples of specific products made from hogs include: Plywood adhesive, fabric printing and dyeing, glue, gloves and shoes, buttons, fertilizer, porcelain, enamel, glass, lubricants, cosmetics, antifreeze, floor waxes, crayons, chalk, putty, insulation, linoleum and many other products.
— Dave Stender, Swine Specialist
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
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