Recently - I went on a tour of Queen City Sausage and met Jennifer from the Ohio Pork Council. She's so fun and she likes bacon - so we bonded right away.
Now - I'll say up front - it is hard to hug a baby and then say, "Oh I can't wait to eat you in a few months." But my love for bacon supersedes pretty much all else. What I can be concerned with is how they're cared for and their conditions before they become my breakfast.
But Coopers does more than just grow 500,000 pigs - they also grow 4 million turkeys and 2 million layers (chickens). Alan is in charge of hogs but knows about all aspects of the farm and taught me a lot! Like what hussy? Like this:
* Young chickens lay eggs with thin shells, old chickens lay eggs with thick shells
* 24 weeks - 2 years old are the best layers for consumers
* Old chickens go to chicken soup... (awww)
* Eggs that are too thick or thin go to "egg breakers" like McDonalds
* Pigs are in the nursery for 4 weeks
* They grow to be 285 pounds and are sold for about 50 cents a pound
* Coopers owns the pigs but contracts out to farmers to raise them
* They'll be full grown in 6 months and gain 1-2 pounds a day
* Pig poop is a good fertilizer for corn but turkey poop is good for soybeans
How's that for knowledge droppin?!
Oh my God Becki - look at her butt. It's so pink and round!
The facilities they're in are really clean - which was impressive. Many Ohio farmers believe that raising pigs in barns allows them to better care for them. They have fans, misters and heaters to keep them comfortable and healthy all year. They also have sides that open to help with circulation.
We also chatted about antibiotics in pork - there is a lot of misinformation out there - when these guys are given antibiotics - it's for a reason and it's done by a vet. Testing is always done to be sure the antibiotics are out of their system before they enter the food supply.
Tin Cupboard for lunch.
Tin Cupboard is a cute little spot - it's nothing fancy but it's homemade and that's always welcoming. I hear they have great desserts too!
After that - we headed home - with a couple of stops along the way...
Birts - I heard "wall of candy" and had to go. It's a cute little place that's obviously been there forEVER. They had fresh plants outside and a little general store inside.
Wall of candy was right!!!! We picked up a few things for the road.
After Birts, we stumbled upon a wall of gum! (ew) Where was this amazing site?
video I did on Local 12 - but you can always head up to Greenville and get one there as well.
All in all - I had a great day - exploring the countryside of Fort Recovery (it's a couple hours north on the Ohio/Indiana border). I learned a lot and ate a considerable amount as well.