Everything but the oink
No other animal provides us with a wider range of products than the pig. Pigs are raised for a variety of meats such as bacon, ham and pork chops. We also appreciate pigs for the many additional products they provide.
Some examples include:
Medicines – Insulin from the pancreas and about 40 other pharmaceuticals are made with help from pigs. Blood vessels, tendons, heart valves and tissue are used in a number of medical procedures on humans. As well, pig gelatin is used to harden the shells of medicine-containing capsules.
Household items – Fatty acids from the bone are used in a variety of everyday products like candles, crayons, paint, fabric softener, soap, shampoo and lipstick. The hair from pigs can be used to make durable paintbrushes or processed into fertilizer.
Paper and film – Bone collagen and gelatin is used to improve the stiffness of paper and as a bonding agent in photographic film.
Foodstuffs – Gelatin from pig skin is used to thicken and texturize many common foods like ice cream, butter, marshmallows and chewy sweets. Gelatin is also used to clarify beverages like beer, wine and fruit juices by absorbing the particles that would otherwise leave them cloudy.
Leathers – Pig hide is used in many products, from safety gloves to footballs and footwear, to leather jackets.
Alternative energy – Even products that would otherwise go to waste are sometimes used as fuel to produce electricity.
Did you know?
Pig by-products make up an estimated 30% of the live weight of market hogs, while about 60% is used for meat.