Remember the swine flu? That pig pandemic that was supposed to sweep the world, killing babies and grandmothers from here to Montezuma? Yeah, well, it didn't, but it did devastate the pork industry, costing American pork producers $17.69 per hog just during the April 24 through May 1 period. Total losses for that period reached $7.2 million a day, according to the National Pork Producers Council.
In an effort to help the pork industry, Faces of Agriculture has launched a "Pork on the Fork" contest, encouraging you to take pictures of you and your loved ones dining on swine. What do you win? Well, you get an all-expense paid trip to the World of Pork, er, the World Pork Expo in Des Moines on June 3.
Sounds like a place not many would want to go, but I can think of a few chefs in this town who would totally dig going to a pork expo. Find out more about the Pork on the Fork contest here.
In related news, bacon is good for you!
Bon Apetit has included it in their list of "10 Surprising Health Foods."
According to a new book out called Fat by Jennifer McLagan, bacon's fat is a lot like that of olive oil: "45 percent of the fat in bacon is monounsaturated, the good-for-you fat that can help lower bad cholesterol levels. Better still, bacon's monounsaturated fat turns out to be oleic acid, the same fat found in olive oil. So that means that some could argue that bacon is about half as good for you as olive oil and about 100 times more delicious."
Finally, some good news.
We'll be doing a feature on bacon soon, so send us your favorite bacon dishes in town. We already know about the bacon dessert at Shine and the one at Center Street Kitchen. Suggest some others, please!