One Washington state farm is raising a stock of potbellied pigs -- literally.
Since the state legalized recreational marijuana in November, new cannabis growers venturing into the legal market find themselves facing unique problems in unprecedented territory. For one: What to do with all the stems, roots and other waste from their plants?
Susannah Gross, the owner of a five-acre farm north of Seattle, told Reuters she may have a solution to the problem. She and a group of others are experimenting with feeding the weed waste to pigs, in order to get the pigs to eat more.
Four pigs were reportedly given feed with the marijuana leftovers over the last four months. It worked; they ended up 20 to 30 pounds heavier than other swine from the same litter when they were sent to the slaughter house in March.
"They were eating more, as you can imagine," Gross told the wire.
William von Schneidau of Pike Place Market in Seattle, who butchered the pigs, says baked pigs make bacon tastier, too.
"Some say the meat seems to taste more savory," he said.
Giving livestock the munchies, however, is still very much still in the experimental phase. The European Food Safety Authority reported in 2011 there are no official studies about the "tolerance or effect" of THC in food-producing animals. An old 1990 study found that the milk from Buffalo in Pakistan, which fed on marijuana that grows freely in the area, had low levels of THC in them -- a big problem considering children were being raised on the milk. Those animals, however, feasted on leaves, and not just the stems.