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Future Swine: Iowa Pigs Being Bred to Taste Like Whiskey

Future Swine: Iowa Pigs Being Bred to Taste Like Whiskey

Yes, you read that correctly. There are 20 guests heading to your place tonight for a barbecue. You haven’t decided which salad you are going to make plus you haven’t even started with the meat. But wait… imagine if it were possible to skip the marinating process all together. Would you? We sure would.

Well, that process may now be possible thanks to a few fine folks in Iowa and their new project, “The Templeton Rye Pork Project.”

Pig in Whiskey Iowa

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But how safe can this be? Are these pigs getting wasted 24/7? We did some research and found out that the mastermind behind this is Dr. Mark Bertram, who holds a doctoral degree in Swine Nutrition from Iowa State University. Dr. Bertram analyzed the feed sample and developed a weekly diet regimen for the pigs. On top of that, the major supporter of the project is Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard, who said, “Spring can’t come soon enough as I look forward to a special dinner in Little Goat’s private dining room combining my love of Templeton Rye with my love of all things pig.”

So there’s a buzz, and people are excited. But similar to the OutKast reunion at Coachella 2014, something feels wrong. And something is wrong. According to Vox, this smells like a bunch of bullshit. I mean, requesting a pig that you’re going to eat? Imagine if every time you ate chicken you had to walk over and pick out a live one. Not sure about you, but I wouldn’t eat at that place ever again.

Why are we calling their bluff? Simply because it’s impossible. “That will not make them taste like whiskey. [Distillers' grain] has been a fairly popular ingredient in all pig diets for the last 10 years,” says Chad Stahl, a swine nutrition specialist at North Carolina State University. Feeding a pig a particular food is not going to make the pig taste like that food. I eat a lot of french fries. Am I going to start tasting like one? Sadly, no.

So there you have it. Drinking whiskey will not make you taste like whiskey. Even if you are a pig with a special diet. Sorry dudes. Now where’s the bacon and booze at?

Lindsey loves eating pigs but feels bad about it after writing this. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.