Post by Eliza Barclay, The Salt at NPR Food (5/20/13)
William von Schneidau, an intrepid butcher in Seattle, is giving a whole new meaning to "potbelly pig." Lately, he's been feeding marijuana refuse to the pigs he turns into prosciutto for BB Ranch, his butcher shop in the city's famous Pike Place Market.
Pot-scented bacon? Well, not quite.
The stems, leaves and root bulbs von Schneidau recoups from Top Shelf Organic, a medical marijuana dispensary, don't season the meat, he says. But the meat from the first few "pot pigs" he's butchered has been "redder and more savory" than what he usually works with, he says.
It's not clear whether the pigs feel anything from the weed in their feed, or how much, if any, THC — the psychoactive substance that gets humans high — ends up in the meat. Rather than an attempt to develop a new meaty treat for stoners, the "pot pig" experiment seems mostly to be an (effective) publicity stunt. Von Schneidau's first Pot Pig Gig event — where he promoted the product, as well as other local foods — sold out quickly. And he says all the media attention he has gotten is generating lots of interest in the next event he's planning.