No joke, folks, there are ten million hogs in NC and only nine million people (insert shocked face here). I mean, I knew there were a lot of hog farms in NC, particularly Eastern NC, but I had no clue that the pig population had surpassed the human population in my state.
As much as I agree with anyone's right to eat what they like, I say that's too much pork fat! I was enlightened to this fact by a wonderful post from Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes (photo credit goes to her as well). In this post, she visits a "traditional" farm where pigs are raised the old-fashioned way and explores the issues behind the trend of 'hog confinement' farming, and the huge benefits of "traditional" farming. There has got to be something unhealthy about eating meat that was raised in such an unhealthy manner as confinement farming, where each building holds anywhere from 1000 to 3000 pigs, crowded together, bred to eat, get fat, and be slaughtered. And these types of farms can be bad for the environment as well.
There's a lot to be said about traditional farming, which after all, is the way we ate for hundreds (if not thousands) of years - food raised in the earth and fertilized (or fed) the way the food evolved. I often disagree with non-organic produce being called "conventional" - the meaning of the word conventional reflects a traditional way of doing things, and that's what organic is. I say spend your money on organic and humanely raised food, and show the (meat) markets that you wish to spend your money on food that is healthier for you.