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10 States That Produce the Most Pork in America

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For people who eat pork a lot and love all those specialties with this type of meat, the list of 10 states that produce the most pork in America can be very interesting. The reason is the existence of a wide range of recipes and habits concerning meat consumption across the United States. Unfortunately, in the last couple of decades, numerous associations which care about human health have fought for banning pork, claiming that pork is highly dangerous due to the high level of fat. A lot of research has shown that pork is dangerous to consume on daily basis, so other types of meat, like chicken or lamb, are recommended to use instead. But, before we start investigating who brought sheep to the US or which top chicken-producing states are, let’s stop for a moment and talk about pork.

Actually, pork has traditionally been a favorite type of meat in the US since the birth of the nation in the 16th century. The first settlers brought pork and their recipes to America and many of those recipes have survived numerous changes through the industrial development of the country. America produces between 175 and 200 pounds of pork every year and the states on the top of the list of 10 states that produce the most pork in America have an annual production of more than 20 million pigs.  There are many recipes for tasty pork sausages traditionally served across the country and surely some of them are still kept in grandmothers’ drawers despite the time.

10 States That Produce the Most Pork in America

Constantine Pankin/Shutterstock.com

As researchers have found, pork is not equally eaten in each of the American states. The statistics that has identified top 5 states in the number of sheep or lambs or the top chicken-producing states has also shown that the countries where beef, lamb or chicken are favorite types of meat are not great producers of pork. In addition to this, the list of 10 Largest Cattle Producing States in the US shows that the states which are the largest producers of cattle are not necessarily among the top pork-producing states. Pig producers are not on the top of the list of traditional exporters of meat and surely they are not on the list of larger exporters of meat in the US.

The reason for this might be bad name pork has got during the past decades, mostly due to its influence on human health. Pork is claimed to be the worst type of meat because of a high level of fat whose consumption has negative effects on the human body. Although it seems to be forgotten, it is very important to emphasize the fact that the pig, apart from the possible infection with trichinosis, does not suffer from any serious diseases and this is the only type of meat which can be marked with one of only two possible marks during veterinary inspections – acceptable and utility. The list of marks defining the quality of beef is far more complicated, so pork seems much healthier when you think of potentially dangerous meat taken from cows suffering from mad cow disease.

During the last couple of years, pork has been brought back on tables and in kitchens, mostly thanks to the efforts of pork producers associations. Many chefs are given support to invent new recipes with pork and there are more cooking TV shows in which meals with pork are made more often. Eating bacon for breakfast is very popular again and many doctors and nutritionists now claim that pig’s fat is actually healthy for our body and has more positive than negative effects on it. The pig has become a movie and a book character and children’s pet. Pork industry supports more than 500,000 jobs and adds $39 billion to the USA GDP.

The situation is almost the same when it comes to pork consumption around the world. Besides the countries where religion or cultural reasons forbid eating pork, many other countries have scored the growth in national income thanks to the pig production and pork export, and many of them are traditionally among the biggest consumers of pork. The world’s largest exporter of pork is China, followed by the European Union and the US, which proves that those who eat pork know how to produce it and then sell it on the world market.

Our list of states that produce the most pork in America is based on the data taken from the lists of the states which produce the most pigs and hogs in the US, although the information could be tricky because pigs and one of the final products made from them, pork, are definitely not the same. In spite of that, we created a list based on the assumption that pig producers would not trade in live pigs with other countries and that they would keep the production within the borders. This assumption can be justified by the fact that the companies which are the biggest pork producers are situated in the countries which are at the top of the list. The numbers given under the names of the states refer to the number of pigs and hogs produced in 2016 expressed in millions.

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