Templeton Rye: Feeding Pigs to Taste Like Whiskey

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    In recent years, a push for organic fruits, vegetables, and meats has become a movement. As people not only realized the health benefits of avoiding things such as genetically modified foods but also noticed the excellent taste associated with organic items, it has become more of a popular choice to eat organic.

    The reason organic items taste so good is because what those animals themselves eat is cleaner and more natural. Thus, the taste of those animals is better in turn. You are what you eat is essentially proven true in cases such as this.

    While eating organic is nice, what if you had something else in mind? What if there were a way to create a different taste in the animals you intend to consume? For example, what if you were a fan of whiskey and wanted your meat to reflect such a flavor? Feeding animals accordingly just might give you such a taste. This does not mean giving your pigs a sampling of whiskey in their troughs, but perhaps it is possible to feed them the type of dry distillery grain used in the making of whiskey. Will this work? The folks behind the Templeton Rye Distillery in Templeton, Iowa aim to find out.

    Photo: Thrillist

    It is with the goal of whiskey flavored pork that the Templeton Rye Pork Project was born.

    On a farm in Woodward, Iowa, there are 25 pigs participating in this whiskey experiment. Under the supervision of Nick Berry, a man with a Ph.D. in Animal Science with an emphasis on meat and eating quality, these pigs are fed and cared for with the goal of a whiskey-like taste in mind. Each of these 25 pigs are purebred Duroc, a breed known for meat quality that are suitable for this purpose.

    The pigs were born in January and will be kept until June, at which time their future fate will be decided. Locations to which the pigs will go are still up in the air, but requests for a pig have been made from many reputable sources, such as barbeque kings and restaurant owners up to and including a winner of the television show 'Top Chef.' While it has not been decided as of now who will get a pig, the project organizers do not forecast any problems with pig placement.

    Photo: Iowa Public Radio

    For more information on the Templeton Rye Distillery, look here. If you are interested in the Templeton Rye Pork Project, more information can be found here.

    Feel free to give us your opinions in the comments below. Do you feel that feeding pigs a diet that includes the dry distillery grain used in the process of making whiskey is a good call? Or do you prefer to marinate your pig meats in other ways?

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