5 numbers to get you through Pork Month

Feeding the world is a big task, but U.S. producers are up to it. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Kevin.Schulz, senior content specialist

October 6, 2017

2 Min Read
5 numbers to get you through Pork Month
Getty Images/Scott Olson

Hallmark is really missing out by not offering cards for Pork Month; I mean who doesn’t want to share their love of pork by sending someone a card to show them just how much you care — about them, and of course about pork.

But, since Hallmark dropped the ball on bacon greetings, I’ll do my best to get you in the mood for Porktober.

Here are some numbers for you to digest while chewing on some bacon, or a chop.

There are more than 55,000 hog farms in the United States, and those support more than 800,000 jobs. Those farms and those jobs have no small task — helping produce the safest, most nutritious and delicious pork for consumers. Which brings us to …

22 billion
Yes, that’s right, 22 billion pounds of pork is produced in the United States each year. That is a lot of pork, and American consumers are up to the task by dining on almost 50 pounds per person. But we need help, so …

U.S. hog producers are very good at what they do, producing pork. So much so that we cannot rely on the domestic market to eat up the supply. This year 27% of U.S. pork production is finding its way into export channels. (Now let’s hope that trend continues as existing trade pacts are up in the air and new ones are being explored.) Pork is loved here, but it’s loved even more overseas, like to the tune of …

The world can’t get enough pork, as it is the most widely consumed animal protein on planet earth, coming in at 40.1%, outdistancing poultry at 34.1%. As you see, keeping safe, nutritious pork landing on dinner plates around the world is a big job. U.S. hog producers are up to it, even though they are being asked to do more with less, being sustainable and efficient. That brings us to …

The rural landscape has changed over the decades, as fewer and fewer people have dedicated their lives to helping feed the world. Technological advancements have helped producers to do so in an efficient manner. As an example, in 1959, it took eight pigs to produce 1,000 pounds of pork. Today, it takes just five pigs. In addition to using fewer hogs to produce more pork, producers have also become more efficient in the use of the globe’s resources to produce each pound of pork — using 78% less land, 41% less water and shrinking the carbon footprint by 35% compared to 50 years ago.

Feeding the world is a big task, but U.S. producers are up to it. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. And, if you aren’t a hog producer, why don’t you send a producer a card of thanks to show your appreciation, and buy more pork.

Statistics provided by the Pork Checkoff.

About the Author(s)


senior content specialist, National Hog Farmer

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