March 13, 2009

farming for cheap food 2 . . .

The Houston Chronicle has details on a plan to turn feral hogs (probably no MRSA problems) into BLTs.

Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack has a problem with hungry hogs. Houston has a problem with hungry people.

If Radack gets his way, hundreds of pounds of pork soon could be hitting the needy’s tables.

Radack plans to allow a few select bowhunters to begin targeting the thousands of feral pigs that live in George Bush Park and hopes to donate the meat to food banks, churches, homeless shelters or even needy individuals.

“If you could harness this, it could feed so many people it’s unbelievable,” Radack said.

The hogs have wreaked havoc in the west Harris County park for years and now are ambling into neighboring subdivisions where manicured yards and flower beds make for a tempting swine buffet.

Their numbers have grown so large that it is not unusual to see groups of the normally reclusive beasts foraging for roots and grubs in open fields early in the morning or late in the evening, Precinct 3 special activities coordinator Mike McMahan said.

Off-duty county employees have been allowed to trap hogs at the park for more than a decade, and they typically remove about 300 to 400 every year, McMahan said. The trappers are responsible for removing the hogs and have been allowed to keep the meat.

But those efforts barely have made a dent in a population that swells so quickly that 50 sows could replace all the hogs that were harvested with just one litter each.

While Radack estimated there are between 10,000 and 15,000 hogs living in the park, McMahan said it would be difficult to provide an accurate count.

There's more via the above link.

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