What motivated the saying "everything but the oink"?
The amazing utility of the hog motivated this saying. A viable animal agriculture not only provides an abundant supply of vital nutrients in meat, but is also a ready source of essential and useful co-products that people depend on so extensivey. Click here to view the significant contribution hogs make to the world of industrial and consumer products.

How did “Uncle Sam” come to represent the U.S. Government?
During the War of 1812, a New York pork packer named Uncle Sam Wilson shipped a boatload of several hundred barrels of pork to U.S. troops. Each barrel was stamped “U.S”. On the docks, it quickly became bantered about that the “U.S.” stood for “Uncle Sam”, whose large pork shipment looked to be enough to feed the entire army. Thus did “Uncle Sam” come to represent the U.S. Government itself.

What U.S. city became known as Porkopolis?
The open lands of the West encouraged large-scale hog raising operations which, in turn, created a need for expanded commercial pork processing facilities. Packing plants grew throughout the Midwest, with centrally located Cincinnati soon becoming so strongly associated with pork production that it became known, informally at least, as “Porkopolis”

How did Wall Street get its name?
Free-roaming hogs were notorious for rampaging through the precious grain fields of colonial New York City farmers. The Manhattan Island residents chose to limit the forays of these riotous hogs by erecting a long, permanent wall on the northern edge of what is now Lower Manhattan. A street came to border this wall – aptly enough named, Wall Street.

Where did the saying “living high on the hog” come from?
It originated among the army enlisted men who received shoulder and leg cuts while officers received the top loin cuts.

What did President Harry Truman have to say about hogs? “No man should be allowed to be President who does not understand hogs.”

What staple food was provided to Washington’s troops at Valley Forge?
Salt pork from New Jersey was shipped behind British lines to Valley Forge to feed the hungry Continental Army in the winter of 1776-77.

What’s the highest known price ever paid for a hog?
$56,000 was paid for a crossbreed barrow named “Bud”, owned by Jeffrey Roemisch of Hermleigh, Texas and bought by E. A. “Bud” Olson and Phil Bonzio on March 5, 1985.

What’s the heaviest hog ever recorded?
A Poland China hog named “Big Bill” weighing 2,552 pounds and measuring 9 feet long with a belly that dragged the ground, owned by Buford Butler of Jackson, Tennessee in 1933.

What’s the origin of the saying “pork barrel politics"?
The phrase is derived from the pre-Civil War practice of disturbing salt pork to the slaves from huge barrels. By the 1870s, congressmen were referring to the regularly dipping into “pork barrel” to obtain funds for popular projects in their home districts.

What’s the origin of the saying “to go whole hog"?
The expression came from the 18th Century when the English shilling was at one time called a “hog”. Thus, a spendthrift, one willing to spend an entire shilling on the entertainment of a friend in a pub, was willing to “go whole hog”.

What’s the origin of the saying “a pig in a poke"?
The reference is to a common trick of 17th Century England trying to palm off a cat on an unsuspecting “greenhorn” for a suckling pig. When he opened the poke (sack) he “let the cat out of the bag”, and the trick was disclosed.

Fact or Hogwash?

  • When hot dogs were first sold, street vendors called them “red hots”, and they didn’t come on a bun. Instead, a pair of white cotton gloves came with each one to keep fingers cool while eating.   Fact. It happened at the St. Louis World’s Fair where hot dogs were introduced to the public along with the ice cream cone in 1904.

  • The longest single sausage was over a mile long. Fact. A single sausage measuring 5,917 feet in length was cooked in Barcelona, Spain on September 22, 1986.

Did you know that?

  • The word "barbeque" derived from French-speaking pirates, who called this Caribbean pork feast “de barbe et queue” which translates “from beard to tail”. In other words, the pig roast reflected the fact that the hog was an eminently versatile animal that could be consumed from head to toe.

  • In ancient China, fresh pork enjoyed royal status. Around 4,000 B.C., the Chinese people were ordered to raise and breed hogs – by a royal decree from Emperor of China.

  • The word "earmark", which we now use to mean 'to designate' or 'to set aside for a particular purpose', actually has a very simple origin. For centuries, farmers marked their livestock with distinctive notches in the animals' ears. Earmark in the literal sense first appeared in English around 1591, but the use of earmark in the figurative sense 'to designate' arose only in the late 19th century.

  • The ancient Chinese were so loath to be separated from fresh pork that the departed were sometimes accompanied to the grave with their herd of hogs.