Farm Focus: Pork
As the world’s most widely eaten meat, pork is something to celebrate – which may be why October is declared National Pork Month. Consider the following pork facts:
- Pork is most commonly consumed as ham – either as an entrée or lunchmeat – in the United States.
- Illinois is the 4t biggest state for pork production, behind Iowa, North Carolina, and Minnesota. In 2017, Illinois produced 2.1 billion pounds of pork.
- Pike County is the largest pork-producing county in Illinois, with nearly 300,000 pigs.
- There are more than 2,100 pig farms in Illinois.
- The pork industry contributes $13.8 million to the Illinois economy.
- The pork industry supports more than 57,000 jobs in Illinois. This includes farmers who take care of the pigs, feed and equipment suppliers, transportation, and processing.
- The majority of pork is eaten processed, as just 21% of the meat is enjoyed in a fresh form, such as ribs, chops or roasts.
- Bacon is the most popular pork item found on restaurant menus, with ham and breakfast sausage coming in second and third places, respectively.
- A source of many B-vitamins, as well as phosphorus, zinc and potassium, pork can be part of a healthy diet. Source: National Pork Board