The myriad conversations regarding cannabis ethics tend to focus on legalization, medicinal benefits and expungement reparations to past victims from the War on Drugs. We believe in expungement clinics, or prioritizing exclusive licenses for people of color in the industry. Because of the pressing politics inherent in these issues, they tend to dominate any media noise regarding cannabis.
But what about sustainability? Though Canada’s legalization of adult-use cannabis is worthy of applause, the government also requires the industry to destroy tons of waste that’s created in cannabis production. This is not good. Canadian growers have bemoaned the lost opportunity, citing T-shirts, animal feed, and juices as possibilities from the waste byproduct.
On a recent episode of Eater’s YouTube series “Prime Time,” hosts Brent and Ben showcase how sustainable cannabis practices can provide feed to animals, like pigs. Moto Perpetuo Farm in Forest Grove, Oregon raises its swine on cannabis, making up about 20-25 percent of their diet. (And no, the pigs don’t get high, nor will eating them get you high either. These pigs are not edibles.)
But how does that affect the taste of the animal? Vitaley Paley, the Chef and Owner at Imperial in Portland, cooks this pork at his restaurant. Executive Chef Matthew Jarrell sums it up nicely.
“For me it doesn’t really impart the flavor of cannabis or what we understand that flavor to be,” Jarrell says. “What I do taste is a healthier animal. It’s juicier pork, the texture is more resistant, there’s no mushiness involved whatsoever.”
Less waste and better tasting meat? That’s a win-win for everyone.