Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
Cannabis-Fed Pigs Featured At Portland Farm-To-Table Dinner
A great dish with a story always resonates with guests, says Vitaly Paley, chef-proprietor of Paley’s Place Bistro and Bar in Portland, Oregon. “A dish with a story that is very tasty and unique to Oregon is much more powerful, meaningful and memorable.”
Paley’s story is cannabis-fed pigs.
Paley and David Hoyle, owner and farmer of Moto Perpetuo Farm in Forest Grove, Oregon have teamed up to offer the High on the Hog Dinner, an event centered around the roasting of a cannabis-fed pig and summer vegetables.
The pigs are grown on the same farm as cannabis and “it is an age old practice to feed hogs the bi-product of nearby agricultural production,” said Hoyle. The animals were already receiving a portion of their diet from fruits and vegetables of the produce operation.
Cannabis cultivation generates bi-product, mostly in the form of leaf from pruning and post harvest. “We saw the potential for this material to become a supplemental feed stock for the pigs,” Hoyle said.
Some customers ask if feeding the pigs cannabis plants makes them high. The answer is no. Pigs have a very similar endo-cannabinoid system to humans, “which means that what minimal THC that exists in the feedstock would have to be decarboxylated (heated) in order to be psychoactive,” said Hoyle.
Cannabis has many other chemical components, many of which have medicinal applications he said, “so we feel that cannabis is a healthy part of their diet in the same way that kale or spinach would be.”
That said, Hoyle has shares his own anecdotal data that suggests that pigs raised this way gain weight faster, are more healthy and have a mellower disposition. The pigs he has fed cannabis plants are “the most docile” he’s ever raised.
Cannabis has been legally sold for recreational use in Oregon since the fall of 2015. Currently there is an oversupply of the plant in the state, but it is illegal to ship it to neighboring states, even if they also have legalized cannabis.
Raising pigs on a cannabis farm, “shows ingenuity, experience and know-how on David’s part, to understand the farm’s sustainable circle of life,” said Paley.
From the 1995 opening of his restaurant in a Victorian home in the Nob Hill section of Portland, Paley has been building relationships with local growers and farmers. “The farm-to-table movement may be a new trend to some, while to us, it has been a way of life and part of doing business daily from the start,” he said.
This year’s dinner featured CBD-infused drinks.