10.8.2020 – cycle continues

cycle continues
certain problems are solved
others emerge …duh!

My morning reading today included the article, Behind China’s ‘pork miracle’: how technology is transforming rural hog farming.

My first thought was I am not much on pigs.

I like pork, pork chops, pork roast, bacon and such.

I love Country pork sausage.

Down here in Georgia, there are still small grocery store chains that sell southern country pork sausage in bulk made fresh and it makes Bob Evans’ finest taste as bland as a hot dog.

One time I was picking up some sorghum molasses which came in a paint can and I also picked up a pack of this sausage.

This store actually had an aisle labeled “SYRUP” and that is all it was, syrup.

Some factory packed like Log Cabin and such.

But there more bottles and cans from pint to gallon size labeled just syrup.

I grabbed a quart can of molasses and with my sausage got in line at the cash register.

If memory serves a UGa football game was being played over the store’s loudspeakers.

I put the molasses and sausage on the roller bed of the cash register and it moved towards the cashier.

She stopped the roller bed and the can tipped over and while it did not open or spill, it slowly slowly rolled the length of the counter.

That check lady waited until it stopped and then looks at me and says, “well, that was as slow as molasses.”

I smiled.

She smiled back.

Then it came to me she was not trying to be funny.

She was just making a comment.

The bag person came up and looked at my purchases and studied them a while.

Then she says, “Sausage! Molasses! I want to come eat at your house tonight!”

I smiled at her.

She smiled back.

We all stood there, me, the cashier and the bag lady and smiled.

Did I mention that either of those two nice ladies could have played for UGa?

We all stood there and smiled and listened to the football game for what seems like a long time.

I guess when no invitation was forth coming, they got around to ringing me up and sending me on my way.

I didn’t shop at this store too often.

I eat sausage in spite of what the Minister of Administrative Affairs, The Right Honourable James Hacker, MP said in the episode Party Games of the Yes Minister series.

Mr. Hacker noted:

The average British sausage consists of:
32% Fat
6% Rind
20% Water
5% Seasoning, preservatives and colouring
26% Meat
The 26% meat is mostly gristle, head meat, other off cuts, and mechanically recovered meat steamed off the carcass.

Well, that is British sausage for you.

The aptly named, banger.

In the back of mind also is that fact that both Jewish and Muslim dietary rules rule out pork so I wonder, what do they know?

Then I recall the story in the Bible of Peter and the big picnic spread presented by God (Acts 10:9) and Peter declines any unclean food including pork products.

Between you and me there were things like southern batter dipped deep fried chicken and thick steaks with lots of fat.

God tells Peter “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

Which I think more or less clears pepperoni, bologna and roast loin of pork.

Then I got to thinking about pork.

Pork and America.

I remembered how Queen Isabella herself talked to Columbus about the importance of bringing pigs along on his voyages as a renewable food source.

Pigs are not native to North America and most indigenous pigs today descend from the pigs brought to Florida in the 1540’s Hernando DeSoto.

Pigs were essential to the western expansion of the United States.

Pigs could be left to forage on their own in the woods in the summer and then brought back to the farm in the fall at Hog Boil’ln Time.

Who can forget Laura Ingalls Wilder’s description of Butchering Day in Lttile House in the Big Woods?

for Laura and Mary and Ma, Butchering Time had only begun. There was a great deal for Ma to do, and Laura and Mary helped her.

All that day and the next, Ma was trying out the lard in big iron pots on the cookstove. Laura and Mary carried wood and watched the fire. It must be hot, but not too hot, or the lard would burn. The big pots simmered and boiled, but they must not smoke. From time to time Ma skimmed out the brown cracklings. She put them in a cloth and squeezed out every bit of the lard, and then she put the cracklings away. She would use them to flavor johnny-cake later.

Cracklings were very good to eat, but Laura and Mary could have only a taste. They were too rich for little girls, Ma said.

Ma scraped and cleaned the head carefully, and then she boiled it till all the meat fell off the bones. She chopped the meat fine with her chopping knife in the wooden bowl, she seasoned it with pepper and salt and spices. Then she mixed the pot-liquor with it, and set it away in a pan to cool. When it was cool it would cut in slices, and that was headcheese.

The little pieces of meat, lean and fat, that had been cut off the large pieces, Ma chopped and chopped until it was all chopped fine. She seasoned it with salt and pepper and with dried sage leaves from the garden. Then with her hands she tossed and turned it until it was well mixed, and she molded it into balls. She put the balls in a pan out in the shed, where they would freeze and be good to eat all winter. That was the sausage.

When Butchering Time was over, there were the sausages and the headcheese, the big jars of lard and the keg of white salt-pork out in the shed, and in the attic hung the smoked hams and shoulders.

I hear my 4th grade teacher reading it us, she read to us every morning to start the day right after the pledge and the singing of ‘Oh Beatiful.’

But where was I?

Pigs!

So this long article is about Pigs and how Artificial Intelligence is helping raise them as foodstuffs in China.

The article closes with:

The logic behind all this innovation is striking. The demand for pork drives the industrialised farming of pigs, which increases disease transmission. The constant emergence of diseases drives the implementation of new technologies such as AI pork farming. These technologies go on to make pork cheap, driving even more availability and demand, as people start to believe pork is a necessary part of their diet. And so the cycle continues. As AI solves certain problems, others emerge.

And so the cycle continues.

As AI solves certain problems, others emerge.

As AI solves certain problems, others emerge.

Solve problems, others emerge.

No kidding.

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