A perfect day for a pig roast - with no Enviropig in sight
September 27th, 2010
04:30 PM ET
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Editor's note: all week, CNN Newsroom, Rick's List and Eatocracy are teaming up to take a look the effects our dining choices have on our minds, bodies and wallets. Tune into CNN Newsroom daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET for on-air coverage and join in the discussion here on Eatocracy. ALL COVERAGE

Susan Chun is a Producer with AC360°. She tagged alongside Eatocracy's managing editor Kat Kinsman to an old-fashioned pig roast.

The first thing I smelled when I arrived at the International Pig Roast was that rich, fatty, meaty scent of roast pork. Not just any old roasted pork, this was a whole hog barbecued by Pitmaster Ed Mitchell. He drove all the way up to Connecticut from his Raleigh restaurant The Pit to cook us North Carolina-style barbecued pork. It smelled so good that even while I was shooting video of that pulled pork cooking on the grill, I couldn't help but reach out my free hand out to steal a piece and eat it.

So why is CNN doing a story on a pig roast? With all the talk of genetically modified foods these days, we wanted to ask chefs like Ed Mitchell about Enviropig, a genetically modified Yorkshire pig that lives in Canada at the University of Guelph. Enviropig has been modified to digest plant phosphorus more efficiently than regular pigs, which ultimately cuts down on the amount of phosphorus that reaches the environment through the pig's manure. Enviropig still lives in a lab, so you won’t see it showing up in your grocery stores anytime soon, but we were curious to see if master chefs would consider one day cooking with a genetically modified pig.

Our incredibly generous host Dorothy Hamilton, founder of the International Culinary Center, held this pig roast at her home in Connecticut. Chefs like Cesare Casella, Nils Noren and Ed Mitchell were there to help cook the pig. Food writers like Peter Kaminsky, author of "Pig Perfect," were there to eat it. There was a lot of enthusiasm over cooking and eating pork - but a lot of skepticism over eating a genetically modified pig. Everyone seemed to agree that a naturally raised, acorn-fed, happy pig was perfection in itself with no need for improvement. And after eating some of that roast pig, it was easy to see their point.

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soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. chanel ??? ??

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    October 16, 2014 at 4:32 am |
  2. Kendra Bailey Morris

    Where I come from (Virginia), a downhome pig pickin' is where it's at. We have several a year where I live, and we've hosted a couple ourselves. Basically, once we get a split, whole pig from a local farm, we fire up the smoker (with a full-fledged burn barrel of cedar logs to keep it at the right temp) and roast that little piggy for about 14 hours, basting every now and then with a vinegar-based sauce. During this time, the pitmasters consume large amounts of cheap beer and the table is set with all kinds of potluck goodies: grits casserole, slaw, potato salad, beans, biscuits, rolls, Jell-O concoctions, pound cakes of every imaginable flavor and lots and lots of sweet tea. Once the pig is fall-off-the-bone, the party really starts. A pig pickin' is one of those "musts" for any pork lover. I impatiently wait for it every year.

    October 5, 2010 at 9:42 am |
  3. Sledge

    It's probably inevitable that some of our meat one day will be grown in a lab but i will always remember eating the skinny chickens, pigs, etc. that run around on their own, eating bugs, whatever, and that taste like the real thing!

    September 28, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  4. JuanitaBeasley

    I'm sad for pigs because they're so delicious..and they kind of remind me of people. When I was little in the Caribbean, my grandparents had black pigs. We never ate them, though. My mom remembers having to slaughter them as a youngster and she that pigs go crazy when you try to kill them, so maybe my grandmother didn't like that.

    We did take the herd of pigs for "walks." I'm not sure why, though. I think my grandmother was selling them?

    They were pretty obedient and followed us in a little group. I guess they were happy to be outside. To this day, I love the smell of pigs and pig feed.

    I also remember my first roast pig. It was a pretty vivid memory of the cleaned, hairless pig sitting on a bench with it's snout up, waiting to be cooked. I also remember the pig blood running in a stream down the river. I'm not sure why the butcher threw the blood away.

    I was visiting my cousins for Christmas on a neighboring island, but on the island where I was born we make "rice pudding" out of the pig's blood. It's a sausage with rice, blood and spices. Yum.

    September 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  5. Bricelyn

    I thought I saw a thing on "This American LIfe" about how pigs have been bred in such a way that they can no longer live outside of an extremely sterile environment. So how is it any different if its been done by breading or Genetically altering the animals?

    September 28, 2010 at 12:32 am |
  6. Pig Sticker

    Best pork I ever ate was once I helped a freind roast a 80pound pig on a rotisserie(?) and all I put on it was a pound of salt in the body cavity and sprayed the body down each few minutes with stale beer and flat coke. Used charcoal and cooked it for 8hrs and when the temp was right( 160degrees in the thickest part of the pig) we carried the pig to a plastic tarp covered table and and I literally shredded the hot pig with a pair of garden gloves. No knife was needed.

    September 27, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      That sounds awesome. Putting that on my bucket list.

      September 28, 2010 at 11:04 am |
      • RichardHead

        Where ya been?

        September 28, 2010 at 11:14 am |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        Me? Sick most of last week. Then got a little delirious from lack of sleep. It was good times all around.

        September 28, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
      • RichardHead

        Sounds like it. At least you had the nurse GF to take care of ya. Been running between Houston and Dallas but gotta go to FL. again this week. Just wanted to yell at ya. Man,Coach Mike has lost a helluva lot of weight. Stress?

        September 28, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        Actually, she chastised me for not waking her up one night I was barfing. I AM MAN, I TAKE CARE SELF , I said. Then she made me a sandwich.

        Yeah, he looks a little thinner.

        September 28, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
      • RichardHead

        The Barfing sounds should have woken her up.

        September 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        It's a big house, and I puke like a ninja.

        September 28, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
  7. Jdizzle McHammerpants

    ^ this

    is why I would never be vegetarian.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
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