Manure is a natural bi-product of farming. Animals eat, they poop and then they do it all over again. Simply the natural way of things.
What isn’t natural is the exploding pig manure phenomenon that is hitting up several pig farms in the American mid-west. It’s seems to be a bi-product of the factory farm hog industry… and this is the point where if you get grossed out easily you should flip to another post.
According to the Minnesota Daily farmers starting noticing this explosive “manure foam” a few years ago. At first, they were like what is this foam on top of the pig manure. Then it started blowing up – whole barns and their live stock gone costing the famers thousands to millions of dollars.
While this is relative rare, six have blown since the foam was noticed in 2009, the foam itself is also a fairly new phenomena which is scary if you think of the possibility it could get worse. A study of 200 farms done by AgriNews, a trade journal, found 25 % of them had the mysterious foam.
They describe this mystery foam as:
A layer of surface foam that forms on some manure pits becomes toxic as it acts like a sponge to capture gases, particularly methane. Agitation can break the foam and release the gas. Just a small amount of methane trapped in the foam has the potential to cause a flash fire or explosion if it comes in contact with a spark from a motor or pilot light.
So how is it that we now have explosive pig manure? It doesn’t seem there is any answer to this as of yet. It could be a new strain of bacteria thinks the Minnesota Daily. Other hypothesis include feeding pigs distillers grains which is basically the left over stuff from turning corn into ethanol. Whatever the case we have to remember how the manure is dealt with in the first place.
In 2005, Rolling Stone did an expose on one hog factory farm giant, Smithfield, and author Jeff Tietz wrote about the process:
The floors are slatted to allow excrement to fall into a catchment pit under the pens, but many things besides excrement can wind up in the pits: afterbirths, piglets accidentally crushed by their mothers, old batteries, broken bottles of insecticide, antibiotic syringes, stillborn pigs — anything small enough to fit through the foot-wide pipes that drain the pits. The pipes remain closed until enough sewage accumulates in the pits to create good expulsion pressure; then the pipes are opened and everything bursts out into a large holding pond.”
Whatever the reason may be the fact that pig crap is exploding is scary. If their waste is apt to blow up, how good can that meat be?
If you ask me, this is a serious situation that needs to be properly examined and researched pronto. Before it gets out of control. On the other side, it might be that all the factory farms blow up and then it’s back to free range, small farming techniques which are better for the environment and probably better for those who eat the meat. Perhaps the explosive foamy pig poop is nature’s way of telling people that it is time to get back to basics. Source.