Expert opinion

last update:Apr 14, 2011

Where pigs meet design

This will not be a blog about nutrition but about design! My apologies for all the swine nutritionists out there but I do want to share a great book with you from Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma: PIG 05049.

By Emmy Koeleman

Christien has spent three years researching all the products made from a single pig and has been recently received the prestigious Index award for it. Obvious products include pork chops and bacon. But amongst some of the more unexpected results were: Ammunition, train brakes, medicine, photo paper, heart valves, brakes, chewing gum, porcelain, cosmetics, cigarettes, conditioner and even biodiesel.

1 pig, 185 products
Meindertsma makes the subject more approachable by reducing everything to the scale of one animal. 05049 was an actual pig, raised and slaughtered on a commercial farm in the Netherlands. Rotterdam designer Christien Meindertsma was surprised to discover that she could document 185 products contributed to by the animal. Some products remain close to their original form and function while others diverge dramatically. In an almost surgical way a pig is dissected in the pages of the book - resulting in a startling photo book where all the products are shown at their true scale (1:1).

Lost knowledge
I think this is a great book. There are very many steps between the raw material and the end product in modern commercial production. And because there are so many steps in between, the knowledge gets lost. For instance, the pig farmers also don’t know all the end-products that are made from their pigs because they just don’t know always where it goes.

I think this book is a must have for all people working with pigs, from farmer to end user. This kind of initiatives help raise more awareness about our products, how we live, what we consume and where it comes from! I still have to buy it myself, but from briefly flicking trough the book at the book shop I could see straight away that hardly anything is wasted from a pig. That's good!

Click here to watch the Video!


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