On Saturday, April 20, 2024, the Bishop Hill Heritage Association is hosting Wild Boar to Baconfest: Pigs in History and Popular Culture program provided by the Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speaker Bureau. In this lecture, author Cynthia Clampitt presents the history of pigs and pork to examine the impact these animals had worldwide. Clampitt will focus on the Midwest, including why poet Carl Sandburg would call Chicago “Hog Butcher for the World.”
Pigs were the first food animals to be domesticated, so their history with human beings date back more than 12,000 years. However, antiquity is just one of the reasons why pork is the most eaten meat in the world. This odd, paradoxical animal offers a great range of advantages when it comes to feeding large populations—especially urban populations—though, historically, it has also offered several disadvantages. Once pigs were introduced to the Americas, they became an almost instant success, raised by settlers but also valued by Native Americans. As the Midwest opened, pigs moved west and numbers grew rapidly.
Cynthia Clampitt has been writing and talking about food history for thirty years and has authored two books of food history. Her free one-hour public program will start at 1 p.m. in the Steeple Building Museum, located at 103 North Bishop Hill Street in Bishop Hill, Illinois. For more details, please call the BHHA at 309 927-3899 or email bhha@mymctc.net