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Every plate of pork we put on the table brings native pigs to the brink of extinction.

The images of fighting them are vivid in my mind.

By jsyeem shekelsPublished 2 years ago 4 min read

In the past 7 days of the Spring Festival holiday, most people may have gained more or less three or five kilograms.

Although most people are determined to lose weight quickly in the coming spring weight loss season, for a few people, these three to five pounds of meat will pile up to the waist and abdomen one by one, waiting for the growth to continue in the coming year-pork is most likely to be the culprit!

If you think about it carefully, there may be one or two or three pork dishes on the table in every family: braised pork, stewed ribs, pork with plum vegetables, steamed pork, braised pork feet, back to the pot, soy sauce elbows, boiled meat, Fried Sweet and Sour Tenderloin …...

This kind of scene is a reflection of the reality of China, which is both the world's largest pig farmer and the world's largest pork consumer.

According to data, China raised more than 40 per cent of the world's live pigs (with an annual output of 440 million) in 2019 and consumed 45 per cent of the world's pork.

However, although the number of pigs raised in China is so huge and tends to expand year after year, the number of native pig breeds in China has decreased year by year, and many of them are already extinct or on the verge of extinction.

Of course this is not eaten extinct!

Of course, the foreign pig breeds mentioned here are not imported piglets directly from abroad, but imported breeding pigs-that is, boars.

Then large breeding companies conceive and give birth to sows in large quantities by artificial insemination, and when these pigs grow up, they become breeding pigs, and then cross these breeding pigs with other pigs to get commercial pigs.

After these commercial piglets are sold to other large and small farming companies and individual farmers, they will eventually become delicacies on our table.

In the past, some of the inseminated sows were native breeds and some were imported pigs, but now they are basically native pigs with severely diluted consanguinity, or imported breeds at all.

Naturally, in this generation after generation of crossbreeding with imported pigs, there are fewer and fewer purebred native pigs (mostly black-haired pigs with long hair and tusks) and end up on the verge of extinction.

This leads to a result: in our minds, the image of the pig has become a big white fat man, rather than the black pig image in the traditional New year picture.

Of course, China's native pig breeds are not without advantages.

In fact, they have many advantages, but their disadvantages lie in us and have nothing to do with them.

One of the advantages of Chinese native pigs is their good taste. Jinhua ham, for example, must be made from Jinhua pig, while the famous Lingao roast suckling pig must be made from Lingao suckling pig, and the standard meat returned to the pot is Sichuan Chenghua pig.

So many elders always talk about how delicious the tastes of native pigs and mountain pigs were after drinking, and this is the reason why pigs are getting less and less smelly now.

The third advantage of native pig is its strong disease resistance and simple epidemic prevention.

At present, the pig breeds that can be introduced into China are generally only second-and third-rate pig breeds from abroad, and higher-quality pig breeds are under the control of western countries. These second-and third-rate pig breeds have potential diseases such as blue ears and pseudorabies, and their disease resistance is low. The stock of pigs in the country dropped by 40% after the African classical swine fever in 2019, which led to a sharp rise in pork prices.

The real weakness lies in ourselves.

These foreign high-quality pig breeds contain more or less Chinese native pig pedigree. For example, Yorkshire pigs were bred by the British in the 18th century when they introduced Chinese pigs, Luo pigs and British native pigs. German Schwaben-Hall pigs are bred from Jinhua pigs.

Recently, the conclusion obtained by genetic polymorphism analysis is that there are an average of 29% haploid genotypes of Chinese pig breeds in the whole population of common commercial pig breeds in Europe.

But in China, few people have the patience to spend decades on breeding, using Chinese native pigs to produce breeds similar to those of foreign commercial pigs.

Many years ago, some people began to call for crossbreeding between imported pigs and local pigs to cultivate a new type of native pigs with good taste, rough feeding resistance and disease resistance, as well as fast release of imported pigs, low feed-to-meat ratio and high lean meat rate. although there are seven matching commercial pig breeds that contain the consanguinity of China's native pig breeds, the current situation is that imported pig breeds still occupy most of China's pork industry.

So that although there are 76 local breeds of native pigs in China, 4 breeds have become extinct and 31 breeds are endangered.

Although we are the largest pig-raising country in the world, we have accidentally turned a large number of native pig breeds into rare animals.

Science

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jsyeem shekels

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    jsyeem shekelsWritten by jsyeem shekels

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