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Lunar New Year

Bring home the bacon: why China should protect its high-fat pig breeds

  • The Chinese diet, of which pork is a staple, used to be seen as healthy, with little heart disease and diabetes among the people
  • Excessive intake of carbohydrates and sugars is now fuelling the obesity epidemic
PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 February, 2019, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Friday, 08 February, 2019, 5:01pm

I refer to “Chinese breeds vanish as lean pigs hog market” (February 4) and how almost half of the indigenous pig varieties are nearing extinction. This is indeed sad news for the Year of the Pig, and the reason given, that “native pigs contain more fat, and people nowadays are more health-conscious”, is an unfortunate fallacy.

In former times, the Chinese diet, of which pork is a staple, was viewed as healthy, with little heart disease and diabetes among the population. Now obesity is becoming a worldwide epidemic which seriously impacts both those medical conditions. I commend David Dodwell’s “Inside Out” article, “Say hello to the new trio of dangers that threatens the world” (February 4), for highlighting the impending crisis of obesity.

In Hong Kong, we only need see children leaving school to know that this is true, as a high percentage are already overweight. Meat and fat are not to blame for this surge in obesity. It is the excessive, and constant, intake of carbohydrates and sugars that is creating insulin overproduction and then resistance.

Want to go on the keto diet? 9 things you should know before you start

Many rational people are now turning to a ketogenic diet, which is high-fat, adequate-protein, with low carbohydrate intake, in order to control their weight and health. Of course the food industry, which relies on high-energy snacking for profits, is actively attempting to discredit the keto diet.

One of the main problems for anyone going on the keto diet is to get enough fat, and bacon is a good source. So perhaps the message to the Chinese agriculture ministry should be: “Bring home the bacon”, and strongly safeguard and promote your own high-fat-producing pig breeds.

Roger Emmerton, Wan Chai