Give Us the Meat

Jun 19, 2011
*Special to asia!
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China's soaring meat consumption spells trouble.

Since 1980, overall meat consumption in China has quadrupled. And in 2007 alone, the country raised half a billion pigs to serve its pork-loving populace. What do the figures mean for a country already groaning under the weight of environmental affliction?

The non-profit organisation Brighter Green has a message – that world’s most populous nation is facing serious threats to its environment and national health. What was once a luxury food reserved only for festivals and special occasions has become a daily part of the Chinese diet, thanks to rising incomes and industrialised farming practices.

“Even though China is not yet a fully fledged ‘factory farm nation’,” the organisation explains, “the…burgeoning appetite for animal-based protein [is] showing – in massive water pollution, soil degradation, rising rates of obesity and chronic disease, risks to food security and food safety, pressure on small farmers, and declining farm animal welfare.”

Simone ErasmusWhen she isn't writing children's storybooks or expounding on food, Simone can be found in the kitchen, concocting fiery curries or bravely attempting layers of genoise. She has written for The Business Times Singapore, and also contributed to research in arts and culture across the region at the National University of Singapore. She is currently writing a series of books for preschoolers, to be published soon to the iPhone and iPad.

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