People always say that things change fast in Shanghai. In my very last blog I said that organic meat was hard to find and you needed to check with the small butchers , etc. No sooner do I say this then I walk in to my local City Shop and right there on the shelf is organic pork from Jilin province, in the very far north of China.
My first thought was, “what do they mean by organic ?” My second thought was, “gee I wish I could read the label”. Taking a closer look I did notice that the company website was listed on the label in English. The company website predictably is in Chinese but they do have a limited English translation. In the end I found some good news about this particular product.
The pork is produced by Vitale Hilly Black Pork. The company originally started with chickens and in 1998 developed the hilly black pork project to help redevelop this rural area.
The black pig is a different breed from the more common white pork and apparently native to this area of northern China. So not only was the idea to develop a sustainable industry to support the local farmers but to use production and breeding methods that would preserve the genetic resources of this indigenous breed.
According to the website, no hormones are used on the pigs and as a result they are allowed a longer growth period before slaughter. The pigs are fed organic corn and soybeans as well as being allowed to freely graze in the nearby Changbei Mountains.
I believe this is a start. The price of the pork is much more than the non-organic pork, so I don’t think the production methods will become the industry standard, but it is another welcomed choice.
If you want to read more about this company try this link: http://www.ejqs.com/en/news.asp?pageclass=10301&id=83
Eat Well Shanghai Update: Last month I had the pleasure of catching up with Julie Meyer, RD, the creator of this blog and the author of the Eat Well Shanghai Guide Book. To all of you that met Julie, you know she is always on the move and since repatriating has expanded EWS to Eat Well Global( eatwellglobal.com). One of the first products to come out of Eat Well Global will be a nutrition/travel app , aptly called Eat Well China. The app should be available for download to your iPhone, IPad or Android by the end of 2011. Look for it in the iTunes store.
Eat Well, Live Well, Have Fun !