How is pork made from a pig

The Germans and their pork

Status: 04/06/2018 11:43 a.m. | archive
Species-appropriate? Pigs in industrial group housing must be fattened quickly in order to meet the demand for meat.

The pork is still the Germans' favorite meat, even if the numbers are declining. In 2017 around 58 million pigs were slaughtered and processed in Germany. Not all of the animals for slaughter came from Germany; according to the Federal Statistical Office, around four million pigs were imported. A total of 5.46 million tons of pork were produced.

In purely mathematical terms, every inhabitant of Germany consumed an average of around 50 kilograms of pork last year. But that's not the same as the amount of pork we eat. Rather, it is the sum of "food consumption, feed, industrial utilization and losses like bones" as the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food explains. The per capita consumption of pork in 2017 was 35.8 kilograms.

USA and Australia consume more than 115 kilograms per capita

Pork is still way ahead of the meat consumption of Germans. We consumed a total of 87.7 kilograms of meat per capita in 2017. According to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, poultry ranks second behind pork with 20.9 kilograms, followed by beef and veal with 14.6 kilograms.

A look at the international comparison shows that per capita consumption in Germany is more than twice as high as the global average of around 43 kilograms in 2013. Countries like the USA and Australia top the global statistics of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO) with more than 115 kilograms per capita.

How do pigs live in production facilities?

Feces can simply fall through the slatted floor. Changing straw is not necessary.

There are different floors for keeping pigs. In the case of fully slatted floors, the floor is provided with gaps throughout the pig's entire living area so that faeces and urine can fall through. That means less comfort for the animal. In the case of partially slatted floors, only part of the barn is equipped with slits, berths and feeding places are closed, some with straw. In addition, pigs can still have the opportunity to run outside. In a few cases they are kept outdoors.

Two thirds of the pigs in Germany are kept on fully slatted floors, because straw and outdoor exercise are not legally mandatory. According to the Federal Statistical Office, of the over 40,000 farms that kept pigs in 2016, only 3.8 percent (1,500) were organic farms.

What is a hybrid pig?

The pig is one of the oldest farm animals and the largest meat supplier in Germany. Old breeds like the "German Landrace" are still common, but more and more breeds are being crossed in order to breed profitable pigs.

Nine out of ten pigs are now so-called hybrid pigs, i.e. breeds with particularly promising characteristics: They should gain weight quickly so that they can be slaughtered more quickly. The breeds are adapted to the conditions of conventional pig farming - they should be stress-resistant and resistant to bacteria and viruses. In order to increase the proportion of chops, the ribs of the hybrids are raised to 15 to 17, while a normal wild boar has 13 ribs.

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This topic in the program:

45 min | 04/16/2018 | 22:00 O'clock