Pigs that coexist with humans ”Tsukarara Farm Meishanton pigs”

Pigs that coexist with humans
”Tsukarara Farm Meishanton pigs”


A rare breed originating in China

”He was just born.” He said as he handed the piglet to Nakata. In his arms, the 7-day old piglet was making a lot of noise, and it was quite a site to see the soccer star trying to settle him down.
The piglet Nakata had in his arms is a breed called ”Meishanton”. It is a rare breed that is native to China, and it had been presented to Japan as a gift from the Chinese government. When fully grown, the ears will droop down, and with its face full of wrinkles, it is a bit ugly. It is known to produce large litters, but raising them is somewhat difficult. However, there is a reason that this breed is being raised here.

Pigs that will save the 21st century

What prompted Tsukahara Farm to raise the Meishanton was a TV program that took up Meishanton as the pigs that will save the 21st century. Noboru Tsukahara explained in detail. He told us that Meishanton was a breed of pigs that coexist with humans. Meishanton are omnivorous, and their feed at Tsukahara Farm is leftovers from processing food. The feed we were shown was bread, pasta, barley tea waste, and tofu, all dried and powdered. ”In modern Japanese farming, we import a lot of corn for pig feed. At the same time there are starving people who cannot even afford to eat corn. I thought that was wrong. Actually, it’s cheaper to buy feed than to make it. But at Tsukahara Farm they accept the cost and the labor, make their own feed to raise Meishanton.

There is a peak season, even for meat

The characteristic of Meishan pork is it’s marbled fat. Compared to any other pork, it has the most marbled fat. And the fat is light, too. That’s why meat shops are flooded with reservations, making it difficult to purchase. At the present, Meishanton is only sold through direct sales, both to individuals and restaurants, so almost none are available at retail meat shops. But they hope to set up a direct sale retail shop in the future. ”We’d like to make processed products and sell what we make by our own hands.” Tsukahara told us.

”I want to eat great foods deliciously. I’ve seen that vegetables taste better if you eat them in season. Now that I know, I want to eat lots of things like that,” Nakata said. ”You know there are seasons in pork,” Tsukahara said. He told us ”Just before winter, the time when nutrition is being stored in the body at the end of autumn. That’s when pork tastes best.”

We were surprised to learn that there was an season even for pork. Food is a deep topic. What does coexistence of humans and pigs mean? In order to produce 1 kg of pork, we need 300 kg of corn. We can’t find an answer whether that is justifiable, but just think about food for a while. Meishanton from Tsukahara Farm may provide the clue.


2170-1 Sakaicho, Sashima-gun, Ibaraki Prefecture
URL http://www.meishanton.com/