China Hurting for Protein

China Hurting for Protein, by Michael Yon.

Soy and pork are protein, which is a chronic problem in all national food chains, but more so in China.

Between their traditional plant based diet and the cultural prestige of eating pork (the middle class literally measures its affluence by how many nights a week they eat pork and the lower classes and villages use pork as a celebratory meal), China’s protein consumption is very narrowly restricted to soy and pork (fish is common, but not nearly as available as soy and pork). …

China recently removed their tariffs on US soy and pork. Nothing else, just these two products.

By lifting the tariffs, China has just admitted it cannot produce enough protein for national consumption, both as a staple or as a preferred meat.

Imagine a US shortage of wheat and chicken, with no real access to corn or beef, and a couple dozen urban areas of 20 millions or more with just a third arable land as now. That’s China.

So, what’s the problem with China’s agricultural industry? Basically, they simply do not have enough land to grow the volume of soy they need; and, their pork production is highly diffused and is ravaged by a massive and seemingly uncontrollable swine flu epidemic. In fact, it is estimated that up to 60% of China’s pigs are infected with the flu.

To compound a bad situation to worse, Chinese officials are both incapable of enforcing a quarantine and too corrupt to stop the spread of the flu.

Wow, I wonder why we haven’t heard about that in the media? Too busy chanting “orange man bad” and “Trump’s tariffs going to cause a recession” perhaps?

If the price of US pork rises, it is the same for the Chinese consumer as tariffs on US pork imports. It would hurt China and assist US efforts to rein in their bad behavior such as intellectual property theft. So, American readers, go and buy ridiculous amounts of bacon!