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Breeds of pork

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Breeds of pork

The different types of pork we can find today are generally a reflection of the main use they have been assigned by the human race. In accordance to this, we can find around 100 natural known breeds, with the addition of another 2000 varieties derived from the original breeds.
With this in mind, we can do an initial classification, dividing the pork breeds into two big groups according to their origin:
1) Natural or rustic breeds: this would encompass those breeds which have developed, since their origins, shaped by their natural habitat. Due to their intrinsically gained characteristics, they do not require any form of perfection, either in the way of crossings or genetic mutations. They offer something unique and different per se. This breeds often show worse productive traits than artificial breeds, however they are better adapted tonature and extensive breeding. In other words, they offer a lesser quantity of product but of a better quality. A good example of this type of breed would be the 100% pure iberico breed.
2) Artificial breeds: this would encompass all man-made breeds. This means breeds obtained through genetic mutation or crosses with other breeds, and whose traits are reinforced through breeding and feeding. The purpose of these breeds is purely economic. Amongst the many examples we can find are the Large White, the Berkshire or the Tamworth.
In an era in which we look more and more to bio foods for their natural character and quality, we would expect to find an increasing protection of natural pig races, well, the case is quite the opposite. If we analyse the evolution of pork breeds in time we are bound to find an exponential growth of artificial breeds in detriment of natural breeds. For example, if we study the case of the iberico breed, we will find a growing presence of cross-breeds with White breeds such as the Duroc or Large White in detriment of pure breed pork. The reasons behind this fact are none other than reducing growth and fattening times, increasing the number of piglets per birth and increasing the final weights, in other words, purely economic reasons. The final result is a bigger less delicate pig, which has lost many of the traits which have given fame to the iberico breed all over the world. However, up to this day, it has kept its name intact, iberico for all, regardless of breed purity.
A fact that,curiously enough, only happens in the animal world in the case of pigs. For any other animal (and we can talk about horses, dogs, cats,etc.) we look for and emphasize the purity of the breed. Furthermore, in the animal’s papers we can find clearly stated its racial origin. Why are pigs different? The answer is simple, to confuse the consumer, who thinks he is buying a product when in reality he is buying quite another. Hidden remains the real cost of the pure iberico, and consequently its true value.
The different types of pork we can find today are generally a reflection of the main use they have been assigned by the human race. In accordance to this, we can find around 100 natural known breeds, with the addition of another 2000 varieties derived from the original breeds.
With this in mind, we can do an initial classification, dividing the pork breeds into two big groups according to their origin:
1) Natural or rustic breeds: this would encompass those breeds which have developed, since their origins, shaped by their natural habitat. Due to their intrinsically gained characteristics, they do not require any form of perfection, either in the way of crossings or genetic mutations. They offer something unique and different per se. This breeds often show worse productive traits than artificial breeds, however they are better adapted tonature and extensive breeding. In other words, they offer a lesser quantity of product but of a better quality. A good example of this type of breed would be the 100% pure iberico breed.
2) Artificial breeds: this would encompass all man-made breeds. This means breeds obtained through genetic mutation or crosses with other breeds, and whose traits are reinforced through breeding and feeding. The purpose of these breeds is purely economic. Amongst the many examples we can find are the Large White, the Berkshire or the Tamworth.
In an era in which we look more and more to bio foods for their natural character and quality, we would expect to find an increasing protection of natural pig races, well, the case is quite the opposite. If we analyse the evolution of pork breeds in time we are bound to find an exponential growth of artificial breeds in detriment of natural breeds. For example, if we study the case of the iberico breed, we will find a growing presence of cross-breeds with White breeds such as the Duroc or Large White in detriment of pure breed pork. The reasons behind this fact are none other than reducing growth and fattening times, increasing the number of piglets per birth and increasing the final weights, in other words, purely economic reasons. The final result is a bigger less delicate pig, which has lost many of the traits which have given fame to the iberico breed all over the world. However, up to this day, it has kept its name intact, iberico for all, regardless of breed purity.
A fact that,curiously enough, only happens in the animal world in the case of pigs. For any other animal (and we can talk about horses, dogs, cats,etc.) we look for and emphasize the purity of the breed. Furthermore, in the animal’s papers we can find clearly stated its racial origin. Why are pigs different? The answer is simple, to confuse the consumer, who thinks he is buying a product when in reality he is buying quite another. Hidden remains the real cost of the pure iberico, and consequently its true value.