“In recent weeks, news that hogs are being specially raised to feed the athletes at the next year’s Beijing Olympics has spurred an outcry on the Internet. The pigs are reportedly being fed an organic diet and getting daily exercise, treatment that has China’s bloggers variously mocking, lamenting and raging online…When it comes to the Olympic Games in Beijing next summer, the Chinese government is taking no chances… But a program to raise pigs specifically to feed the Olympic athletes, both the Chinese and those from other countries, is seen by many citizens as a sign of mad excess and pandering to foreigners. Pigs are such an important commodity in China that the nation has a strategic pork reserve, a little like the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, to stabilize prices. China’s pork reserve releases frozen meat and live hogs in a supply emergency. ..Coming in the wake of reports of tainted Chinese food and toys, news of the Olympic-pig project are adding fat to the fire for some citizens…According to reports in the Chinese press, which widely covered the press conference, the company [Lucky Crane] said its aim is to provide athletes with the purest of meat, free of any substances that could cause them to fail doping tests.”
First of all, China has a strategic pork reserve??? Who would have thought!?!?
In the past few years, China has had several high profile cases of tainted food and water, including fake baby milk powder with led to the death of more than a dozen babies in 2004. It’s pretty amazing to see the great lengths that China is going through to insure that the quality of food for the Olympics is safe. I can understand some of the outrage by Chinese bloggers that food for its citizens isn’t safe enough for Olympians that the Chinese government is having these “Olympic” pigs raised.