Trading fat

High-fat food can be big business, as Kiri Degon explains

The value of fat in meat varies across cultures and, like all commodities, fat can be traded to markets where there is a demand for it. However, there is some debate about trading fat as a commodity and whether we should allow cheaper fatty meats to be sold for human consumption.

For example, sheep belly flaps – a cheap cut of meat that is high in fat – are traded to Pacific Islanders, who can buy them at a relatively low price because people in Australia and New Zealand don’t eat them.

The high fat content of these belly flaps has been blamed for the increase in obesity and chronic disease among Islanders. So much so that in 2000, Fiji banned the import of flaps from New Zealand.

Lead image:

Jared Wiltshire/Flickr CC BY


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About this resource

This resource was first published in ‘Fat’ in December 2015.

Health, infection and disease, Medicine
Fat, Food and Diet
Education levels:
16–19, Continuing professional development