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
- Times Higher Education: Flap food nations in the Pacific Islands
- New Zealand Herald: Fatty diet wreaks havoc in islands
- Stuff.co.nz: Pacific nations in flap over nothing?
- Cheap Meat by Deborah Gewertz and Frederick Errington (chapter 6: Flap food nations)
- Trading fat PDF [PDF 78KB]