Above, a Saturday farmers market attracts huge crowds in Beijing, as street vendors call out prices and buyers vie for the best produce: live fish and crabs and freshly butchered cuts of meat.
Fresh produce is sold for few hours every day in Beijing’s street markets, offering a dizzying array of variety and freshness. But as China’s urban population grows, supplying local tastes could prove challenging. When rural residents migrate to the city, some reports show a greater dietary consumption of meat.
The USDA forecasts a rise in China’s meat consumption over the next decade, with pork, already the most popular, expected to rise the fastest. There’s speculation, however, that less expensive chicken will take a greater market share.
And the appetite for chicken feet, pig ears and innards is more than a cultural tradition: Using the whole animal has provided food security for China, and could provide an export opportunity for producers in the U.S., says Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes.
Image and text by Rodney White, via Instagram. China, 2014.
In a report by Pulitzer Center grantees Lynn Hicks and Rodney White, read how Shanghai looks to duck the “middle-income trap.”
Read more about food security in China from China Digital Times.