Issue 13: "Unconventional" animals farmed for human food: What, where why
The number of chicken and pig breeds that are farmed have dwindled dramatically, with two chicken breeds - Ross from EWG and Cobb from Tyson - making up ~90% of the global broiler chicken market.
On the other hand, an increasing number of "unconventional" animal species are bred and raised to provide food for humans and traded in different parts of the world.
These unconventional species "have been gaining new attention as useful alternatives to alleviate food insecurity, be exploited in intensive production systems for everyday consumption, and be sold in niche markets for high-income consumers and/or for those paying special attention to the healthiness and the image of the food".
Leaders of advocacy organizations are alarmed at attempts to mass-produce octopus. And they are keenly aware that insect species are moved from traditional smallholder farms to industrial facilities.
But they may not be following closely other unconventional animal species - wild and domesticated - that are currently farmed (or under serious consideration to be farmed) commercially in various developing economies to generate food products for humans. For example: camels, capybara, crocodiles, donkeys, eels, emus, guinea pigs, impalas, soft-shelled crabs, turtles, water buffaloes.
This issue of ASWT is aimed at giving readers a sense of this "unconventional" corner of global food animal production.