Imagine running out of pork. Jay visits Porky’s to see if its Memphis-style BBQ can join his ‘strategic reserve’
18 Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 (020 7428 0998). Meal for two, including drinks and service: £60
If ever you were looking for a marker of a country’s economic development you could do worse than study the commodities the government regards as of vital importance. In the US, for example, they have a strategic petroleum reserve, set aside in case imports are interrupted or the market disrupted. Other countries stockpile grain. In China? Why, they hold a strategic pork reserve. Of course they do. Launched in 2007, it’s in two parts, one frozen and, more importantly, one live. They live on farms which operate under general market conditions until there are major market fluctuations. If the price of pork rises substantially they can release enormous numbers of pigs on to the market, thus increasing supply and dampening price. If the price drops, threatening farmers’ livelihoods, they can buy it up.