MANILA, Philippines — Stretched by a pandemic-induced recession, Filipinos are turning in different directions for possible alternatives to goods that have become inaccessible.
One such commodity is pork, which has become notoriously expensive even with the imposition of price caps.
The University of the Philippines Los Baños Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in a February position paper has proposed long-term solutions like exploring alternative protein sources due to unfavorable circumstances.
“In the short run, this will be chicken, but it should be expanded to other options (i.e rabbit) but eventually plant-based sources of protein (i.e soybeans and nuts),” read the paper.
Rabbit meat is indeed highly nutritious, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. It is low in fat and cholesterol, as well as rich in protein, vitamins and minerals.
Rabbits are known as “prolific breeders, producing large quantities of tasty meat for home consumption.”
They have a faster rate of production than pigs, goats or sheep. Moreover, they grow rapidly since they efficiently convert food into meat.
“Rabbits...have long been enjoyed as a food by many people across the world. A fine-grained white meat, it can be substituted for chicken in many recipes,” the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center posted on its website.
Based on the latest FAO data, China is the largest rabbit meat producer at 457,765 tons produced in 2019.
It is followed by South Korea (166,879 tons), Egypt (44,893 tons), Italy (26,647 tons) and Russia (17,948 tons).
Meanwhile, the leading importers of rabbit meat are European countries Germany (4,526 tons), Belgium (3,483 tons), Italy (2,228 tons), Spain (2,059 tons) and Portugal (2,035 tons).
There are no available statistics for rabbit meat production and trade in the Philippines based on 2021 FAO data.
Here are sample dishes containing rabbit meat from around the globe.
Spicy rabbit head
Egyptian molokhia with rabbit
Civet de lapin
Conejo en salmorejo