Demand for crocodile meat in Thailand doubles – but how does it compare to other meats?

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The demand for crocodile meat in Thailand is exploding after a sudden spike in the price of pork has left consumers looking for alternatives.

The consumption of crocodile meat in Thailand is nothing new and approximately 20,000 crocodiles are slaughtered each month for their meat.

However, that figure has more than doubled in recent months, as the increased demand coincided with a rise in the price of pork.

The average crocodile yields about 12 kilograms of meat, with the upper tail said to be the tastiest and the part of the animal which is normally snapped up by consumers.

Crocodile meat normally retails for about 80 and 100 baht per kilogram, but can be as low as 50 to 70 baht per kilogram wholesale.

By comparison, pork, which is Thailand’s most consumed meat, currently costs around 200 baht per kilogram, and even topped 250 baht per kilogram earlier this month.

The rise in the price of pork is said to be due to a perfect storm of increased demand and problems with supply. Officials recently denied that the increase in price was due to a case of African swine fever (ASF) being detected in pig at an slaughterhouse in Nakhon Pathom

The surge in demand could not have come at a better time for crocodile farmers.

Mr Yosapong Temsiripong, president of the Thai Crocodile Farmer Association said the increased demand has given renewed optimism to crocodile farmers, who have struggled financially due to the pandemic.

Mr Yosapong admitted that he was unsure whether demand for crocodile meat would last.

He did, however, say that as well as being cheaper to buy than pork and chicken, it is lower in calories and high in protein.

And how does it taste? Just like chicken, of course.

Pad karpaow crocodile, anyone?