One of the most expensive Spanish hams under threat of extinction due to climate change – media
The climate crisis has jeopardized a key tradition of special pig feeding.
A well-known Spanish delicacy, the iberico bellota jamon, has been threatened with extinction due to global climate change. The Guardian writes about it.
As the journalists clarify, an increase in the temperature on the planet and a small amount of precipitation can provoke a shortage of a key ingredient in the diet of pigs – acorns of holm oaks.
Iberico bellota is the most refined variety of jamon. Such a product can cost up to 100 euros per kilogram. It is produced exclusively from black-footed pigs, which must spend the last month of their lives feeding on acorns in an oak forest in the west and northwest of Spain. This ecosystem in the country even has a special name – dehesa.
However, due to unusually hot and dry summers, the oaks produce fewer acorns than usual. This, plus the fall in the market price, resulted in a 20% reduction in the production of the prized ham in the Extremadura region, famous for its ibérico bellota.
Last year was the hottest on record in Spain and the third dryest on record. Rainfall in Extremadura has decreased by about 35% over the past 50 years.
According to the publication, the production of specialties plays an important role in the economy of the regions in the west of the country.
Legislation allows ham producers to import acorns from other countries to the Mediterranean coast. However, experts are afraid of pests, which can also “move” to a new region. Such a case was already recorded in 1993, when, along with Egyptian palm trees, the red weevil was brought to Spain. In subsequent years, the insect destroyed tens of thousands of palm trees in the country.