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The fresh meat of the domestic pig.
Pork has always been the favoured meat of agricultural societies; as the only meat which tastes better cured than fresh, it remained the most popular meat until the invention of refrigeration and modern preservation methods.
As a semi-domestic animal, during medieval times, pigs had the advantage of being able to scavenge in uncultivated woods - so needing little attention or feeding for much of the year.
Ways have been found to use all of the animal, from the feet to the tail - in France this is the art of 'charcuterie'.
Britain is a net pork importer - in 2000, 939,000 tons of pork and bacon were produced in Britain, 210,000 being exported; but a further 520,000 tons imported. See 'Pig'