3 Examples of Healthy Niche Local Produce
Singapore spans just over 700 square kilometres, so it’s not surprising that we import most of our food. From fruits and vegetables to meat and dairy, imports make up over 90% of Singapore’s food supply. However, as a nation, we’re aiming to produce 30% of our nutritional needs by 2030. Apart from the more common types of locally-farmed produce like fish, eggs and vegetables, niche local produce also play an important role in increasing our self-sufficiency.
In this article, we look at 3 types of niche local produce – crocodile meat, goat milk, and frog meat – which are not only high in nutritional value, but also play a part in contributing to Singapore’s food security and add some exciting variety to our menus.
1. Crocodile Meat
Crocodile meat has a texture and taste that can be likened to chicken, and is low in fat and cholesterol while high in protein. As a source of protein, it’s a great alternative to traditional meat options like beef, pork, and chicken. A 100g of crocodile meat has 21.5g of protein, which is comparable to between 20.8g and 22.2g in the same portion size of lamb, beef, pork, and chicken. It’s also rich in dietary fibre, and a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, phosphorus, potassium, Vitamin B12, and niacin.
Locally-farmed crocodile meat is available from Long Kuan Hung Crocodile Farm, the only crocodile farm in Singapore. Founded in 1964, Long Kuan Hung features 6 breeding ponds with more than 15,000 crocodiles and supplies crocodile meat in fresh, frozen, BBQ and smoked forms. Visitors (via pre-organised tours only) can tour the farm before sampling delights like Crocodile Satay, Crocodile Meat Patty, and Crocodile Spare Ribs.
Said to boost metabolism, improve blood circulation and strengthen the immune system, crocodile meat remains a niche protein in Singapore but can be found in restaurants around the country. You can also buy frozen crocodile meat and bones online from Long Kuan Hung Crocodile Farm’s partner’s website.
Long Kuan Hung Crocodile Farm is located at 321 Neo Tiew Cres, Singapore 718914. Its Facebook page can be found here.
2. Goat Milk
Goats are smaller and easier to handle than cows and they require less land to farm, making them an ideal species for farmers in land-scarce countries like Singapore.
Goat milk is often seen as the healthier choice as it’s higher in protein and calcium than cow milk, and unlike cow milk, it doesn’t impede your body’s ability to absorb nutrients like iron and copper. It’s also high in Vitamin D, potassium, and beneficial fatty acids. Furthermore, goat milk is easier to digest since it’s lower in lactose and higher in prebiotic carbohydrates (oligosaccharides), which can boost the good bacteria in your digestive system. As such, it’s a good alternative to cow milk and even plant-based alternatives like soy milk.
In terms of taste and texture, goat milk is creamy with a mild nutty flavour. As versatile as cow milk, you can use goat milk in your cooking, pour it over your morning cereal, and drink it plain or flavoured, warm or fresh from the bottle.
Locally-produced goat milk is available from Hay Dairies. Hay Dairies is a specialist in goat milk and has been in operation for over 20 years. It’s the only goat farm in Singapore, and today, it has over 800 goats descended from breeds in Minnesota. The farm is open to the general public for visits.
Hay Dairies is located at 3 Lim Chu Kang Lane 4, Singapore 718859, and their website can be found here. You can purchase their plain or chocolate-flavoured milk at a range of stores, online, or on-site at the farm. You can also buy Hay Dairies’ products at e-SG Farmers’ Market: bit.ly/e-sgfm.
Try this delicious recipe for Goats Milk Creme Brulee today.
3. Frog Meat
Often considered a delicacy, frog legs are high in protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, and potassium, and low in fat, calories, and cholesterol. It’s believed that frog meat can purify the blood and is good for your complexion and health. With a taste and texture that resembles chicken and an excellent nutritional profile, frog meat is a healthy alternative to mainstream animal proteins.
Locally-farmed frog meat is available from Jurong Frog Farm. As Singapore’s only frog farm, Jurong Frog Farm specialises in American Bullfrogs, which have large and meaty hind legs. The farm is open for educational tours where you can see frogs throughout their entire lifecycle.
You can also visit Jurong Frog Farm’s website to purchase fresh or frozen frog meat, and find out more about the farm’s sustainable innovations. Although typically, around 50% of harvested frog meat ends up as offcuts, Jurong Frog Farm turns 75% of this offcut (otherwise wastage) into useable and edible products. For example, collagen is extracted from frog skin for skin-care products, and female frog oviducts are tapped for hashima.
Frog meat can be stir-fried, deep-fried, grilled, sauteed, and baked. Ready to try some frog meat? Why not try this Farm House Recipe for Deep Fried Frog Meat, this recipe for Stir-fried Frog Legs with Spring Onions, or this recipe for Gong Bao Frog Legs?
Jurong Frog Farm is located at 51 56 Lim Chu Kang Lane 6, Singapore 718864, and their website can be found here. You can purchase frog meat directly at Jurong Frog Farm or order online through e-SG Farmers’ Market.
Singapore’s Niche Local Produce: Healthy Alternatives to More Commonly-Found Produce
Singapore’s tropical climate and land scarcity have provided challenges and opportunities for our food producers. The year-round hot weather enables crocodiles, goats, and frogs to thrive, and farms like Long Kuan Hung Crocodile Farm, Hay Dairies, and Jurong Frog Farm have taken advantage of the climate to farm niche local produce. These 3 case studies showcase how innovation in niche areas makes more food choices available to consumers while contributing to Singapore’s economy and food security.
To buy these niche local produce, simply buy directly from the farms or shop at SAFEF’s e-SG Farmers’ Market: bit.ly/e-sgfm.
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