Philippine Crocodile approved for Russian dinner plates

Crocodile to be sold in Russia as a possible replacement for banned Western beef and pork.

Russia set to snap up reptilian delicacy from the Philippines as a way to mitigate food strain from Western produce bans.


There may be a move away from traditional comfort food in Russia this winter to more exotic delicacies.

As a response to a barrage of Western sanctions the Russian government implemented a one-year ban on commercial imports of fresh produce from the U.S., Canada, EU, Norway and Australia. The result of which has caused something of a food conundrum in Russian shopping markets.

To make up for the bite in staples like pork and beef, Russia’s veterinary and phytosanitary service, Rosselkhoznadzor, has approved the import of crocodile meat from the Philippines. Iran is also rumoured to have offered to sell fish to Russia.

The crocodile announcement comes after several expensive months that have seen food prices soar to the 7.5 per cent inflation mark.

There is concern that what is now a culinary inconvenience could turn into a full-blown crisis during a long Russian winter when it’s too cold to farm and Russia becomes nearly wholly reliant on imported food.

Russia, as reported by the government daily paper Rossiyskaya Gazeta, is said to be considering freezing prices for goods deemed “socially important”.

Though some Kremlin supporters have been taking the price jumps in stride, others have simply taken matters into their own hands and are traveling to Norway to stock up on everything from soft French cheeses to clothes.

To cope with and capitalize on the Russians flooding over the borders in search of better prices and better produce Kirkenes, a Norwegian border city, is set to build a new shopping centre.

The food bans only apply to commercial imports. Private citizens are allowed to bring food - including fish, cheese and some processed meats - across the Norway-Russia border so long as they comply with customs regulations.

Some Russians are also able to get their hands on contraband goods through the black market, which has been funneling in items through Kazakhstan and Belarus; neither country having adopted the Russian food bans. The produce is labeled as being made in either country (think “Belarusian parmesan”) when they are actually repackaged products from Europe.

It will be roughly another 10 months until the food bans lift, but, in the meantime, the Russian government is also said to be looking into other products to stock the shelves with; including beef from Brazil and Zimbabwae, pork from China, Siberean goat mozzarella and possibly buffalo meat from India.