Shanghai – Responding to growing complaints over the taste of municipal water, Shanghai officials recently initiated a solution being described as ‘genius’ and ‘overwhelmingly popular’ by state media. The Shanghai Water Authority is currently piloting the program, which provides bacon and pork flavored water to all city residents free of charge, through existing mains and taps. Announced earlier today at a press conference, Deputy Director General Yang Jian revealed that more than 2,800 pigs had been infused into Shanghai’s Huangpu river, the city’s primary water supply. Warning residents not to be concerned by the thousands of dead pig carcasses floating in the river, Yang Jian added, “We are piloting a steeping technique to ensure high quality flavor with low environmental impact, so please take care near the barges full of swine carcasses and near river banks where steeping is actively occurring.”
The efforts of the water authority are new and innovative for municipal water services, but world-wide there has been a growing trend in bacon flavored food and drink. From bottled water to chewing gum and floss, bacon flavoring is now available in nearly all products. Xian Pi, a consumer specialist from Beijing University notes, “Chinese are pork lovers. It is our main source of meat and is perhaps one of the most common and important flavors in China. Bacon or pork flavored water just makes sense. I wish they would do this in Beijing.”
The pilot program is scheduled to run for up to 2-weeks, during which time all municipal water is certified to be safe and delicious. The Shanghai Water Authority has indicated that if successful, the water flavoring scheme may become a permanent fixture of the city’s public water supply.