BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Argentina's president thinks eating pig meat is really sexy.
Many people in this beef-loving nation reacted with surprise Thursday after Cristina Fernandez promoted pork in a speech during which she not only said pork is better than Viagra, but suggested she's personally proven it.
"I didn't know that eating pork improved sexual activity," Fernandez said in a meeting with representatives of the swine industry late Wednesday. "It is much more gratifying to eat some grilled pork than to take Viagra."
She even joked that "it was all good" after she enjoyed some pork with her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner.
"I think they might be right," Fernandez said to a laughing audience.
The president's half-joking speech in which she announced subsidies for the pork industry won prominent play on television and radio stations, prompting discussions on whether Argentines should add more pork to their diet.
Argentines are among the world's biggest consumers of red meat, and most people here stubbornly reject the idea of replacing beef with chicken, pork or other meats. Despite Argentina lying along rich South Atlantic fisheries, seafood is rarely seen on dinner tables.
Fernandez approved subsidies to keep the price of pork low despite inflation, and her government has also recently subsidized red meat producers after beef supplies sharply declined in the South American country.
The head of the association of pork producers, Juan Luis Uccelli, supported Fernandez's speech by saying that Denmark and Japan have a much more "harmonious" sexual life then the Argentines because they eat a lot of pig meat.
"In Osaka, Japan, there is a village in which the people who reached 105 years old and ate a log of pork had a lot of sexual activity," he told radio Mitre.
Others were skeptical.
"There is no study showing that pork meat significantly improves sexual activity," Amado Bechara, a specialist in sexual disfunction, told the Web site of the newspaper La Nacion.