Keeping a pig is a very good way for pensioners to be sure that some of the tastiest meat products feature regularly in their diet.

A pig pen is easily constructed from scrap wood found in skips or from the bricks of a neighbour’s garden wall, while a spare room can be quickly turned into a comfortable and convenient sty with the minimum of effort and outlay.

Although Gloucester Old Spot is generally considered the best choice of pig, excellent quality meat can also be obtained from alternative breeds such as Cumbrian Fellsquealer, Wiltshire Hengesnuffle and Bedford Runtsmother.

Pigs can be fed on almost any waste food, including windfall apples, potato peelings, lasagne and muesli, and some breeds may even thrive on non-food items such as newspaper, string, ball bearings and couscous.

The average pig will take about 12 weeks to reach its optimum weight, at which point it can be sent to an approved abattoir, with all the inedible parts, such as cheeks, ears, intestines and tail, being sold to the nearest Michelin starred restaurant to defray the cost of slaughter.