Thursday, August 28, 2008

What to eat when poor as a rat?

Cambodians eat rats to beat global food crisis

Cambodians have found a way to cope with the rising prices of meat, and quite a number are settling for an alternative that is increasingly becoming popular - rat meat. In Cambodia, a kilogram of rat meat costs from 1,200 to 5,000 riel, compared to beef which costs 20,000 riel per kg. (A thousand riel is approximately a quarter of a US dollar). Cambodia is not unique in developing this exotic culinary treat, as field mice have long been eaten in certain regions of Thailand and India where fast food sellers are enjoying a boom in sales. And before you say "YUKKK!", consumers say it is tastier than other meats and that rats caught from rice fields are definitely clean compared with those found in towns or cities. Field mice eat fruits and grains, and is usually cooked spicy with garlic. It probably only takes a paradigm shift to appreciate that field rats are indeed, a welcome alternative to traditional sources of meat.

Personally, I couldn't bring myself to take that paradigm shift, but when the going gets tough and the stomach rumblings get even tougher, who cares about paradigm shifts. The new benchmark for poverty, called the Asian Poverty Line, means the poor earn less than USD $1.35 a day. Roughly 1/3rd of the Philippine population qualifies as such, according to this report. Certainly traditional meat such as beef is way, way beyond reach, as beef in the Philippines cost about $7 USD per kg. Pork costs $4 USD/kg. Then we should seriously think about requesting Cambodia for the recipe and cooking instructions?

Poor as a rat? Make your own conclusions.

Please don't throw up. So sorry about that.

By the way, do you want fries with that?

No comments: