Cambodia's Food Crisis Fix? Eat Rats

And they think more of the world should too
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2008 9:45 AM CDT
Nguyen Thi Le holds rats, which her husband caught in fields, to prepare rat meat at her home in Dinh Bang village, Vietnam, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008.   (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)
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(Newser) – Food prices have rocketed so high in Cambodia that even the humblest of foods has seen its price quadruple this year. That humblest of foods is rat meat, and it’s going up precisely because so many Cambodians can’t afford any other meat, the Guardian reports. Rats have been fleeing to higher ground lately as the Mekong Delta floods, making it easy for villagers to catch, sell, and eat them.

Many of the rats are also exported to Vietnam, which is also hungry for the cheap food. Eating rats not only keeps other food prices lower, it prevents the rodents from gnawing into grain supplies. Bihar, India loses 50% of its grain to rats every year, and one official there is trying to promote rat meat in restaurants and five-star hotels.