Not sure what to make of this – the rat under discussion is Paddy Rat – not the nasty urban sewer rats of victorian England imagination, and considered a ‘delicacy’ by many meat-hungry Cambodians, especially in the Northwest (Battambang Rat is supposedly the tastiest). I think we need Phil Lees to weigh in here.
The price of rat meat has quadrupled in Cambodia this year as inflation has put other meat beyond the reach of poor people, officials said on Wednesday.
With consumer price inflation at 37 percent according to the latest central bank estimate, demand has pushed a kilogram of rat meat up to around 5,000 riel (69 pence) from 1,200 riel last year.
Spicy field rat dishes with garlic thrown in have become particularly popular at a time when beef costs 20,000 riel a kg.
On the other hand, if the Cambodian government decided that this was a solution to hunger in Cambodia (while they are proclaiming increased rice harvests and over 40 percent of the country goes to sleep hungry), I would share Raj Patel’s outrage (over a similar situation in India).