Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cambodian "range free" rat meat

Cambodian rat meat: A growing export market
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"Range free rats in the killing fields of cambodia"
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A unique harvest is under way in the rice fields of Cambodia where tens of thousands of wild rats are being trapped alive each day to feed a growing export market for the meat of rural rodents.

Popularly considered a disease-carrying nuisance in many societies, the rice field rats, Rattus argentiventer, of this small South-East Asian nation are considered a healthy delicacy due to their free-range lifestyle and largely organic diet.

Rat-catching season reaches its height after the rice harvest in June and July when rats have little to eat in this part of rural Kompong Cham province, some 60km from the capital Phnom Penh.

That lack of food coincides with seasonal rains that force the rodents onto higher ground, and into the 120 rat traps local farmer Chhoeun Chhim, 37, said he set each evening.

"Wild rats are very different. They eat different food," said Mr Chhim, explaining with a gourmand's intensity the difference between rice-field rats and their urban cousins, which he considers vermin unfit for the cooking pot.

Common rats "are dirty and they have a lot of scabies on their skin," Mr Chhim said. "That's why we don't catch them."

Somewhat proudly he listed off the superior eating habits of the rats he had caught the night before: rice stalks, the vegetable crops of unlucky local farmers, and the roots of wild plants.

Rat meat can be grilled, fried, boiled in a soup or minced up in a pate.
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(Fried rat? Yep thats what they eat in vetnam and cambodia. This is in addition to grilled dog also.

"Rats are considered a healthy delicacy due to their free-range lifestyle and largely organic diet." Ummmmmmm Yum.

I'm sure there are some health nuts in this country that would purchase some "range rats" just because it had that on the label.

Your average rat that is not "range free fed on vegiees" is something you don't want to eat bubba, so don't get too excited.

Is the what moochelle eats?)
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