India's poor urged to 'eat rats'

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Post by Invictus ChiKen »

Darth Wong wrote: There's a prejudice against eating catfish? I've eaten catfish plenty of times.
You don't know it's [BLACK] food or food for low class white trash. At least those are the prejudices I've seen.
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Post by Darth Wong »

Huh. I didn't know it was viewed that way. I guess it's because it's inexpensive. But chicken is cheap too (whether it's fried or not), and it doesn't seem to carry that stigma.
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Post by Invictus ChiKen »

Darth Wong wrote:Huh. I didn't know it was viewed that way. I guess it's because it's inexpensive. But chicken is cheap too (whether it's fried or not), and it doesn't seem to carry that stigma.
True but that's due to it's history and the really fancy dishes that use chicken as a base.
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Post by Invictus ChiKen »

Ghetto edit: However fried chicken I believe still at least in the south carries the stigma with it.
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Post by Fingolfin_Noldor »

Alyrium Denryle wrote:Frankly, those of you balking at eating rats need to grow a set of metaphorical balls. Provided the meat is cooked you kill any parasites, and the meat if seasoned well (curry?) might taste pretty good. All of this bitching about eating rats is social taboo, like eating insects. And I can tell you right now, insects are tasty (I am about the worst urban gay man ever...)

So try something new. Eat some insects, and rats. I imagine a rat and termite stir-fry.... wow that actually sounds pretty damn good
It is not the issue of cooking it well. It is the issue of meat handling. The SARS epidemic occurred partly because of poor meat handling, mind you.
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Post by Buddha »

Invictus ChiKen wrote:Ghetto edit: However fried chicken I believe still at least in the south carries the stigma with it.
You forgot about the cornbread and malt liqour stuff. I don't think catfish and rats are in the same ballpark. The stigma is more of a health thing than anything.
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Post by Phantasee »

I've eaten gopher and squirrel back home, and they're not much different from rat.

Sorry, the inner Luke took over there.

Seriously though, gopher and squirrel are tasty enough, and, though Alberta does not have any rats, so I can't try it myself, I am sure rat is just as good.

BTW Alyrium, thanks for the idea. Curry gopher/curry rabbit just made it on to my summer menu.
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Post by PeZook »

Invictus ChiKen wrote: You don't know it's [BLACK] food or food for low class white trash. At least those are the prejudices I've seen.
Here, catfish was a delicacy, an expensive food only fit for noble tables, eaten while maintaining the strictest etiquette.
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Post by Broomstick »

Darth Wong wrote:
Ender wrote:Honestly, provided it is clean meat, this seems to be about the same prejudice against eating catfish. And I am confident that, like catfish, given a good recipe and skilled chef you could make it one of the most delicious meals you will eat.
There's a prejudice against eating catfish? I've eaten catfish plenty of times.
My parents refuse to eat catfish. That's because growing up the only catfish available was that fished out of the local Mississippi, Missouri, and Merrimac rivers around St. Louis. That's important, because catfish are bottom feeders, and thus tend to soak up whatever nasty shit is in the water. Catfish raised in clean waters are wholesome food. Catfish from the Mississippi are toxic waste dumps.

Now, these days there is plenty of catfish available from clean sources that is a healthy food, but my parents, due to early influences, still can't bring themselves to eat it. From their viewpoint it's almost literally like eating a slab of human waste, or worse. They admit it's an irrationally, emotionally based viewpoint now, but that doesn't change their visceral reaction.

At least there was some rational basis for the prejudice when it was instilled in them. I suspect some food taboos are rooted in such actual reasons, where avoiding a food was a healthy decision or an animal was more valuable alive than eaten. However, such taboos tend to ossify and become inviolate to the point they won't change when the original reason for the taboo is no longer in existence.

If people didn't know enough to cook rat thoroughly in the past then avoiding rat meat might have been a wise choice. We know better now. That doesn't eliminate the food taboos installed in childhood when we learn what's "icky" and what's not.
You don't know it's [BLACK] food or food for low class white trash. At least those are the prejudices I've seen.
Yes, that is a factor, too - but at least in part that's because it's cheap because a lot of other people refuse to eat it. It's also something poor people can catch without limit on their own.
Huh. I didn't know it was viewed that way. I guess it's because it's inexpensive. But chicken is cheap too (whether it's fried or not), and it doesn't seem to carry that stigma.
It does around here. I know plenty of white people who won't eat fried chicken because that's n----- food, or won't eat it from certain fast food establishments they feel "cater" to black people (well, why not? They're money is real money, too). Granted that's become more a prejudice against preparation, as most of those bigots will eat grilled chicken, but such bias does exist in some places.

I also love the irony in that some of my bigot in-laws wouldn't dare touch "soul food" (that's how they refer to it when being polite) but will happily chow down on turnip greens and squirrel. About the only real difference between their diet and what the local blacks eat where they live is that the white folks, so far as I can tell, never eat chitterlings whereas some (only some) of the black folks do.
Last edited by Broomstick on 2008-08-18 05:47am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Fingolfin_Noldor »

PeZook wrote:
Invictus ChiKen wrote: You don't know it's [BLACK] food or food for low class white trash. At least those are the prejudices I've seen.
Here, catfish was a delicacy, an expensive food only fit for noble tables, eaten while maintaining the strictest etiquette.
Huh, I used to eat plenty in the dorms at UMichigan.

I never even fancied the fish too much, compared to say salmon, cod and what not.
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Post by Norseman »

Anglers were once considered garbage and chucked back into the sea. I cannot for the life of me figure out why. Mackrells were once eaten only by poor people since it was believed that the dark stripes in the meat was human flesh.

Then again it used to be that lobster and salmon was food for the poor.
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Post by Molyneux »

Darth Wong wrote:
Ender wrote:Honestly, provided it is clean meat, this seems to be about the same prejudice against eating catfish. And I am confident that, like catfish, given a good recipe and skilled chef you could make it one of the most delicious meals you will eat.
There's a prejudice against eating catfish? I've eaten catfish plenty of times.
Dunno about the other folks here, but I doubt I'll ever eat catfish for two reasons:

1) It's not Kosher, and being raised Jewish makes it pretty hard to overcome childhood taboos, even when you no longer care about them in a religious sense. I'm still skittish about eating pork as well, though I did have a slice of pepperoni pizza last week (I wasn't thrilled, but it wasn't outright bad).

2) I grew up with catfish (small ones) in the fishtank of my house. They small species are cute li'l things, and useful to have, as they help to keep the tank clear of algae. To me, catfish are a 'pet' animal - same reason that I can't stand the thought of eating lobster (used to have crayfish as pets) or octopus (just too smart for it to be ethical to eat).
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Post by PainRack »

The Polynesians used to eat rat as part of their meat source, along with guinea pigs.

It obviously isn't a major health problem compared to kuru and brains, along with sheep in cowfeed. Hell, puffer fish is probably more dangerous than rats reared in the paddies.
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Post by Lord of the Abyss »

Broomstick wrote: I suspect some food taboos are rooted in such actual reasons, where avoiding a food was a healthy decision or an animal was more valuable alive than eaten. However, such taboos tend to ossify and become inviolate to the point they won't change when the original reason for the taboo is no longer in existence.
That reminds me of a theory I've heard, that the Jewish prohibition on pork may have made sense at the beginning. Pigs need lots of water, and tend to eat the same foods humans could; so back when the prohibitions were written ( for a religion starting in an arid region ) forbidding pork was a net economic benefit.
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Post by Oskuro »

I've eaten Iguana, Armadillo and Alligator, among other things, and I seem to recall that eating Dog is not taboo in certain parts of Asia.

All this brings the following quote to mind:

"How silly of me. Puttin' salted peanuts in my Coke to off-set the sweetness is considerably more freakish than yankin' a large, clawed bug from the ocean, sticking it in a pot of boilin' water while it's still alive, then crackin' open its exoskeleton and suckin' out the meat within" - Fred McIntire
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Post by PainRack »

LordOskuro wrote:I've eaten Iguana, Armadillo and Alligator, among other things, and I seem to recall that eating Dog is not taboo in certain parts of Asia.
Nope. I actually ate dogmeat once before when I was young... It essentially tasted like tough chicken.

Kangeroo meat, alligators, fried insects are all tasty and nutritious. Albeit, I simply can't stand to eat worms, whether caramalised or fried.
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Post by Oskuro »

Oooh! Kangaroo! That's interesting! It's being mentioned already, but I for example love to eat snails, and I bet a lot of people wouldn't even consider it.
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Post by Shroom Man 777 »

Snails have parasites that go into your brain and may alter your behavior.
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Post by Buddha »

Shroom Man 777 wrote:Snails have parasites that go into your brain and may alter your behavior.
This IS worse than rats, right? Burden of proof is on you.
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Post by Fingolfin_Noldor »

Buddha wrote:
Shroom Man 777 wrote:Snails have parasites that go into your brain and may alter your behavior.
This IS worse than rats, right? Burden of proof is on you.
He is a nurse in training. And you?
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Post by Commander 598 »

Meats eaten:
Beef
Pork
Chicken (Including fried)
Fish (Including catfish, of which I have a literal freezer full of)
Alligator
Rattlesnake
Squirrel
Deer
Turkey
Bullfrog
Duck
Crawfish

Eh...I'm probably forgetting a few. I'm not gonna say that I haven't eaten some things based only on the fact that I can't remember them. I can't think of anyone that won't eat fried chicken or catfish, regardless of the source (Well, maybe some exceptions for catfish).

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b329/ ... G_0150.jpg
(Actual catch)

You really can't expect me to not make use of a ~30lb fish pulled out of the swamp that is effectively my front yard: http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b329/ ... G_0228.jpg

Slabs of meat off that fish looked like they came from some large ocean fish.
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Post by Broomstick »

Shroom Man 777 wrote:Snails have parasites that go into your brain and may alter your behavior.
So do cat feces, but it doesn't stop people from keeping pet cats.
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Post by [R_H] »

Lord of the Abyss wrote: That reminds me of a theory I've heard, that the Jewish prohibition on pork may have made sense at the beginning. Pigs need lots of water, and tend to eat the same foods humans could; so back when the prohibitions were written ( for a religion starting in an arid region ) forbidding pork was a net economic benefit.
Couldn't it also be because of Trichinosis? Pigs being "unclean" and all?
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Post by Broomstick »

Trichinosis was a world-wide problem and didn't stop, say, Europeans from eating pork for thousands of years. Trichinosis stops being a problem if you simply cook pork to well done.

More likely, pigs competed with humans for human-edible food, took lots of water and, because they can't sweat, are rather fragile in hot, arid regions
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Post by Alyrium Denryle »

Meats eaten:
Beef
Pork
Chicken (Including fried)
Fish (Including catfish, of which I have a literal freezer full of)
Alligator
Rattlesnake
Squirrel
Deer
Turkey
Bullfrog
Duck
Crawfish
Meat I have eaten

Beef
Pork

I am cutting down on both of these for ethical and health reasons.

Chicken (Including fried)

Same with chicken unless I can find it cage-free

Fish

I love fish, but restrict myself to pretty much anything farm-raised. I wont eat wild caught fish unless I catch it from the ocean on my own line(and populations are good) or it is stocked in a lake from a fishery. I was raised in Alaska, and LOVE wild caught salmon, but I wont support the commercial fishing. If I want wild salmon I have to go up to Alaska and compete with bears.

Alligator

Tried it once. I liked it, but because they are potential research animals and I have an emotional attachment to them I dont like doing it. That and farming practices leave much to be desired, and they collect eggs from the wild. IIRC

Rattlesnake

Refuse to eat rattlesnake for ethical reasons. They are not bred in captivity, they are collected by hicks in texas and neighboring states from gasoline-drenched den sites (define: Salting the earth) and kept in appalling conditions.

Deer

WHite tail, elk, caribou, moose... all of it tasty

Turkey

YUM! Need to look at farming practices though

Bullfrog

Tried it, dont like eating my pets and research animals.

Duck

I used to keep ducks as pets and for their eggs. I find it difficult to eat duck and whether I can bring myself to do it is rather touch and go.

Crawfish

Yum!

Insects:

I have eaten termites, moths, grasshoppers, crickets, ants, small dipterans,

If prepped right, they are fucking tasty, or even alive actually if you get the right species (grasshoppers for example have an odd texture, termites though....)

SHellfish:

I will eat farm raised shrimp, as well as muscles and clams. Though I prefer collecting the clams myself (but because I have not lived by the ocean for some time, not possible) I only eat crab and lobster once a year on my birthday.

Other ocean things:

Wont eat octopus anymore, too smart. I am comfortable eating squid however


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