Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Awwww Rats

Finally, one country is starting to get creative about rising food costs. The following article entitled "Food crisis? Try rats, says Indian state government" is from Reuters:

PATNA, India (Reuters) - A state government in eastern Indian is encouraging people to eat rats in an effort to battle soaring food prices and save grain stocks.

Authorities in Bihar, one of India's poorest states, are asking rich and poor alike to switch to eating rats in a bid to reduce the dependence on rice. They even plan to offer rats on restaurant menus.

"Eating of rats will serve twin purposes -- it will save grains from being eaten away by rats and will simultaneously increase our grain stock," Vijay Prakash, an official from the state's welfare department, told Reuters.

Officials say almost 50 percent of India's food grain stocks are eaten away by rodents in fields or warehouses.

Jitan Ram Manjhi, Bihar's caste and tribe welfare minister, said rat meat was a healthy alternative to expensive rice or grains, and should be eaten by one and all.

"We are very serious to implement this project since the food crisis is turning serious day by day," Manjhi, who has eaten rats, told Reuters.

In Bihar, rat meat is already eaten by Mushars, a group of lower caste Hindus, as well as poorer sections of society.

This is simply brilliant. Increase the amount of available meat, preserve grain stocks, and reduce the rat population all at the same time. If we Americans could apply the same degree of creativity to our problems, imagine what we could accomplish during these difficult times. Here are a few of my very preliminary ideas:
  • Eat politicians (some protein but mainly gas-inducing bacteria)
  • Eat vacant and foreclosed houses (fiber)
  • Eat Wall Street executives (carbon capture)
  • Eat the budget deficit (saturated fat)
  • Eat securitized mortgages (recycling toxic waste)
  • Wash it all down with a Paulson/Bernanke chaser (a laxative)
I would have added rats to the list, but that would have been redundant.