Monday, May 6, 2013

Waiter, there's a rat in my lamb

"Rat Meat Sold as Lamb
The Ministry of Public Security said on Thursday that the police had caught a gang of traders in eastern China who bought rat ... and sold it as mutton." New York Times

When the food labeling bill lost in this past year's election, I said, Hurrah! Another blow to the nanny state.

Who doesn't inspect their leg of lamb for a long and naked tail. It's called personal responsibility, folks.

Of course, the most curious thing about this story is that, until exposed, no one complained about the flavor. Apparently diners happily chowed down on those lamb kabobs and never said, "Hey, this is super gamey and tastes like my attic."

For those of us who missed out on obvious investment opportunities, Apple and Google booms spring to mind, you and I can both sniff a ground-floor opportunity when we smell one.

Gnaw on this: Does anything scream sustainability like rats? I don't think you even have to feed the fuckers. Why not this other, other white meat. (I'm making an assumption here -- maybe rats have both white and dark meat, in which case you-know-who will fight for the drumstick.)

Think about it -- someday thousands of investors will have made millions by betting that little rat ranches will dot the countryside. Trader Joe's will offer your free range rats, and Whole Foods will scoop up the locavore crowd, with a surcharge for steaks certified soy-free.

And we're only scratching the surface.

Keep your eye on the commodities exchange and rat belly futures. Fortune favors the bold. And sometimes fortune doesn't call your name, it just squeaks.


  1. Hee hee hee. Well, you know Chinese food. There's no recognizing any of the meat when it's stir-fried and drenched in Hoisin sauce. Want to join me in a rat farm start-up? All we need are a male and a female from Petco, and within a month or two we'll have hundreds of weaners living happily in your basement. If we raise them on GM-free corn, we'll make a killing at Wholefoods.

  2. Getting a litre of milk from your rats is labor intensive, but well worth the effort.

  3. Steve spent a summer in Argentina and this happened. A Chinese restaurant was using rat instead of chicken.. It closed when the health dept founds freezer full of rats.

  4. Remember back in the day KFC got in trouble because a rat fell in the fryer? (supposedly, eh?) thank God I don't eat KFC, nor do I touch meat.

  5. Ah ha...another good reason not to eat meat...although if it takes like bacon, I might be swayed.

  6. Rats and roaches! There is an endless supply. I've eaten squirrel several times and without their fur, I'm thinking they look very similar.

    Great post Karin!

  7. Excellent post! :-)

    There may be a future in rat bacon -- think bacon bits....

  8. Well, the British have been eating horse thinking it was beef or pork for years. No-one noticed their beefburgers were not made of cow. Though if DNA testing's going to be used to verify the animal in our meat products from now on, the most common finding will be "human." Cannibalism? No, it's just that everyone that handles the meat leaves their DNA on it.

    I want some rat milk!

  9. What's up to all, it's genuinely a nice for me to pay a visit this web site, it consists
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    Feel free to surf to my blog ... Michael Kors

  10. Oh Michael Kors, we thought you'd never get here. Yes, this information is priceless, including tips from rat milkers and squirrel eaters. And I assure you that this, my boy, is just the tip of the ice burg.

  11. eeeeek....... puts a whole new spin on our horse tale!!!

  12. Roaches and horses and rats, oh my.
    There go my dinner plans.

  13. I had to boil a rat for a lab ROP class I was taking in high school. Trust me on this - there is some truth to the old adage "taste like chicken"

  14. I think once some of us get by their prejudice, bigotry, & hate against the rat population, will they discover the tasty delicacy they are. And then these mice will receive equal treatment already afforded lamb, chicken, even snails!, etc, in high food circles. Only then, when rats are accepted along with the others, will we have discovered a real solution to reducing the unwanted rat population in China, Altadena, the South, and other places.

  15. I read the news, "Rat Meat Sold as Lamb". So disgusting...
    In São Paulo (times ago) a man was arrested to sold cat's barbecue instead from bovine meat.
    Roaches, rats, scorpions, snakes, bugs... all them are weird alimentary habits...

  16. Bellis, I'll join your start-up and handle the books. You muck out the stalls.

    Anon, and how's the cheese?

    Margaret, I thought the gauchos only wrangled cattle.

    KBF, I don't know which makes them look worse. That they were serving rats, or that there were so many rats they couldn't keep them out of the fryer.

    Carolynn, maybe this calls for a taste-test.

    Pat, All right, I have to ask. Does the squirrel taste like chicken? (W/0 fur is a nice touch.)

    Ms M, you can join the taste-test.

    Bellis, I did try some camel milk last month.

    YAH: I see your Guardian has an article on the Cane Rat -- in London.

    Des, what? Your menu included Roaches and horses and rats?

    PA, so you're telling us you tasted that soup?

    CP, sounds like you're on the cutting edge.

    Sonia, the thought of fried crickets fills me with fear and loathing.

  17. My son Jeff had a roommate in WV whose mother just adored Jeff. She invited him to come visit their family in the backwoods, and she offered to send Jeff's mother (me) her super secret recipe for squirrel gravy. Eat your heart out, Michael Kors; that would be some really priceless information, which could doubtless be adapted to rat.

  18. Bellis, let me put it this way: we don't have to go to Petco.

  19. I meant, I have lost my appetite.

  20. This whole thing is amazing, but the last four paragraphs are from another planet of exquisite satire. Wow.

    Had my own rat adventure last fall, which made me chide myself once more for eating flesh of any kind AND failing to find a way to love rats. (Am I setting the bar too high?).

  21. Petrea, that probably depends on whether we're looking for meat or milkers. We need to draw up a business plan.

    Des, sous-vide?

    Banjo, I think we both huddle underneath that bar.

  22. ok, well, I *was* going to have some supper after sitting down to read your latest post...

    I thought it was bad that Bella Mia restaurant was caught serving pork billed as veal, hence, I'm never eating there again. Now I find out rats are being served as lamb? I guess I know why I don't eat lamb anymore!!!

    BTW, if you need rats, there are plenty around my neck of the woods. A few nights of trapping and I'd bet you could have a whole farm quickly.

    I'm sure it would be a huge following---new food truck in town "Lamb burgers, tastes great!".

  23. This is another spectacular post. I have heard that the lambs are the only ones not upset about this. In fact, the whole deal was put up by the Lamb Union.

  24. Trish, if Kraft can call slices of grease "American Cheese, I don't see why we can't call these Lambish Burgers.

    Adele, I think you're on to something.

  25. As I framed the shot one of the dudes started waving his arms wildly, and the others followed coming up to the fence saying "you better not take a picture!" And of course, ass that I am I say "why not?" but my greatly missed ex pulled me away before further fracas ensued. Can you say drug dealers?

  26. My comment is on your comment on FB.

  27. My friend has two pet rats she and her three kids adore. Her husband, on the other hand, would like to invest in your rat farm start-up.