Vijay Prakash, secretary of India's state welfare department, has a great new theory for the welfare of India.
He makes some solid points: "It will help in mitigating the global food crisis... It will save half our grain [from being eaten by rodents], and will also reduce villagers' dependence on food stock." He also points out that rats are a major source of protein.
Can't argue with that.
Granted it sounds like a particularly unappetizing idea off the bat. But, we have taken a deep breath and stepped outside of our sheltered American culinary ideals. We've also read this BBC article from 2003 about rat as delicacy ("The meat is a bit like mutton") and Peter Hessler's "Postcard from China: A Rat in my Soup" in the New Yorker ("Mountain Rat Soup, Steamed Mountain Rat, Simmered Mountain Rat, Roasted Mountain Rat, Mountain Rat Curry, and Spicy and Salty Mountain Rat") from 2000.
Admittedly still content with cow burgers and pig bacon for now, but in the interest of solidarity and edible adventure, the New Yorkers among us would definitely be willing to try the California farm-raised pigeon at Blue Ribbon.
Photo: Rat dish in China. Mmmm.