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August 28th, 2008, 06:18
Sometimes you don't know whether to laugh or cry…

Rat Meat in Demand in Cambodia as Inflation Bites

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August 28th, 2008, 07:55
Man, at least if things EVER get so bad I want to eat rat meat there are plenty around for free at the McDonalds down the road from me. Seriously, they could make a rat horror movie in a McDonald's drive though really late at night.

I don't know what to say about that article…. but I didn't laugh.

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August 28th, 2008, 08:02
…."as Inflation Bites"?

Is that supposed to be some sort of bad pun?
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August 28th, 2008, 08:54
As long as they do not contain anything dangerous to your health I do not mind people eating whatever they come by. There are more disgusting things people actually eat than rats and down in Asia they really eat everything. I mean… care for a balut?

Ever seen a guy sucking the eggs out of the back of a tarantula? Want some yummy Casu Marzu?

And people think swedes are weird for having crayfish parties.
Last edited by JemyM; August 28th, 2008 at 09:03.
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August 28th, 2008, 09:33
Isn't our surströmming more infamous? Apparently it has been banned by several airline companies.

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August 28th, 2008, 09:55
Looks all tasty to me. I'm hungry for cat or dog today

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August 28th, 2008, 10:46
I heard they eat mud bread that is literally made of - mud - in som caribbean island because they have nothing else..often 3 times a day and nothing else. Before this it was a source of kalcium or somthing so it had its purpose but its propably not very nutrional as a daily meal.

The Poor Eat Mud

In Haiti, where three-quarters of the population earns less than $2 a day and one in five children is chronically malnourished, the one business booming amid all the gloom is the selling of patties made of mud, oil and sugar, typically consumed only by the most destitute.

“It’s salty and it has butter and you don’t know you’re eating dirt,” said Olwich Louis Jeune, 24, who has taken to eating them more often in recent months. “It makes your stomach quiet down.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/18/wo…pagewanted=all
Rat meat and mud pies. Sounds almost like from som cheesy rpg world.

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August 28th, 2008, 11:52
This is really bad.

And it just adds to a report I just read today in the newspaper of New Orleans not being built up properly - instead, the government shown no will to build up the areas for poorer people at all.

As a result, more rich people move in. This can be called "social cleaning", as the title of a German scientific study on these social shiftings says.

M;ore and more I have the feeling as if in the whole "western world" the richer become even more rich and the poorer ones even more poor.

For companies, this is ideal: Poor people MUST take any job provided in order to earn as much money as possible. The pressure is on their side.

Companies, however, can refuse to offer higher wages, and cling to low ones instead, because all of the poorer employees won't argue. Because they know if they argue, they'll be fired.

So, a more general pattern could be to keep most of the public poor, which means that lower wages can be given out, which means in the ernd more profits for the companies - and especially for their heads.

A recent study says that during the last years here in Germany, the people with lower wages got a minus, and the people with better wager got a plus.
So something's going wrong here in Germany, imho. The middle-tier gets heavily eroded.
In the U.S. it is almost non-existent, I once read.

The only drawback is that poorer people can't pay as much as richer people for a given product. Which includes poorer people who get only lower wages.

So, what the companies don't see is, that if huge parts of a society are poor, the companies won'Ät get as many profits as if these parts were richer.

So the dropping of the fees is like - as we say here - cutting oneself into the own flesh. Or swing off the branch where one is sitting on.

The only thing I can see for now is that keeping people poor and a small minority rich seems to be a pattern that appears to be effective for some people - or otherwise it wouldn't be implemented.

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August 28th, 2008, 15:00
Originally Posted by KazikluBey View Post
Isn't our surströmming more infamous? Apparently it has been banned by several airline companies.
I think the article exaggerate the tradition by calling it "national dish"… but I agree that fermented herring is a very odd dish. I never ate it and I never will.
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August 28th, 2008, 15:13
I've tried it. It's not so bad. Some French cheeses are much more… fragrant.

Still, I admit it beats our national food.

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August 28th, 2008, 15:22
I knew NYC was stockpiling rats for a reason.

Seriously, you can't go into a subway station without seeing one.

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August 28th, 2008, 15:28
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
So the dropping of the fees is like - as we say here - cutting oneself into the own flesh. Or swing off the branch where one is sitting on.
I tell you why that assumption is wrong, Alrik. If one company does it, there would be more then enough people remain as customers. The profit for them will grow. When the concurrency has to pay a higher paycheck, they will have to ask more for their similar product. People buy the cheapest product (unless you product is for a special marketsegment -> luxe), so the firm that does the right thing gets punished by the customers. -> They will have to lower the paychecks too.

The paycheck issue is far more complicated then what I said here, but I justed wanted to specify that it isn't only like your view Alrik. It's more of a combination.

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August 28th, 2008, 15:38
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
This is really bad.

And it just adds to a report I just read today in the newspaper of New Orleans not being built up properly - instead, the government shown no will to build up the areas for poorer people at all.
There are a lot more problems in New Orleans than the lack of federal funding. It is by far the most corrupt local government in the US, maybe in western society. Personally, I hope another hurricane hits (but they actually evacuate this time) and destroys it so badly that we realize it is not worth saving. It's sinking into the marsh anyway (hence why Katrina did so much damage) and has had a busted economy for decades. It is a dieing city and we should put it to rest.

As a result, more rich people move in. This can be called "social cleaning", as the title of a German scientific study on these social shiftings says.
We call that gentrifying. I'm looking into a part of Brooklyn that is going through this process. It's a catch 22 though with rebuilding areas. Unless it's a total subsidy by the government, there are very little incentives/options to improve an area's social-economic profile without gentrifying. Of course, if you gentrify, the existing residents get priced out.

The closest thing I've seen to an ideal solution is what NYC does instead of rent control. No new buildings are subject to rent control or rent stabilization (thank God, it's one of the worst run programs in the country), but instead they offer extremely cheap loans to companies in return for reserving a certain portion of the units for lower or middle income families. This can be done for rentals or sales.

There are only two problems with the program:

1) In a really hot real estate market, which NYC is still partially in, a developer can make much more money going about it with private loans than they can by going into the program. So while there are several new complexes each year in the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn, in the 3 years I've been here there has been exactly one in Manhattan.

2) This ties a bit into 1, but demand for the non subsidized units is dragged down slightly but the subsidized unit, thus depressing the price some and reducing the profit.

The only real way, IMO, to make it effective is do some type of voucher program, and have requirements on it that reward those that take care of their units, don't get in trouble with the law (nothing will bring down property values quicker than a lot of police activity), etc. and punish (IE take away the voucher) for the rest.


M;ore and more I have the feeling as if in the whole "western world" the richer become even more rich and the poorer ones even more poor.
We've seen some extension of the 'wealth gap' in the US recently, but all in all, that gap is much lower than it was pre-WWII, so I think the whole 'rich get richer while the poor get poorer' is pretty overblown, at least here.

For companies, this is ideal: Poor people MUST take any job provided in order to earn as much money as possible. The pressure is on their side.

Companies, however, can refuse to offer higher wages, and cling to low ones instead, because all of the poorer employees won't argue. Because they know if they argue, they'll be fired.
That hasn't really been a problem in the US for a long time in most industries. Unions get a lot of the credit for turning the tide in that manner (which while I despise what many current unions have turned into, I support the concept of unionization), but the real driver is a robust economy/industry. Companies don't want to lose good workers to rival companies and if they don't increase wages over time, assuming they don't have a monopoly, they will lose them to a rival that wants their expertise.

A recent study says that during the last years here in Germany, the people with lower wages got a minus, and the people with better wager got a plus.
So something's going wrong here in Germany, imho. The middle-tier gets heavily eroded.
I read once that the extreme labor laws in Germany are part of the problem. How it's really hard to fire someone. Do you think that factors into the problem?

In the U.S. it is almost non-existent, I once read.
What the middle tier? Or the problem? The middle class is alive and well in the US. Squeezed a bit for sure, but it's certainly not non-existent.

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August 28th, 2008, 15:54
ive always wondered what separates the acceptable animals from the non-acceptable animals to eat. Why is it fine to eat a cow, but most people wouldnt dream of eating a horse? It's all emotional, it depends on how cute the animal is most times.

Cattle have more meat on them, they are bred for consumption, but it's the emotional tie than humans have to horses that prohibits us from having horse burgers. Why not eat a dog (or perish the thought - a cat!)? Well, because theyre cute, and we know them as pets. Chances are, a BBQ labrador might actually be pretty good. When people are hungry enough, no such sentiment will keep their furry hides safe.

Our emotional response to someone eating a rat is one of disgust, because we think of some dirty subway rat. No, we eat those clean pigs and other barnyard animals. Although im admittedly no expert on Cambodian rodent cuisine, I think that the rats referenced in the story are not diseased and pollution-fed ghetto rats but wild field rats that would be similar to eating possum or something of that nature. When you get down to it, even if youre not eating such thing as a last resort because youre starving, meat in a stew is meat in a stew. It doesnt really matter what animal it came from. Some people have no such emotional scruples regarding which animals they eat.

It's Labor Day weekend people, bust out the rat kabobs!
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August 28th, 2008, 15:58
Mämmi sounds kinda yummy if you look at the recipe. I wouldn't mind eating that. Granted, the photograph looks kinda like a lump of unknown tissue in a bowl.

Fermented herring:
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August 28th, 2008, 16:06
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Personally, I hope another hurricane hits (but they actually evacuate this time) and destroys it so badly that we realize it is not worth saving. .
With Gustav you may be getting your wish sooner than expected . . .
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August 28th, 2008, 16:06
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Mämmi sounds kinda yummy if you look at the recipe. I wouldn't mind eating that. Granted, the photograph looks kinda like a lump of unknown tissue in a bowl.
It's not bad at all, especially with a sprinkle of sugar and some cream. It just looks rather odd.

There's this joke about a Finnish lady who was bringing a suitcase full of the stuff to relatives in Sweden, and had it opened in customs. Her name was on the suitcase. It was Varma Koskitar.

(N.b.: you have to know Swedish to get it.)
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August 28th, 2008, 16:10
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
It was Varma Koskitar.
(N.b.: you have to know Swedish to get it.)
Yeah, I kinda guessed that someone would make that comparision. To me it looks darker, a lot like chocolate pudding.
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August 28th, 2008, 16:15
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
We've seen some extension of the 'wealth gap' in the US recently, but all in all, that gap is much lower than it was pre-WWII, so I think the whole 'rich get richer while the poor get poorer' is pretty overblown, at least here.
Actually the gap is right back to where it was pre-WWII, any way you look at it.

(In case you're interested in looking at it in a variety of ways, here's the raw data plus some nice graphs about it: [ http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/TabFig2005prel.xls ].)
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August 28th, 2008, 16:20
We thrived on pickled herring at my house—and smoked fish was one of my favorite treats as a child, but we never had any fermented herring. Is it better or worse than Lutfisk? My grandmother had to stop making that by popular request.

Edit—amazing—the economics geeks can even get their teeth into a thread about rat meat…as it were. You go guys.

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