It’s a question that many people have asked themselves at one point in their lives.
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The answer to this question may surprise you. Rats are not usually eaten as they can carry diseases and parasites.
However, some cultures do eat rats as food.
What is Rat Meat?
A rat, also known as a mouse or rodent. It’s common to find them in the sewers and basements of buildings.
Rats are usually nocturnal animals that scurry around after dark looking for food with their long whiskers and keen sense of smell.
Some people find rats to be disgusting creatures that should not even exist, but in reality, they are vital for the ecosystem because they help spread seeds around, which helps plants grow, and without them, we would need more farmers.
Rat meat is similar to the meat of small mammals like a rabbit or squirrel.
It may be tough, but it is rich in protein and can provide essential nutrients when there’s not much else to eat.
It isn’t uncommon for rats to carry diseases such as leptospirosis, typhus, listeria, salmonella, or hantavirus, a potentially fatal condition that the deer mouse can take.
Can You Eat Rat? Which Type of Rats is Edible?
Many types of rats can be eaten, but the first and foremost rat to know about is the field rat.
Field rats are the most common type of rat found in North America, and they range from brown to grey or black with a white stripe down their back.
This type of rat is edible because they are wild, brown, and black rats that live in the fields.
They have a milder taste than house or sewer-dwelling rats.
However, Field rats, which many call brown or Norwegian rats, should be carefully cleaned before cooking to prevent diseases from being passed on.
Ricefield rat is a common variety of rat found in SE Asia.
It lives near rice fields and so is often called the ‘ricefield rat’.
These types of rats are a delicacy in many parts of Asia and Europe.
Nutritional of Rat Meat
The nutritional value of rat meat is exceptionally high, but the taste and texture are not very appealing.
The beautiful thing about eating rats is that they have a relatively large amount of protein.
Rats can have up to 16% of their body weight in protein.
Rat meats also contain omega-three fatty acids, which help your skin stay healthy by keeping the inflammation down.
In addition, rats also contain vitamins B12 and D, magnesium, and potassium.
However, these nutrients only exist in small amounts compared to other animals like beef or chicken eggs.
The biggest drawback is that there isn’t any vitamin C found in rat meat at all.
Rat meat can be used in many recipes that call for lamb or beef.
It is essential to cook the meat as you prepare any other type of game before eating because rat meat contains health risks if not designed correctly.
Side Effects of Eating Rat
Rats are a delicious and nutritious meal, but there can be some side effects if you’re not careful enough.
It is essential to make sure that the rat you are about to eat has been cooked thoroughly, or it could have parasites.
One way of doing this would be by boiling your rat in a pot for at least 15 minutes before consuming it.
Rats also tend to carry rabies and other diseases that may not show any symptoms when eaten raw, so cooking them should prevent any risk from these factors.
Of course, there’s always the chance of an allergic reaction, too – one out of every hundred people who eat rats will get an adverse reaction with symptoms like hives, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and swelling around the neck region.
Do Not Eat Raw Rat: Rats carry many diseases, including leptospirosis, which also affects humans.
There are no known cures for this disease, so it’s best if everyone avoids it at all costs.
Make sure when preparing rats that either you thoroughly wash your hands before handling raw meat in general or wear gloves throughout the process (or both).
This should keep you from contracting bacteria and transferring them to other foods.
Do Not Eat Rats That Have Been Dead – This is because of the risk for bacteria and virus exposure, especially salmonella, which can cause diarrhea, cramps, fever, or vomiting.
To be safe, you should cook all rats before eating them to kill any potential pathogens that may have invaded your meal.
Lastly, if you are not sure whether a rat was diseased when it died, avoid handling it completely by wearing gloves throughout the process (or both).
If in doubt, throw it out.
What Does Rat Taste Like?
In most countries, rats are regarded as vermin and killed on sight.
They are considered to be one of the world’s most prized delicacies in some other parts.
There is even an annual festival dedicated to these critters near Guiyang city every year on November 18th, where you can try this for yourself if interested.
Rat tastes very similar to other gamey meats like squirrel, rabbit, or guinea pig and has a gaminess that sets it apart from these animals.
It’s not as sweet as venison.
For example, if you’ve ever had deer meat, then you’ll know what I mean by “sweet”.
Rat will have more of an earthy flavor than anything else, so if this sounds appealing, then go ahead and give some a try-it might surprise your taste buds.
As you can see in the above content, rat meat is commonly eaten worldwide, and there are many different ways to prepare it.
As with all meats, be sure to cook thoroughly before eating.
Is it Safe to Drink Rat Milk?
Though it may not be a risk for rats, experts advise against drinking rat milk of sewer rats (or any other kind).
The precautions are in place because the diseases and ailments carried by these rodents can jump from their body to human more readily than those carried by cows or buffalo, or goats.
Rat milk is unsafe for humans because of the following reasons:
The first is that they carry raw sewage, which could be contaminated with various dangerous bacteria and parasites.
Second, they can harbor diseases like leptospirosis—a bacterium that causes liver damage in humans—that would then make its way into the milk as well.
Rats also have fleas and ticks (which can spread Lyme disease), not to mention lice.
These are all potential contaminants for their milk upon contact or ingestion by any human who drinks it.
How to Eat and Cook Rat?
Rats are a common food source, especially in the developing world.
If you’re not squeamish about it and want to try something new, see below for how to cook and eat a rat.
Do not eat raw rats.
Cook your rat, maybe like a stew? Rat tastes better when it is cooked with spices and herbs that you enjoy the taste of in other dishes such as cinnamon, sage, or thyme.
If cooking from scratch, add some salt to boiling water before adding cleaned rats for about 20 minutes on high heat until they are tender enough to chew through.
If you have a grill, skewer the rat for cooking over an open flame.
Season with salt and pepper while grilling, and add any other spices that your family enjoys when eating together.
Rats are a delicacy in some parts of the world.
Some people eat them out of necessity, while others treat them as an exotic food adventure.
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If you’ve ever wondered what rat tastes like or how to cook it, read on for our list of tasty recipes and tips from around the internet.