Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Animals become prey at Egypt’s Giza Zoo

June 9, 2008

In most zoos, employees feed and care for the animals. At Egypt’s Giza Zoo, police say, workers have been turning them into dinner or selling them as pets.

When two Moroccan camels were butchered in August, the perpetrators left behind only the hide and hooves. A police investigation found that a zookeeper had slaughtered the animals and sold the meat to supplement his monthly wage.

More than 400 animals, including foxes, zebras, a black panther and a giraffe, have vanished from the government-run menagerie in the last three years, according to police documents. Zoo conditions have grabbed headlines in a country where people criticize President Hosni Mubarak for everything from crumbling schools and hospitals to the low wages and rising food prices that have sparked violent protests.

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Cute, furry house pets – and other delicacies

June 8, 2008

I didn’t have a guinea pig as a pet when I was young, so maybe that made it a little easier to tear one apart and eat it when I was in Peru a few months ago.

A few of the people I was travelling with baulked when the local delicacy was placed in front of them, and as it turned out, they weren’t missing much. My once furry little house pet was gamey, a bit tough, and pretty damn hard to get any meat off of – particularly the head, which you literally have to gnaw on.

Don’t tell Peruvians that though – they seem to love the little fellas.

And that’s the thing: when you’re travelling, you realise that one person’s house pet, or one person’s inedible gristle, is the next person’s culinary staple. Hell, sometimes it’s a revered national dish.

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Demand spikes at pet food pantries as downturn hurts pets

June 4, 2008

Diana Bardsley wiped tears from her eyes as she recalled taking food off her plate to feed her spaniel Hunter and two Siamese cats.

Her greatest fear: that she could be forced to surrender the animals as she struggled to stretch her food stamps and Social Security income to meet the cost of living.

Some hope was restored after she visited a food pantry, which has started offering free pet food.

“I know a lot of people will probably say, well, if you don’t have enough money to be able to feed your animals, that you shouldn’t have pets,” said Bardsley, 53. But “just because financially you may go downhill a little or a lot doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up the part of your family that you love.”

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Want to Help the Environment? Eat Insects.

May 9, 2008

David Gracer lifts a giant water bug, places his thumbs in a pre-sliced slit in its underside, and flips off its head. “Smell the meat,” he says, sniffing the decapitated creature, and the people gathered around the table willingly oblige. Members of the New York Gastronauts, a club for adventurous eaters, they murmur appreciatively as they scoop out and swallow the grayish, slightly greasy insect flesh.

“Perfumey, tastes like salty apples,” one says. “Like a scented candle blended with an artichoke,” another adds.

The giant water bug, or Lethocerus indicus, a three-inch-long South Asian insect that looks uncannily like a local cockroach, is just one of the items on the menu of this bug-eating bacchanal. The Gastronauts’ meal may seem more like a reality TV stunt than a radical environmental strategy, but Gracer is on a serious mission to shake up how we all think about our food supply. Gracer, a self-described “geeky poet/nature boy” who teaches composition at a community college in Providence, Rhode Island, has made it his duty to persuade ordinary Americans to eat insects.

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Economy Causing People to Get Rid of Pets

May 5, 2008

The high price of gas and food and other items is having an effect on animals as well. The Humane Society says it has been seeing an unfortunate trend taking place that hasn’t been this common in a number of years…

Zeus is a healthy, impressive-looking bull mastif/boxer mix, with a sweet personality. His owner almost broke down as he dropped Zeus off at the Bonneville Humane Society, and said goodbye.

In her 7 years, Sally Rigoulot has never seen so many animals given up.

Sally Rigoulot, Bonneville Humane Society pet manager: “With the prices of everything going up, a lot of people can’t afford their pets so they leave them behind.”

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OMG! Cookie for me?

May 3, 2008

Ever wonder how much food a hamster can stuff in its cheeks?

April 29, 2008

States Move to Label Cloned Food

March 3, 2008

The debate over cloned food in the past year has been ferocious. As the Food & Drug Administration weighed whether to allow food from cloned animals into the country’s food supply, more than 30,000 public comments flooded in, with the overwhelming majority opposed to the move. Lea Askren, one consumer who wrote to the agency, called the practice “unethical, disturbing, and disgusting.” Yet on Jan. 15, the FDA sided with the scientists who have researched the issue, saying that meat and milk from cloned animals are “as safe to eat as food from conventionally bred animals.”

Now comes the real battle: Will consumers be able to tell which milk or meat on their supermarket shelves is from cloned animals or their offspring?

As part of its ruling, the FDA decided not to require labels. But several states are taking the opposite tack. At least 13 bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country—including California, Tennessee, New Jersey, and Kentucky—that call for words or symbols alerting shoppers to the presence of cloned foods.

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For more animal-esque music, news, and issues, tune in to Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo online at www.thecapstone.ua.edu, Sunday nights 8-10 central.