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Guinea Pigs Becoming Popular Meals in United States
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Guinea pigs have been showing up on plates across the United States more often, according to NPR.

Matt Miller is a science writer with The Nature Conservancy. He says that rodents are a low-impact meat alternative to carbon-costly beef.


“They were encouraging people to switch from cattle to guinea pigs,” Miller says. “Guinea pigs don’t require the land that cattle do. They can be kept in backyards, or in your home. They’re docile and easy to raise.”

The majority of guinea pigs that are intended for consumption in the United States come from Peru. They are sent to the U.S. as whole, frozen, and hairless rodents. A company in Connecticut claims that imports of guinea pigs have almost doubled since 2008, from 600 per year to over 1,000 per year now.

Carlos Atorga, from Urubamba, a Peruvian restaurant in Queens, said that the demand for guinea pigs has increased each year over the past eight years. The guinea pigs are offered on the menu one weekend per month. They go for $17 per plate.

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“There’s a clear cultural prejudice against eating guinea pigs, and rodents in general, in the United States,” Miller says. “But finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint is a good idea, and so is eating small livestock, like guinea pigs.”



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