The year of the rat — tastes like chicken (or better)

The Chinese Year of the Rat begins tomorrow.

And rice farmers are rejoicing, eating the rodent that is damaging crops.

In Thailand, BBC News reports that fast food sellers are enjoying a boom in rat sales, as people learn to love the taste of the rodent.

The rats are drowned and sold uncooked or ready to eat, with happy customers purchasing rat meat for as much as 150 baht ($4.82; £2.30) a kilogram.

One customer was quoted as telling AP,

"It’s better than chicken."

One rat seller, Sala Prompim, said that the hip and liver were the best cuts, adding,

"It’s tastier than other meats – nothing can compete with rat."

Mr Prompim said he only used rats caught from rice fields, and not those found in towns or cities because,

"They are definitely clean."

The Wall Street Journal reports that due to bird flu, field rats have become a popular food in Vietnam.

The story says that in Tu Son, a small village sitting near the banks of the Red River, rat hunter Ngo Minh Tam reckons,

"99%" of the people regularly dine on rat meat."

Rat-based cuisine is beginning to catch on in the big cities as well. Handwritten signs in some of the backstreets of Hanoi offer cash in return for freshly caught rat.

Eating placenta derails postpartum in new moms?

My four daughters were born at home under the supervision of trained midwives. A question always arose: what to do with the placenta?

Jodi Selander, founder of has an answer: eat it.

"I believe nature intended women to begin their mothering journey balanced, rested and joyful. Placenta capsules are an easy way to restore what is lost during pregnancy and birth. There are many ways to prepare your placenta for ingestion. Some women feel comfortable putting placenta in a smoothie, creating a special recipe or even consuming it raw. My preferred method of ingestion is to dry the placenta and put it into capsules."

Is raw placenta microbiologically safe? Did Tom Cruise really dine on placenta after Katie gave birth like he said he was going to back in April 2006, and then denied as a joke?

A press release for the upcoming company, which will be at the upcoming Gentle Birth World Congress in Portland, Oregon, says:

"More than 80% of new mothers suffer from mood instability caused by hormonal fluctuations beginning in the first week after giving birth. The placenta contains a woman’s own natural hormones to alleviate fluctuations, as well as iron, protein and other nutrients which provide the means to replenish and nourish a woman’s body. Women who take placenta capsules report fewer emotional issues, have more energy and tend to enjoy a faster, more pleasant postpartum recovery. Research has found that placenta significantly increases a woman’s milk production, and affects a variety of chemicals in the brain."

Not so say others. We buried ours.