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Rat snacks can solve world pRice food crisis Indian official

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Rat snacks can solve world price food crisis: Indian official

 Picture: REUTERS/Asim Tanveer (PAKISTAN)Members of All Pakistan Clerks Association chant anti-government slogans during a protest rally against price hikes in Multan August 12, 2008. The protesters demanded for a reduction in prices of fuel, public transportation and food items.

Eating rats is the best way for rich and poor people to solve the global crisis of rising food prices, an Indian official says today as he unveiled his plan to put rodents on menus.

Vijay Prakash, secretary of the state's welfare department says regular rat snacks would translate into fewer rodents eating precious grain stocks — 50 percent of which are lost in the northeastern state of Bihar every year to the animals.

Prakash told AFP "This will help in mitigating the global food crisis. They are sure that it will work wonders". "It will save half their grain, and will also reduce villagers' dependence on food stock."

Prakash's plan promotes consumption of rat meat in homes, street stalls, restaurants and even international five-star hotels.

He says he was also holding talks with prestigious hotels outside India to encourage them to put rat meat on their menus, but admitted his scheme had to overcome public prejudice.

He says "The only issue is how people react to rat meat, but he thinks it will not be a problem".

He says "Some socially deprived people in Bihar have always consumed rat meat. If they can eat rats, why can't the rest of the people?"

Members of the Mushar community and some other impoverished groups have traditionally eaten rats in India.

Prakash concluded by saying rat meat will make up nutrition deficiencies among villagers, since rats are a major source of protein,"