Of mice and men working for the BBC

“I’m holding onto this mouse until food prices go up”

Over at the BBC, Ros Atkins describes my favourite (well – in theory) roadside snack in Malawi: mice-on-a-stick. Always fun to discuss, but unfortunately Atkins tries to paint it as some sort of response to rising world food prices:

Food prices around the world are rising. Drought in the farming states of the American midwest and poor crops in eastern Europe have pushed up the cost of corn and wheat.

The increase in food costs has forced some people in developing countries to make changes in their diet and food choices.

In Malawi, which has the highest poverty levels in africa, young men sell cooked mice to make money and provide cheap food.

Classic – three sentences strung together with heavily-implied causality.  This is pretty silly – mice-on-a stick have been around for as long as I can remember. While the market for skewered rodents might be restricted to countries familiar with food scarcity, they are not a response to the recent food price increases. Maybe the demand for mice has gone up, but it would be nice to see something more than by-the-hip roadside anecdote. What is it about mice-on-a-stick that brings out the worst in journalists?

3 thoughts on “Of mice and men working for the BBC

  1. Lee

    September 4, 2012 at 4:14pm

    Can’t believe you never tried one.

  2. Marc

    September 4, 2012 at 5:42pm

    Haven’t had the mouse yet — a gap in my streetfood intake. I’m always amazed at the hunger-related articles and reports raising the alarm that people are foraging for roots and leaves, or even insects. Reminds me of my days in Peace Corps, with the local kids jumping up and down with glee as termites flew out of their nests.

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