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?