They are docile, which makes them much easier to farm then larger animals. Eating guinea pig in Ecuador With their big innocent eyes, cat-like whiskers and soft fluffy fur, guinea pigs make for great family pets. I completely agree that sustainable meat sources are the future and raising your own is probably the best way to go. That is definitely less land than the average cow requires! Several dozen people became ill after eating guinea pig meat at a Minneapolis food festival earlier this month. According to activists, eating guinea pig is good for the environment. The feet have hairless soles and short sharp claws. This can include antibiotic therapy, but sometimes surgery may be recommended. In just months, such a collection may have doubled in size. Whilst I am not veggie, I can see their point. For more strange foods you can try in Ecuador, check out this post on jungle town Misahuallí! I spend my time wandering from one place to another without a clue what I am doing. Very few of us feel comfortable eating something cuddly and even less of us feel comfortable watching our food be killed. Or is it? The sinewy meat was dry and sparse, and I went away hungry. Good luck and enjoy your adventures. I know this isn’t the best start to a travel blog but honestly, I find the world terrifying. I have been told by locals to avoid the rainforest regions and instead try Cuy in the Andes mountain range. The consensus seems to be that no matter your opinion on eating guinea pig from a moral point of view, the quality of the cooking tends to be make or break when it comes to enjoyment.Â. At one company, in Connecticut, imports have nearly doubled since 2008 — from 600 guinea pigs per year then to more than 1,000 today. You may best know the guinea pig as a nervous little pet that lives in a cage and eats alfalfa pellets. Covering guinea pig in a soft blanket and feeding water in small quantities with the help of a syringe to your guinea pigs is what you may do, but do not force them to drink when they deny. We all know that such gasses are bad for the environment which could lead us to conclude that guinea pig farms are a more environmentally friendly alternative. Guinea Pig Bowls on Amazon.com. A dying guinea pig will become very weak and unable to feed or water himself as his death approaches. Remember that even dogs are eaten in many countries and guinea pigs have been a source of nutritious food for the Inca for centuries. But there may be more to gain from eating guinea pig than bizarre foods bragging rights. Make sure your guinea pigs have access to fresh water all the time, and if it’s from a bottle make sure it works and your guinea pigs are able to extract the water. Leave for 12 hours at first and then adjust according to you taste. We are currently doing such immeasurable harm to our planet in the name of feeding ourselves which we could easily reduce through lifestyle changes. At the time, he says, conservation groups were expressing concern about local ranchers clearing forest to provide pasture for their cattle — activity that was causing erosion and water pollution. For all of the vegetarians that have just clicked the back button on their browser and all the meat-eaters crying ‘savage’ from behind their computers, allow me to explain a little bit about the history behind eating guinea pig and why eating guinea pig could just save the planet! From a personal point of view, I would definitely recommend Cuenca’s restaurant ‘Tres Estrellas’ in which to try guinea pig. Owing to their size, cows require a huge amount of food to sustain them and allow them to grow to the size required for the meat market. In the West, it would be fair to say we are all very removed from what ends up on our plate. It is all about Guinea Pigs! 1. Widespread consumption of guinea pig would certainly be one way to offset this damage. Here you will learn all about guinea pigs: how to feed them, handle them, about their behaviour, how to choose a cage, bedding, about their health, social life, and much more – everything you need to know about guinea pig care in one place. Not to mention, you can actually raise hundreds of guinea pigs in an area as small as your back garden. I envy you your ability to travel the world. I ate a quarter of a grilled guinea pig recently during a cycling trip in Ecuador. While guinea pig may be attaining star status as a hold-your-nose-and-roll-the-camera bizarre food, whether an animal so favored as a pet in the United States will become a mainstream piece of protein is, perhaps, doubtful. If your guinea pig has hair loss and is itching or scratching a lot, it may have lice or mites. Guinea pigs are overly sensitive to being held, so limiting their exposure will keep them happier. The thought of … The animals go for $17 a plate, each cuy splayed down the middle like a lobster and served with a front leg and a back, an eye, an ear and a nostril. If your guinea pig is not eating or pooping, then it clearly indicates there is a blockage of poop in their gut, or the gut movement have slowed down. That cute fluffy pet that we keep in the UK and the US, I ate him.Â. A traditional food, Guinea pig (called cuy in Peru) has been served whole on special occasions since Inca times. 147 GIFs. Ileus can be caused secondarily by an underlying illness or stressor which in turn causes your guinea pig to stop eating. As we have seen from looking at the history of eating guinea pig, these little critters have been eaten for generations. It’s estimated that indigenous people in the Andes Mountains have been eating domesticated cuy (pronounced “kwee”) since 5000 BC. Yes, you read that correctly. Urubamba, a Peruvian restaurant in Queens, wasn't serving guinea pig at all eight years ago. A review of these common guinea pig care no-nos helps you avoid them so your guinea pig buddies live the good life. You can make his passing less uncomfortable by offering him water from a spoon, syringe, or water bottle. 49 shares. Woods says a guinea pig herd consisting of two males and 20 females can sustain itself while providing meat for a family of six. Changes in diet can have a serious impact on guinea pig’s health. Courtesy of Curtiss Calleo Dogs eat grass all the time. Yes, that little hamster-like creature you had as a childhood pet is somewhat of a delicacy in the Andean highlands and has been a traditional part of the Peruvian and Bolivian diets since pre-colonial times. I know that’s ridiculous but sometimes it still turns my stomach.Â, The guinea pig arrived pre-cut into sections but complete with all of its limbs and head. Then there is the consideration of rodents in mass numbers developing diseases. Phil Whitehouse/via Flickr I am not sure sending guinea pigs out to pasture would be as simple. "They were encouraging people to switch from cattle to guinea pigs," Miller says. I am a vegetarian, and personally, i would rather people ate guinea pigs then cows. To help start a home guinea pig farm, Heifer International typically supplies a family with one male and seven females. It resembles other cavies in having a robust body with short limbs, large head and eyes, and short ears. The Salt contacted several federal regulatory agencies, including USDA and Fish and Wildlife, but none seemed to track guinea pig imports. They can be kept in backyards, or in your home. You need to consider the yield of how many pounds of meat per pound of food fed to the animal. Pick your side: either all animals matter or none do. My wife and I have raised and slaughtered rabbits and chickens, so we are not squeamish and will try anything at least once – ever eaten crocodile? The guinea pig or domestic guinea pig (Cavia porcellus), also known as cavy or domestic cavy (/ ˈ k eɪ v i /), is a species of rodent belonging to the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia.Despite their common name, guinea pigs are not native to Guinea, nor are they closely biologically related to pigs, and the origin of the name is still unclear.They originated in the Andes of South America. Current destination: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿Â, Please note: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases [U.K]. Changing brands suddenly could trigger gastrointestinal upset or cause your guinea pig to stop eating pellets. In fact, they probably bring up childhood memories of our first fluffy family addition. Although your dog can't properly digest these things, none of them are harmful. Guinea Pig Losing Weight Despite Eating, in the context of medicine, health, or physical fitness, refers to a reduction of the total body mass, due to a mean loss of fluid, body fat or adipose tissue or lean mass, namely bone mineral deposits, muscle, tendon, and other connective tissue. "There's a clear cultural prejudice against eating guinea pigs, and rodents in general, in the United States," Miller says. Guinea pigs on the grill Chef Astorga at Urubamba says cuy — which he describes as "about the size of a squirrel" — has "tender flesh and very tender skin." You do not want your guinea pigs to struggle for air in their hard times. In fact, archaeologists believe that guinea … The best we have ever done is this: https://jumpshare.com/v/ittYvQWPE9Kg9FCStsUQ?b=QiHas2GLri1UyPaeVVFH They're docile and easy to raise.". Some people are purely vegan, and vegetarian and don’t eat meat or animal products at all. Now, Urubamba customers can expect cuy on the menu about one weekend each month. Cutting down on fruits or treats are likely starting points. A Taste of Peru: Eating Guinea Pig. I came upon this just now, for which thank you. Feed your guinea pig primarily green leafy vegetables. She says the meat can be tough and stringy. Surely though, as a meat-eater that is ridiculous? With all of the current focus on preserving the environment,  some activists are trying to market guinea pigs as a carbon-friendly beef alternative. A frequent diet change, improper diet, or some other health issues … Eating roasted or fried guinea pig is an ancient tradition in parts of South America, and still common today. This type of poop is usually smaller than healthy poop. In the United States, most guinea pigs intended for human consumption come from Peru as whole, frozen, hairless rodents in plastic bags. Like with pork in Ecuador, the animal is sometimes blow-torched prior to cooking to remove the hair.Â, Having always appreciated how cute guinea pigs are, I wondered how I would cope with trying to eat one. Not going to lie, thinking about that as you’re pondering your menu choice isn’t helpful. Share; Tweet; Pin; Cuy restaurants in Banos [E]ating cuy was high on my to-do list in Ecuador, despite having a guinea pig named Patches as a pet when I was a kid. Great post. Whilst I am much more open-minded about my diet now, I will confess I don’t like eating things with a face. This is the way forward for our planet! It is not a recent development that has seen guinea pigs end up on the plates of humans. I tucked straight in.Â, I have heard people say that the meat of the guinea pig tastes similar to chicken but I think this is a cliched simplification of its taste. South American restaurants on both coasts seem to be pushing the trend, answering to demand mostly from Andean expats for what is considered a fine and valuable food in Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. The Wheekwell Guide shows what your guinea pig should be eating every day and which vitamins they require. “Winging the World is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”, The Environmental Impact of Eating Guinea Pig. (You can’t be any more useless than me.) The guinea pig has many positive qualities that can’t be covered completely in this short article. As for all the meat-eaters out there, I struggle a little with their outrage. I am currently installing a run in my garden to raise guinea pigs for our table (Norfolk, UK). Cattle require masses of land which has had a huge environmental impact. The skin is extra salty and is fried to the point where it cracks as you cut it. Just by the by: I have a younger sister named Sheree, second name Kim. Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru are all countries which have seen these furry little rodents grace local plates for thousands of years. After all, having dogs as pets didn't stop me from trying that meal in Cambodia. The desire to maintain and protect the Amazon Rainforest is heavily impacted by the need for farming space, which has resulted in crazy levels of deforestation. it was only once the South Americans began to bring guinea pigs into Europe that they first became pets. Here you can find my travel stories (and blunders) and maybe you’ll want to try winging it too! Not only is the meat very good for you health-wise but there are also huge environmental benefits to farming guinea pig over cattle. Gamey in texture, it is more similar to that of rabbit but with an extremely crispy exterior. But, if you do, guinea pig meat is a healthy option. At least they’re consistent in their non-meat consumption.Â. Whilst guinea pigs aren’t the meatiest animal you could choose to eat, there are a number of benefits to picking this dish over other kinds of meat. Gordon Ramsay Talked About Eating Guinea Pigs And Why He Can't Serve Them In The US "I am telling you now, delicious." Guinea pigs at a farm for the animals in Puno, Peru, where they're considered a delicacy. Jason Woods, the nonprofit's Americas regional program assistant, says guinea pigs — which he says usually weigh no more than 2 pounds — are twice as efficient as cows at turning food, like hay and compost scraps, into meat: To render a pound of meat, a cow, he explains, may require 8 pounds of feed. Your guinea pig may also have trouble eating. Most venison is rendered palatable by soaking it in a brine consisting of 1 tablespoon of salt to each litre of water. If you are willing to give your guinea pig a good home with proper food, attention, living space, grooming, and veterinary care, you will be rewarded with a happy, healthy, cute, and fun guinea pig. It wasn’t until the Spanish came and started sending guinea pigs to Europe that the furry creatures were treated as pets. Guinea pigs are cute and cuddly and eating one is like eating your pet dog. I am fortunate enough to live in an area in which venison is available at a small fraction of the price of more conventional cuts and I avail of it when run out of meat to eat. This depends on your perspective. Bumblefoot. I am the type of guy who would try anything as long as it looks good and I must admit they do look good. However, we spoke with the owners of two Peruvian food importers who said cuy consumption in the United States is certainly rising. My motto is “if it lies on my plate long enough for me to stab it with a fork, I’ll eat it.” Blend or mix a guinea pig "smoothie" that contains hay, water and ground up … Tim and I decided to put Cuy in our Ecuador itinerary and try it in the city of Cuenca. For more strange foods you can try in Ecuador, check out this post on jungle town Misahuallí! This winter we managed to get a 35kg warthog, which we cut up and packed into the freezer. Guinea pigs are small pets, but they require plenty of space, time, effort, and human interaction. The fact is that if you eat meat, you should accept that it comes from an animal. We have never eaten guinea pig, but will not hesitate to try if it is offered. I do worry about what people will think when they find out. Guinea pigs at a farm for the animals in Puno, Peru, where they're considered a delicacy. Across South America today, guinea pigs are known to the locals as Cuy. He says the nose, ears and fingery little hands are the best bites of all — but Oka removes the animals' extremities to avoid offending sensitive diners. I finally passed my driving test (sadly not on the first attempt), I travelled to South America for the first time and had my first experience eating guinea pig. The animals — called cuyes in Spanish — are usually cooked whole, often grilled, sometimes deep fried. Of course, there are vegetarians are screaming in horror after seeing the photos of fried up rodents on this page. Things as simple as moving the cage, introducing a new guinea pig, an upper respiratory infection, and even ectoparasites like lice can stress your guinea pig out enough so that it doesn't eat and develops ileus. Usually it is dried alfalfa grass pressed into pellets and sometimes has other things like corn, carrots, and seeds. I would say it is most similar to a good pork crackling.Â. The average price of a guinea pig between two people in Ecuador is around $25. The Little Rock-based humanitarian organization Heifer International, which assists communities in enhancing their economies and streamlining local food production, is also promoting guinea pig husbandry in Peru, Ecuador and Guatemala. At this roadside food stand and many others like it in rural Peru, the house specialty is roasted guinea pig to go. As you would expect, guinea pigs require much less food which makes them more cost-effective to raise. Matt Miller, an Idaho-based science writer with The Nature Conservancy, says rodents and other small livestock represent a low-impact meat alternative to carbon-costly beef. The Cuy that Tim and I ate in Cuenca was roasted on a spit (you are recommended to book at least an hour in advance to give it time to cook) and then fried off. She cooked some last night and it is delicious! Neither would speak on record, but each said they are now importing more guinea pigs than ever before. Changes to a guinea pig’s diet must be done gradually. But others describe what sounds like a different creature. Whilst there is evidence to suggest Europeans have never commonly eaten guinea pig, that is not the case in South America. hide caption. We have and prepared right it is not bad at all. A 750 pound steer can forage on grass alone if needed. In fact, archaeologists believe that guinea pigs were first considered as a food source in 5,000BC! A guinea pig only needs 4. It is strongly recommended to remove … V let the warthog for thirty six hours, as we were told it has a very gamey taste. Guinea pigs make a variety of sounds or vocalizations, some of which most owners will recognize. A lot of sugar in a guinea pig’s system could affect their gut by over-producing too much of the bad gut bacteria. Miller, who is writing a book about the ecological benefits of eating unconventional meats, visited Colombia several years ago. Our guinea pig feeding guide is our version of “The Eatwell guide” which is a document produced in the UK that shows how much we should eat every day. Corn is a filler is a lot of dog foods and my dogs love carrots as a snack. I am actually based in Norfolk too – how funny! Guinea Pig Feeding Mistakes To Avoid. La Mar Cebicheria's Chef Oka says cuy is "very oily, like pork combined with rabbit.". Guinea Pig Sounds . Eating Cuy (Guinea Pig) October 25, 2011 By Dave. Oka marinates and deep-fries his guinea pigs for a dish called cuy chactado. Surprisingly, after smelling the meal heading towards us, I was no longer concerned about whether I would be able to stomach the delicacy. They take up less space and people can produce their own meat. No skimping on plentiful grass hay, fresh water, and vitamin C. The guinea pig diet is mainly hay; we’re talking about 80% hay. I have heard and read a number of reports from people who say it tastes amazing and plenty from those who say it is chewy and fatty. 🙂. This is the Kichwa translation which comes from the high-pitched sound that the guinea pigs make. Travel fear #2: Surviving the Amazon Rainforest, 18 Photos That Will Inspire You To Visit The Galapagos Islands, https://jumpshare.com/v/ittYvQWPE9Kg9FCStsUQ?b=QiHas2GLri1UyPaeVVFH, https://jumpshare.com/b/GniZ2SuBmyixVVwxzqII. There are four toes on the forefeet and three on the hind feet. Urinary tract infections should be investigated by a veterinarian, who can decide the best course of treatment. "But finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint is a good idea, and so is eating small livestock, like guinea pigs. If your guinea pig has an issue with its guts or is dehydrated, the poop can turn dry and tear-shaped. 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