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article imageVideo: Louisiana taste-test of 20-lb nutria swamp rat

By Anne Sewell     Apr 30, 2013 in Food
Imported from Argentina in the 1930's for their fur, these giant swamp rats escaped into the wild and are now devouring the roots of wetland plants and transforming the Bayou into a wasteland. A solution has been found, with several tasty recipes.
Three guys, Jeff Springer, Quinn Costello, and Chris Metzler are making a documentary called "Rodents of Unusual Size", about the thousands of 20-pound swamp rats that are eating away the fragile coastal wetlands of Louisiana.
Known as nutria, these animals are vegetarian and they have proceeded to feast on the roots of wetland plants and have transformed much of the Bayou into high salinity wastelands.
These "dead zones" created by the nutria no longer provide a functional buffer against hurricanes and also threaten the biodiversity that supports migratory bird and plant life.
Apparently the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries came up with the idea to encourage people to eat these free-range rodents. Well, maybe not encouraging people to eat them, but they are at least offering an economic incentive payment of $4 per nutria tail delivered by registered participants to collection centers established in coastal Louisiana.
While the three men were on location filming their documentary, they kept hearing stories about nutria and its delicious, low fat, high protein meat. They heard coastal residents saying that the nutria tastes “better than steak.”
And so they decided to put the meat to the test in various different forms in the video above.
Would you eat these tasty rodents? Please comment below. And if you would like an opportunity to try it out, contribute to the Kickstarter campaign, launched to get the documentary "Rodents of Unusual Size" going.
More about Nutria, Swamp rat, Meat, Bayou, Louisiana
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