How the New York City Subway System Can Help Phnom Penh.

Lots of protein.
Super-size me: A Mallomys giant rat, native to New Guinea

His Excellency Mr. Sea Kosai
Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the U.N.
866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 420
New York, NY 10017

Dear Mr. Kosai:

Greetings. My name is Harry Allen. I run the MEDIA ASSASSIN blog, here at I trust that you and your staff are well.

I’m writing to you because of the following news story, out of your country, last week:

The price of rat meat has quadrupled in Cambodia this year as inflation has put other meat beyond the reach of poor people, officials said on Wednesday.

With consumer price inflation at 37 percent according to the latest central bank estimate, demand has pushed a kilogram of rat meat up to around 5,000 riel ($1.21) from 1,200 riel (29 cents) last year.

Spicy field rat dishes with garlic thrown in have become particularly popular at a time when beef costs 20,000 riel a kg ($4.86, or $2.20/lb).

Officials said rats were fleeing to higher ground from flooded areas of the lower Mekong Delta, making it easier for villagers to catch them.

As a family man whose mother raised five children, and whose wife works hard to keep food on our table, I can only imagine the distress that your people must be suffering under the high cost of rat.

Rat is going through the roof.For example, I know what rising pork prices have done to mealtimes here, all across the U.S., and pigs eat pretty much the same stuff rats do. So, I’m guessing that, with fresh rat prices quadrupling in such a short time, the sights, much beloved by Cambodian children, of mom weighing out a few pounds of raw rat meat, above, or her bringing a big, steaming bowl of spicy field rat with garlic to the table, is getting just a bit more rare.

It doesn’t have to be, though. We have millions of rats, here in New York, that nobody wants. Our subway system is literally overflowing with them. Though they’re city-bred, and, I’m guessing, a bit tougher, stringier, and more sinewy than the more tender field rats of the Mekong Delta, if you can find a way to round ’em up and get ’em home, I’m thinking you can have as many as you can carry, all for free.

What do you think? I think rat is the future. Let me know what you decide!

Harry Allen



#1 Thomas on 09.04.08 at 9:44 am

Mr. Allen: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. Allen: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. Allen: Rats.

#2 Ray on 09.04.08 at 5:15 pm

If you get a bona fide reply from the Cambodian Embassy, I will eat a rat for dinner…

Ray in Jamaica

#3 Dantresomi on 09.04.08 at 7:39 pm

but they eat NY trash.. come on , be…

#4 giles on 09.05.08 at 11:31 am

yeah i’ll eat a cambodian rat.

but not a new york city rat.

Leave a Comment