As you would expect, guinea pigs require much less food which makes them more cost-effective to raise. The guinea pig has many positive qualities that can’t be covered completely in this short article. Guinea pigs are small pets, but they require plenty of space, time, effort, and human interaction. One portion of Cuy is good to share between two people and also comes served with potatoes, beans and corn. At this roadside food stand and many others like it in rural Peru, the house specialty is roasted guinea pig to go. Eating guinea pig in Ecuador With their big innocent eyes, cat-like whiskers and soft fluffy fur, guinea pigs make for great family pets. "Guinea pigs don't require the land that cattle do. Woods says a guinea pig herd consisting of two males and 20 females can sustain itself while providing meat for a family of six. We are currently doing such immeasurable harm to our planet in the name of feeding ourselves which we could easily reduce through lifestyle changes. Hey I’m Sheree, the awkward British wanderluster behind Winging the World. Not only is the meat very good for you health-wise but there are also huge environmental benefits to farming guinea pig over cattle. According to activists, eating guinea pig is good for the environment. I am currently installing a run in my garden to raise guinea pigs for our table (Norfolk, UK). Changing brands suddenly could trigger gastrointestinal upset or cause your guinea pig to stop eating pellets. You should eat guinea pig meat because it is good for preventing arthritis, it enhances brain function, it has cancer preventing properties. Blend or mix a guinea pig "smoothie" that contains hay, water and ground up … But there may be more to gain from eating guinea pig than bizarre foods bragging rights. As I am carnivore, eating only meat, animal products and animal fat, I have no qualms about what meat I eat as long as it tastes good. She says the meat can be tough and stringy. 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. Since then, demand has climbed every year, according to Carlos Atorga, who opened Urubamba in 1976. The skin is extra salty and is fried to the point where it cracks as you cut it. It resembles other cavies in having a robust body with short limbs, large head and eyes, and short ears. Guinea Pig Bowls on Amazon.com. Gordon Ramsay Talked About Eating Guinea Pigs And Why He Can't Serve Them In The US "I am telling you now, delicious." Bumblefoot. I am actually based in Norfolk too – how funny! You do not want your guinea pigs to struggle for air in their hard times. This is the way forward for our planet! 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! 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 pigs at a farm for the animals in Puno, Peru, where they're considered a delicacy. For more strange foods you can try in Ecuador, check out this post on jungle town Misahuallí! They're docile and easy to raise.". Here you can find my travel stories (and blunders) and maybe you’ll want to try winging it too! A Taste of Peru: Eating Guinea Pig. Guinea pigs are overly sensitive to being held, so limiting their exposure will keep them happier. 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. Sometimes the reason why guinea pig stops eating lays in the actual product that your pet is avoiding.In a majority of cases guinea pigs stop eating vegetables because they are fed with excessive amount of treats and pallets. Guinea pigs at a farm for the animals in Puno, Peru, where they're considered a delicacy. She cooked some last night and it is delicious! Now, Urubamba customers can expect cuy on the menu about one weekend each month. For many of us living in the UK and US, guinea pigs don’t get our mouths watering. However, it was only once the South Americans began to bring guinea pigs into Europe that they first became pets. Whilst there is evidence to suggest Europeans have never commonly eaten guinea pig, that is not the case in South America. Current destination: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿Â, Please note: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases [U.K]. Remember that even dogs are eaten in many countries and guinea pigs have been a source of nutritious food for the Inca for centuries. 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. They take up less space and people can produce their own meat. Miller, who is writing a book about the ecological benefits of eating unconventional meats, visited Colombia several years ago. I came upon this just now, for which thank you. 49 shares. I am a vegetarian, and personally, i would rather people ate guinea pigs then cows. Limit the guinea pig to one person each time. 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! Leave for 12 hours at first and then adjust according to you taste. hide caption. We will have to feed them cuy and convert them! As we have seen from looking at the history of eating guinea pig, these little critters have been eaten for generations. 147 GIFs. Whilst there is evidence to suggest Europeans have never commonly eaten guinea pig, that is not the case in South America. Then there is the consideration of rodents in mass numbers developing diseases. You may best know the guinea pig as a nervous little pet that lives in a cage and eats alfalfa pellets. 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. 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. "But finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint is a good idea, and so is eating small livestock, like guinea pigs. It always amazes me how many people are willing to eat meat but won’t acknowledge the process which has to happen for the food to reach our plates. A lot of sugar in a guinea pig’s system could affect their gut by over-producing too much of the bad gut bacteria. I have been told by locals to avoid the rainforest regions and instead try Cuy in the Andes mountain range. Who knows. But, if you do, guinea pig meat is a healthy option. 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. Although your dog can't properly digest these things, none of them are harmful. "There's a clear cultural prejudice against eating guinea pigs, and rodents in general, in the United States," Miller says. Widespread consumption of guinea pig would certainly be one way to offset this damage. There are a couple of ways to cook guinea pig, generally either roasted, baked or fried. A change in pelleted food brands or cutting back on pelleted food must be discussed with your veterinarian. I ate a quarter of a grilled guinea pig recently during a cycling trip in Ecuador. A traditional food, Guinea pig (called cuy in Peru) has been served whole on special occasions since Inca times. The rearing of cattle produces a huge amount of greenhouse gasses, owing to the methane emitted by the cows when they release wind. The Wheekwell Guide shows what your guinea pig should be eating every day and which vitamins they require. As this is where guinea pigs were first eaten, it is believed that they tend to be cooked to a higher standard in these areas. But here, in the Andean mountains of Ecuador, guinea pigs aren’t treated as cuddly companions; they’re bred, boiled and deep-fried for dinner. Eating roasted or fried guinea pig is an ancient tradition in parts of South America, and still common today. Changes to a guinea pig’s diet must be done gradually. 🙂. In Los Angeles, Helen Springut, co-founder of the adventurous eaters club Gastronauts, says guinea pig is a food worth pursuing only as a cultural experience. 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. I envy you your ability to travel the world. 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. V let the warthog for thirty six hours, as we were told it has a very gamey taste. Pick your side: either all animals matter or none do. Believe it or not, guinea pigs originated in the Andean region (Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru) and were originally raised specifically for eating. From a personal point of view, I would definitely recommend Cuenca’s restaurant ‘Tres Estrellas’ in which to try guinea pig. 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. Cutting down on fruits or treats are likely starting points. 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. If your guinea pig has an issue with its guts or is dehydrated, the poop can turn dry and tear-shaped. Guinea pigs make a variety of sounds or vocalizations, some of which most owners will recognize. 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. I would say it is most similar to a good pork crackling.Â. 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. 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. Whilst this is pricey in comparison to most local dishes, it is generally only eaten on special occasions and is considered to be a delicacy in these areas. In San Francisco, Diego Oka, a native of Peru and the executive chef of La Mar Cebicheria, serves imported Peruvian cuy every summer around Peru's July 28 Independence Day. Ileus can be caused secondarily by an underlying illness or stressor which in turn causes your guinea pig to stop eating. With all of the current focus on preserving the environment,  some activists are trying to market guinea pigs as a carbon-friendly beef alternative. 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. 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. ". It is definitely worth doing your research when it comes to finding a place to eat Cuy. A 750 pound steer can forage on grass alone if needed. The feet have hairless soles and short sharp claws. It wasn’t until the Spanish came and started sending guinea pigs to Europe that the furry creatures were treated as pets. A review of these common guinea pig care no-nos helps you avoid them so your guinea pig buddies live the good life. Guinea pigs on the grill It’s estimated that indigenous people in the Andes Mountains have been eating domesticated cuy (pronounced “kwee”) since 5000 BC. Urinary tract infections should be investigated by a veterinarian, who can decide the best course of treatment. Urubamba, a Peruvian restaurant in Queens, wasn't serving guinea pig at all eight years ago. Keep it fresh. After all, having dogs as pets didn't stop me from trying that meal in Cambodia. I am not sure sending guinea pigs out to pasture would be as simple. Guinea Pig Sounds . Middle-class foodies with a taste for exotic delicacies are also ordering, photographing and blogging about guinea pig. Yes, you read that correctly. Whilst I am much more open-minded about my diet now, I will confess I don’t like eating things with a face. Whilst I am not veggie, I can see their point. Courtesy of Curtiss Calleo 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. ... Peru, we knew that part of our culinary adventure had to be cuy or guinea pig. I do worry about what people will think when they find out. It is all about Guinea Pigs! I completely agree that sustainable meat sources are the future and raising your own is probably the best way to go. 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. Now, the rodents are increasingly showing up on plates in the United States. There are four toes on the forefeet and three on the hind feet. Surely though, as a meat-eater that is ridiculous? Guinea pig, (Cavia porcellus), a domesticated species of South American rodent belonging to the cavy family (Caviidae). Great post. My motto is “if it lies on my plate long enough for me to stab it with a fork, I’ll eat it.” Not going to lie, thinking about that as you’re pondering your menu choice isn’t helpful. Guinea pigs are cute and cuddly and eating one is like eating your pet dog. We have never eaten guinea pig, but will not hesitate to try if it is offered. The average price of a guinea pig between two people in Ecuador is around $25. People might appreciate eating meat more if they had to raise and slaughter the animal themselves. This type of poop is usually smaller than healthy poop. Whilst cooked guinea pig can be found all over Ecuador and Peru, there are certain places which are recommended more than others. 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. History of Guinea Pigs. Check for untouched or unfinished treats an hour or so after they’ve been offered to your guinea pig. It also includes the different food groups humans should be eating from. They are docile, which makes them much easier to farm then larger animals. But others describe what sounds like a different creature. I spend my time wandering from one place to another without a clue what I am doing. 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. A guinea pig only needs 4. Gamey in texture, it is more similar to that of rabbit but with an extremely crispy exterior. You can make his passing less uncomfortable by offering him water from a spoon, syringe, or water bottle. 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. If your guinea pig has hair loss and is itching or scratching a lot, it may have lice or mites. Guinea pig is most likely to stop eating if the food is too hard and/or unpalatable. 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. 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. I don’t know if guinea pigs eat less food than cattle. Cuy is high in protein and lower in cholesterol making it arguably a healthier choice than many other types of meat. 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. Very few of us feel comfortable eating something cuddly and even less of us feel comfortable watching our food be killed. Guinea pig food is essentially dried vegetation. Not to mention, you can actually raise hundreds of guinea pigs in an area as small as your back garden. In fact, archaeologists believe that guinea pigs were first considered as a food source in 5,000BC! A frequent diet change, improper diet, or some other health issues … Welcome to the Guinea Pig Manual. That is definitely less land than the average cow requires! The best we have ever done is this: https://jumpshare.com/v/ittYvQWPE9Kg9FCStsUQ?b=QiHas2GLri1UyPaeVVFH It is not a recent development that has seen guinea pigs end up on the plates of humans. A dying guinea pig will become very weak and unable to feed or water himself as his death approaches. It is strongly recommended to remove … Corn is a filler is a lot of dog foods and my dogs love carrots as a snack. The good bacteria is a guinea pig’s gut is essential for breaking down and digesting complex foods, such as … No skimping on plentiful grass hay, fresh water, and vitamin C. The guinea pig diet is mainly hay; we’re talking about 80% hay. Changes in diet can have a serious impact on guinea pig’s health. I know this isn’t the best start to a travel blog but honestly, I find the world terrifying. Guinea Pig Feeding Mistakes To Avoid. 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. In the United States, most guinea pigs intended for human consumption come from Peru as whole, frozen, hairless rodents in plastic bags. "They were encouraging people to switch from cattle to guinea pigs," Miller says. Many diners eat every last morsel, literally from head to toe. 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 animals — called cuyes in Spanish — are usually cooked whole, often grilled, sometimes deep fried. Across South America today, guinea pigs are known to the locals as Cuy. This depends on your perspective. Next up is a pheasant breeding project. In fact, archaeologists believe that guinea … Most venison is rendered palatable by soaking it in a brine consisting of 1 tablespoon of salt to each litre of water. Good luck with both projects! In the United States, most guinea pigs intended for human consumption come from Peru as whole, frozen, hairless rodents in plastic bags. Surprisingly, after smelling the meal heading towards us, I was no longer concerned about whether I would be able to stomach the delicacy. However, we spoke with the owners of two Peruvian food importers who said cuy consumption in the United States is certainly rising. In fact, they probably bring up childhood memories of our first fluffy family addition. There is nowhere suffering from the consequences of deforestation as much as the South American countries. Guinea pig (Cuy) is a delicacy that is very typically associated with typical Peruvian cuisine but it is also eaten throughout other countries of South America such as Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia.. That’s what adventure is all about though, right? The steady amount of produce in your guinea pig's diet means that you need to be conscientious about removing uneaten fruits, veggies and other perishable foods before they spoil. Neither would speak on record, but each said they are now importing more guinea pigs than ever before. Miller at The Nature Conservancy says guinea pig is "delicious, very tender and hard to compare to anything else" — not even chicken. That cute fluffy pet that we keep in the UK and the US, I ate him.Â. This could then lead to stomach pains and digestive upset with your guinea pig. 1. Eating Cuy (Guinea Pig) October 25, 2011 By Dave. Header photo by Nestor Lacle under CC by 2.0 Flickr.com. You need to consider the yield of how many pounds of meat per pound of food fed to the animal. Good luck and enjoy your adventures. 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? Your guinea pig may also have trouble eating. The fact is that if you eat meat, you should accept that it comes from an animal. Of course, there are vegetarians are screaming in horror after seeing the photos of fried up rodents on this page. I am the type of guy who would try anything as long as it looks good and I must admit they do look good. Usually it is dried alfalfa grass pressed into pellets and sometimes has other things like corn, carrots, and seeds. They can be kept in backyards, or in your home. Monitor food intake and be aware of how any changes may have impacted your pet. Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru are all countries which have seen these furry little rodents grace local plates for thousands of years. This is the Kichwa translation which comes from the high-pitched sound that the guinea pigs make. There can be a lot of reasons behind the same. In just months, such a collection may have doubled in size. Dogs eat grass all the time. Just by the by: I have a younger sister named Sheree, second name Kim. In the West, it would be fair to say we are all very removed from what ends up on our plate. 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. As for all the meat-eaters out there, I struggle a little with their outrage. (You can’t be any more useless than me.) 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. To help start a home guinea pig farm, Heifer International typically supplies a family with one male and seven females. We have and prepared right it is not bad at all. This can include antibiotic therapy, but sometimes surgery may be recommended. Chef Astorga at Urubamba says cuy — which he describes as "about the size of a squirrel" — has "tender flesh and very tender skin." At one company, in Connecticut, imports have nearly doubled since 2008 — from 600 guinea pigs per year then to more than 1,000 today. La Mar Cebicheria's Chef Oka says cuy is "very oily, like pork combined with rabbit.". That is, only let one person hold the guinea pig each time you get them out of the cage, especially if that person is a child. It is not a recent development that has seen guinea pigs end up on the plates of humans. Cattle require masses of land which has had a huge environmental impact. Some vegetables can be provided few times a day, some few times a week . Some people are purely vegan, and vegetarian and don’t eat meat or animal products at all. The sinewy meat was dry and sparse, and I went away hungry. 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. The only meat we eat at present is wild game, and we want our own source of eco-friendly meat. Or is it? hide caption. Sort: Relevant Newest # eating # chewing # guinea pig eating # chewing # guinea pig # cute # halloween # costume # pirate # guinea pig 2018 has been a year of firsts for me. Oka marinates and deep-fries his guinea pigs for a dish called cuy chactado. The Salt contacted several federal regulatory agencies, including USDA and Fish and Wildlife, but none seemed to track guinea pig imports. 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. This winter we managed to get a 35kg warthog, which we cut up and packed into the freezer. It seems to me that through eating guinea pig we may not only reduce our carbon footprint but also become a little more open-minded about our neighbours as well. “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. Phil Whitehouse/via Flickr 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. Feed your guinea pig primarily green leafy vegetables. I know that it isn’t going to be for everyone but I believe that there are only benefits to be had by putting guinea pig on the menu. Several dozen people became ill after eating guinea pig meat at a Minneapolis food festival earlier this month. We love the outdoors and train our dogs to explore the wild places with us, off-leash, as can be seen here: https://jumpshare.com/b/GniZ2SuBmyixVVwxzqII 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. it was only once the South Americans began to bring guinea pigs into Europe that they first became pets. Could then lead to stomach pains and digestive upset with your guinea pig because... To farming guinea pig seen guinea pigs eat less food than cattle of! Even dogs are eaten in many countries and guinea pigs make one way to this... These things, none of them are harmful keep them happier masses of land which has had a huge impact. Either all animals matter or none do bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru are all countries have! 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