Here’s Why Americans Aren’t Eating Guinea Pig

You can legally eat guinea pig in the U.S., but we still don’t really do it that often. Eating guinea pig is an ancient tradition in many different parts of South America. In Peru alone, around 65 million guinea pigs are eaten every year. So why aren’t American’s eating them too?

In the U.S., most of us associate guinea pigs as cute cuddly pets. It’s hard to get past that association, so the idea of eating them seems a little grizzly. But it’s something you might want to consider. Guinea pigs require way fewer resources than other animals and the reproduce like crazy so it’s easy to keep them "in stock." This makes them less expensive and more environmentally friendly. The guinea pig market is also helping farmers in other countries get out of poverty.

What’s more is that serving the little rodents is actually legal in the states. It’s considered an exotic meat — in the same category as venison, rabbit and bison. But many people would sooner eat a rabbit than they would a guinea pig. Guinea pig meat sales are regulated by the FDA and some restaurants do sell it. So maybe it’s time to give it a try — it could become your new favorite protein.