On Friday, food writer Corby Kummer joined Boston Public Radio to discuss a recent article in "The Conversation," positing that city rat populations could be lowered not by increasing the use of rodenticides, but by wasting less food.
"This a story saying, stop wasting so much food. Be a lot more careful about throwing out food, and be a lot more careful when you do throw it out,” Kummer said.
In January, Malibu, Calif., banned rodenticides in an attempt to protect the local non-rat wildlife. A bill to make that ban statewide failed to pass the state Senate, but may reappear. Boston, meanwhile, continues to use rodenticides.
“Rats are like people,” Kummer said. “They like exactly the same food that people do, and in fact they have evolved in different countries — in Paris … they like butter, cheese and croissants!”
(Readers will of course recall the iconic New York City Pizza Rat, who went viral in 2015.)
“[Rats] like what people dump and put into open garbage cans. That’s what they evolve to eat. It’s what keeps them alive,” he said.
Kummer also discussed his recent article for "Vanity Fair" about the future of fine dining and the chefs who are reimagining it.
Kummer is a senior editor at The Atlantic, an award-winning food writer, and a senior lecturer at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition and Policy.