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March 01, 2022

$30 gets you a kg of illegal chimpanzee meat in Europe

Out with one, in with another.

355308_daydreaming_chimpanzee This appears to be the motto these days in Europe, where a shuffle of truly bizarre foods is facing consumers. Last Friday, we wrote how one parlour in the U.K. was planning to serve ice cream made from human breast milk, an unusual innovation that prompted one MSN reader to quip, “I would prefer to skip the middleman and go straight to the supplier.”

Funny enough, but Britain’s Food Standards Agency hasn’t found humour in the $23-a-serving ice cream, choosing to step in and test the safety of the dessert before it can be sold to the public. But faster than you can say “Make that two scoops,” a new, even more off-putting food trend has popped up in place of breast milk ice cream.

According to the Daily Mail, a lucrative black market has arisen for chimpanzee meat, which is being sold at restaurants and markets across Europe.

Because the “rife” market is illegal, the paper notes, demand for the meat can boost prices to more than $30 per kilogram.

“From my own experience of Brixton market in London, all you have to do is ask for some ‘special meat’ for a ‘special ceremony’ and you will get what you are looking for,” Adina Farmaner, executive director of conservation agency Jane Goodall Institute UK, told the Daily Mail.

“The bushmeat trade is a huge problem in certain parts of Africa and is one of the main reasons the population in the wild has been reduced from approximately one million about 50 years ago to just a few hundred thousand today.”

While chimp meat may not be on your Death Row “last meal” list, there’s evidence to suggest the curious trade may not soon cease, regardless.

Not only did an independent study last year find over 270 tonnes of bushmeat passing through Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport alone, but smugglers often made no attempts to hide or conceal the meat in their suitcases.

“This could be because detecting and seizing bushmeat is not a priority for customs officials and the penalties for importing it are low and rarely enforced,” a Zoological Society of London source said.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...