Venezuelans now eating spoiled, rotten meat as electricity collapses

Living conditions in Venezuela show no signs of improving as people there have taken to eating spoiled meat just to keep themselves alive.

The AP reports that people in the city of Maracaibo have been lining up for a chance to buy spoiled meat as the rolling power outages that have been plaguing the area get worse and refrigerators fail.

As you might expect, the rotten meat is making people ill, but the starving population is willing to take its chances because it’s the only way many of them can afford to get their hands on protein as the country’s greatest collapse continues to get worse.

Maracaibo was once a thriving port city that was the hub of oil production of Venezuela. The area produced around half of the Venezuelan crude oil that was shipped around the world and was home to trendy shopping centers, international restaurants and businesses. These days, however, the lake is littered with broken-down oil platforms, the shores are soaked in oil, all the businesses are gone, and the bridge’s lights are dark.

Situation going from bad to worse

Right now, Venezuela is in the midst of the country’s worst economic downfall ever as electricity and running water become luxuries rather than basic services. There have been rolling blackouts in Maracaibo for the last nine months, but when a fire destroyed the main power line that supplies the city earlier this month, living conditions for the 1.5 million people who live here became unbearable.

Inflation in Venezuela hit 82,700 percent last month as the socialist economic model there continues to collapse. Buying basics like rice or soap requires stacks of cash. Even those who can manage get enough money together to buy these necessities are put off by the ridiculous lines in the stores that are still open as people do their best to stock up as a new economic measure sets in that many believe will make basic commerce impossible.

At least four butcher shops are now selling rotten beef at the central market in Maracaibo. Some are grinding it up and mixing it with fresher meat to disguise the spoilage, but a desperate population isn’t showing many reservations about buying meat that is clearly rotten. The AP reports that counters of rotting meats can be seen collecting flies throughout the market where butchers – some shirtless and smoking cigarettes – peddle the cuts to hungry Venezuelans.

One father of three told the AP that the meat smells “foul,” but he rinses it with vinegar and lemon in an attempt to make it more palatable. Yeudis Luna is raising his three boys alone after his wife left the family for Colombia because she could no longer handle the hunger and living conditions there.

He said he rinses the beef with water, soaks it overnight in vinegar, then simmers it in lemon juice, tomato and onion. He said he was worried that his sons might become ill from consuming it because they are so young, but he reported that only the youngest boy got diarrhea and threw up – something he seems to consider a small victory.

Most of us can’t imagine risking our lives just to get the protein our bodies need. Unfortunately, a crisis like that seen in Venezuela could happen anywhere. It’s never too early to start stocking up on storable food and learning how to grow your own food so you’ll be better prepared to keep your family fed in an emergency situation. See for more news.

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