“MasterChef Ecuador” Criticized for Using Meat of Endangered Animals in Cooking Challenge

An animal rights group claims that “MasterChef Ecuador” aired an episode on the 3rd of January where participants were told to make dishes using meat from endangered species.

Capybara meat was used in an episode of

(Photo : Getty Images)

MAN Demands For an Explanation 

An animal rights group called the National Animal Movement of Ecuador or MAN, accused the reality culinary competition and its broadcaster Teleamazonas of giving contestants meat from endangered animals including shark and deer, according to Insider

Following a report by Vice Monday, the episode has subsequently been deleted from TeleAmazonas’ YouTube account and replaced with another version which has been modified to remove the part which supposedly displayed meat sourced from endangered animals.

For whatever reason, around the beginning of the year, the Man Twitter account posted a minute-long video clip from the episode, which appears to show slabs of meat on wooden cutting boards named “Tollo,” “Venado,” and “Capibara.” 

He’s called Tollo “Ecuadorian people use this term “smooth-hound” to refer to the humpback smooth-hound shark. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature classifies the species as “critically endangered.” 

According to Vice, “banilla” is a sort of crocodile, “venado” is venison, and “capibara” is capybara meat. MAN spokesperson Fernando Arroyo Avilés tells Insider that white-tail deer and a kind of Amazon crocodile may have been used in the “MasterChef” episode, which did not disclose any details on the meat. Teleamazonas did not react to an inquiry from Insider. 

MAN, the Ecuadorian animal rights group, want the show’s creators and the network that airs it to explain where the flesh of these animals comes from, according to a statement released by MAN on Instagram on Friday. 

Also Read: Australian Bandicoot Saved From Brink of Extinction Thanks to 30 Years of Conservation Effort

The Silent Response

As reported by the French website News24, “MasterChef Ecuador” judge Carolina Sanchez claimed the meat came from a farm. Sanchez did not respond to an inquiry from Insider. 

Insider reported Tuesday that “MasterChef” producers may have obtained the meat through questionable tactics, and Avilés, who is also a farm animals specialist, agreed. 

It is a punch in the gut for animal rights activists when an influential international franchise like MasterChef encourages the use of wild animals as ingredients for an ‘exotic recipe, Avilés continued. 

Despite their repeated pleas for clarification, he claims that producers and Teleamazonas have responded with “total silence” thus far. 

Environmental departments in Ecuador and Colombia, where the show is taped, have openly protested the show’s reported usage of wild wildlife.

Shark meat was used in an episode of

(Photo : Getty Images)

Several South American Ministries Express Displeasure

As of January 4, Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment, Water, and Ecological Transition issued a statement rejecting visual content that promotes wild species use, claiming it could lead to an increase in unlawful consumption of endangered species. 

Colombia’s environmental minister, Carlos Eduardo Correa, tweeted the same day that his department will look into the sort of meat displayed on the episode. As he stated that wildlife trafficking and commercialization is illegal in Colombia.

It was not possible to get a response from Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition or Colombia’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. 

When it comes to “rare meat” accusations, “MasterChef Ecuador” isn’t alone. Tacos stuffed with red rump tarantulas, protected by federal law, were seized from a Mexico City restaurant in 2018.

Related Article: How Scientists Are Working Hard to Bring Back Animals From Brink of Extinction

For more news, updates about endangered animals and similar topics don’t forget to follow Nature World News!

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