Controversy in the kitchen: MasterChef canceled for cooking endangered species

In Ecuador, MasterChef is canceled for cooking meat from endangered species. This program has versions in each country. In the case of Ecuadorians, the controversy broke out immediately.

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A “special” program with challenges for the participants

In Masterchef Ecuador they wanted to make a special event. The intention was for the contestants to have a challenge: to prepare unusual meats. In this way, they demonstrated their culinary and improvisation skills.

However, things went quite wrong. The peculiar challenge consisted of cooking dishes made with exotic animals. With the aggravating circumstance that these are animals classified as endangered.

Criticism flew over social networks. At first, it was considered in bad taste. Then various conservation groups raised their voices. The result: the channel made the decision to stop the program.

What were the “cooked” animals in Masterchef?

The production team chose four rather peculiar species. They are all animals from South America, found in jungle areas or on plains. The dishes had to be made with the following meats:

– “Tollo” meat: it is a kind of small shark. It is not such a common fish, but it implies a culinary challenge. Participants had to show ability to chop and cook it.

Source: Adobe Stock

– Deer: this little animal is increasingly scarce in the forests of South America. It is considered an animal that should be in the wild. It is not considered prudent to use it for consumption, but to maintain its species.

Source: Adobe Stock

– Capybara: this animal is the largest rodent in the world. An exotic animal, which receives various names such as “capybara”, “water pig”, “ronsoco”, “piro-piro” or “chigüire”.

– Stifle: also known as “spectacled alligator”, is a reptile of fluvial waters. Related to crocodiles. It can measure between 1.5 and 2.5 meters, being an exotic species that requires protection.

Source: Adobe Stock

It happens that a crime was committed in the program, since article 247 of the Integral Organic Penal Code (COIP) of Ecuador prohibits “hunting, commercializing or consuming” biological specimens in danger of disappearing.

The National Animal Movement (MAN) of Ecuador took the floor

This organization started a real campaign on social media. In Ecuador, wild animals are protected with special measures. In turn, there are groups that are responsible for ensuring this protection.

On the other hand, a question arose: how did they get the meat of snapper, venison, capybara and babilla for the program? The only way to get them was illegally, since it is prohibited to sell them.

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What will happen with future editions of Masterchef in Ecuador? Well, for now the program is closed. There are no further explanations about it.