Newb: load lots of data into database

Hello!

I'm just starting to venture into Ruby on Rails, and I was wondering
what the best way to populate my databases with exisiting data in the
form of csv files that don't map exactly to the columns (ie require some
kind of manipulation/data cleansing).

When I used PHP I would just write a little PHP or Perl script to load
directly into a MySQL table, but I was wondering if RoR had a way of
abstracting that and I was wondering what the corresponding Ruby code
might look like...

Thanks!

LOAD DATA INFILE is pretty flexible. ISTR that it can take CSV's
directly, except that Excel would put in random double quotes around
certain cells, and they needed to be cleaned out, if that's where
data's from

http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.0/en/load-data.html