Hart Ford
Hart Ford

Unusual foods

I was slowly waking up from my afternoon nap, groggily drifting from deep REM sleep and associated dreams. I cracked open my eyes and looked at the wall clock; it was 5:00 dinner time was getting close. I have lived most of my life either losing or gaining weight. The reason is food. We consume food to live, just like air and water. While we rarely get too much air or water, some get too much food. It can be a “Live to Eat” or “Eat to live.” When you live to eat, some people gain weight. When you eat to live, some people lose weight.

My thoughts drifted to some of the more unusual foods that I have eaten. I reflected on a time I was at my Uncle Charlie’s house, a beautiful brick home in Huntington Woods, Mi. He had owned several businesses, and the success showed with his home & furnishings. One evening, I was visiting him with my family, and he asked me If I would like to eat some chocolate-coated ants. I do love chocolate, so I agreed. Thank goodness all I tasted was the chocolate. I do have limits to my creative eating; I have never swallowed a goldfish or eaten anything growing under a trash can or from a dumpster. I have enjoyed sushi, various smoked fish, wild game: beaver, elk, gator, Chitlins, goat cheese, Liver, heart, frog legs, rattlesnake, crawfish, fried & salted grasshoppers, beef tongue, cactus jelly, sweet breads (Not sweet at all,) muskrat, and some I probably forgot.

While I was in Amsterdam on an awards trip, I came down to breakfast and ate 2 taste buds shocking morsels: Smoked Eel. The fleshy, oily taste was not the same reaction for my mouth as a strawberry pop tart. The second dish was a dark brown square; it did not look appetizing. I bit into it, and it tasted like old chewing tobacco. It was gross. It took the whole day to get the taste out of my mouth and a week to get it out of my memory. Whenever someone gets out their tobacco pouch or tin, it takes me back to Amsterdam.

I know that several US foods use bugs to enhance the flavor of foods. The Lac bug makes the hard, shiny shells on some candy. Carmine, Cochineal makes a red dye used in some products. There is a movement for us to move away from natural foods and eat bugs. In Europe, several food products made from bugs are already being consumed. There are some concerns that insect body parts may be harmful to human digestive systems. I’m not ready for a cricket pizza or hamburger. I’ve watched some tv shows highlighting people eating fried bats and fish that have been buried in the mud for a few weeks. And, of course, there are Rocky Mountain Oysters ( Not really oysters.)

I will try to stay with good old American food. Hamburgers, steaks, hot dogs, pizza, fish, and crisp green salad. There may be some allowable bugs in various foods the FDA is okay with, but I will try to avoid most processed foods. Have you ever seen a cereal box that has an enlarged statement that say’s; “Bug Parts Free?” I get it, as kids we played a lot outside, and at times swallowed some dirt. I believed that may have enhanced our Immune system. Bug parts? NOT SO MUCH!

“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others. – © Joel M. Vernier 04/02/28/23 Author of: “The Guinea Pig In The Freezer.” joelmvernier@aol.com

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