In which Encyclopedia Blue eats a scorpion

 That wasn\'t chicken
It is important to know where your food comes from and your own individual place on “the food chain.”  Some of us choose to eat meat.  Some of us choose to not eat meat.  I have a friend who will eat chicken, turkey, and fish, but she refuses to eat of any animal that suckles its young. 

I remember being a kid (the people kind, not the goat kind!!) on my uncle’s farm, helping to feed the Nancy the pig, and then later helping to eat Nancy the pig.  Yes, my uncle made sure we knew what we were eating.  I considered it a good education.

We’ve never tried to hide food reality from the boys.  When the oldest ones were little, they wanted to know what they were eating: “What’s this?”  “Pork.”  “What animal does it come from?”  “It’s pig meat.”  “Oh.  OINK!!” …and then they’d giggle and continue eating.

Our nurse practictioner was vegetarian and he was so sure that if kids knew that their hamburgers came from cows that said “MOO,” they’d never eat hamburgers!  My oldest kids proved him wrong.

This is not true for all 4 of our boys.  The SnakeMaster actually turns green when meat is discussed like that.  And I’ve told him that if he is willing to eat a healthy vegetarian diet, I am willing to serve it to him.  He is not quite to that point yet (too picky about beans and such) and he needs his protein. 
H-J would prefer it if all foods could taste like candy (but not the cinnamon flavored kind).  He likes chocolate, and simple homemade nachos (chips and cheese, melted together in the microwave for 22 seconds), and milk, and watermelon & green grapes.  On more than one occasion, I have found spinach leaves in the washing machine and dryer; his chosen method for sneaky avoidance of that healthy food seems to be to pocket the evidence. 
My own Music Man is a true meat-and-potatoes kind of guy.  He is very happy to see meatloaf with gravy and mashed potatoes on the table, and he has been known to over-consume the spuds simply because we tell him that he served himself more than he could possibly eat.  Teenagers love to prove their parents wrong. 
Encyclopedia Blue has always been a foodie, for better or for worse.  He is also the healthiest eater (by his own choice) of the 4 boys. 
We have several favorite family stories concerning E.B. and food:  the time he ate pickled asparagus, said “This almost tastes yucky!” and then helped himself to more… and how, as a baby, he demanded that his food be shoveled into his mouth as quickly as possible.  He would cry if it wasn’t spooned in fast enough, but if you satisfied his need for speed, he would end up choking and crying as he spit it all out.  Then he would cry again because his mouth was empty. 
It’s a good thing he loved to eat, because as we struggled through food allergy discoveries, so many foods gave him an upset stomach (or worse).   When E.B. was very young (up through the age of 4), he was allergic to dairy AND soy proteins…along with other things.  As he was a nursing baby, I also had to give up quite a few foods during the first year and a half of his life.  It was a challenging time for both of us.  He did outgrow those food allergies –a tremendous blessing for us all!– and today he is my most adventurous eater.  
A few years ago, a friend of mine was living in China.  She sent us a Christmas package containing a lovely scarf for me and a jar of smoked scorpions for the boys.  Apparently, these are quite the delicacy and we were lucky to have those dried bugs.  They smelled awful.  Stank.  Reeked.

 And Encyclopedia Blue ate one. 

6 responses to “In which Encyclopedia Blue eats a scorpion

  1. Meat or not meat was never up for discussion when my son was growing up – but we did have opposing views on other things…. He was convinced that leek was not fit for human consumption (yet ate it in my spaghetti sauce for all those years…). He LOVED broccoli – raw! Lobster meat had him calling for Ralph and so did Swedish Pickled Herring.
    Around the age of 4 he went off food totally and seemed to live on sunshine and fresh air alone. I was frantic and rushed him to the doctor – who told me to relax. A week later, he would inhale portions bigger than what I could handle. He’s still very fond of food.

  2. The pics of the scorpion eater? That’s a bit__________. Not really my cup of tea!
    As a veg since 16, it has been wonderful seeing the changes in the availability at the store and restaurants (Ithaca is of course the hometown of Moosewood, and it seems nearly everyone is veg) . I have heard that many young people go veg simply to be thin, others like me just don’t want animal flesh. Some vegs won’t eat anything resembling meat, but I am not that way: my cravings for ham and pork would lead me back to the real thing if sausages and ham and pepperoni weren’t now made out of soy (and delicious! no fat or cholesterol! and my craving seems to simply be a mental wish for spicy pork, easily satisfied!). There is now a ‘meat loaf’ and potatoes dinner available at the store, and it is terrific. I don’t think it is hard to be a healthy veg nowadays, not hard at all. I think it actually forces a person to try to be a healthy eater, a more aware and conscious eater.
    But that’s all my business. People should do as they like.

  3. He certainly gets bonus points for being adventuresome–he’d be a great Fear Factor contestant!

  4. When my son, who is an executive chef, cooks I find it best not to inquire about what I’m eating until after I eat it.

  5. This post hit home on so many levels! I’m a “pescetarian” – from what I understand, that’s a vegetarian who eats fish. Anyway, my husband is a carnivore – favorite foods: meat, potatoes and bread. So I’m always cooking two meals for dinner. Then, the picture of pickled asparagus tickled me, because I’m taking a jar of those, along with pickled carrots, snap peas, lotus spears, homemade pickled turnips and pickled cucumbers to a barbecue over the Memorial Day weekend. I’m glad you have some intrepid kids! The smoked scorpion story cracked me up, because my old friend and boss used to yearn for “interesting” taste experiences, so I was always on the lookout for weird stuff to give him. I found canned smoked rattlesnake, and chocolate covered grasshoppers, and deep fried garlic crickets, but boy, would he have loved smoked scorpions! I also love the fact that one son LITERALLY hides the evidence – but I’m glad I’m not the one doing his laundry ; )

  6. Chatty, EB said they tasted “crunchy” –fully aware that crunchy is not a flavor! I took them to church one Sunday to use as an example of a gift that doesn’t seem so wonderful when it is received, and had 5 or 7 men try them: from a 91yo former missionary to a couple of high schoolers. One high schooler ate one because I promised him a donut for doing so (must love donuts) and the other ate one because I pointed out that his own father had eaten one and was he going to let his dad AND a 91yo show him up? Ah, male peer pressure!