Ever Realized Just What You're Actually Eating?
April 4, 2007 11:38pm CST
This evening during dinner my friend pointed out to me, as I was eating some delicious fried shrimp, that it had not, in fact, been de-veined. Now oddly enough I knew what this meant and as I examined my knowledge about shrimp I realized I also knew that most shrimp *isn't* de-veined in most places where I tend to eat such things. This was no exception -- we were in a casual dining environment. For those not in the know, de-veined shrimp is shrimp whose veins and "other connecting passages" have been removed. Shrimp are simple little things -- as my friend pointed out, they just eat plankton. They digest it, and like most other critters, they poop out what's left after they've digested everything they can in the food they've eaten. When a shrimp isn't de-veined, guess what stays? Ever look at a shrimp and notice that spiffy-looking "blood vessel" that runs all the way down the "spine?" Heh. That's not a blood vessel. That's not blood inside. It's ... something yuckier :) Now I've eaten countless shrimp, both before and after learning what that stuff is. After all, it's cooked at high temperatures, it's in minute amounts, and it's not the same exact stuff humans produce (it's much simpler, organically speaking). For some reason tonight, though, when it occurred to me (thanks to my friend's reminder) that I was essentially eating fried shrimp crap along with my tasty shrimp, my appetite just completely died on me. Now I'm still very likely to continue eating shrimp, but there was something special about the realization tonight and it just twisted my stomach into knots. So let's hear it, gang! Have you ever had a dining moment like this? We all realize when we're eating burgers that the meat was once a cute furry cow standing on a pasture (or crammed tightly amongst other cattle on a meat farm, but I digress) but it doesn't generally bother us. We know caviar (something I've never eaten, btw) is fish eggs, but folks still eat it anyway. When has a meal suddenly turned undesirable when you get a flash realization of what it is you're actually eating?
5 Apr 07
Actually, once you de-vein it, the prawn suddenly becomes very small. (Shrimps actually refer to the really baby version - the very small prawns and they are usually found dried as as some sort of "toppings".) I try not to think too much about the food. If you think that the meat actually belongs to a living animal, then you will become vegan. And if you think about how cute the vegetables look before it ended up mashed on your plate, oh boy, what is there left to eat? Don't even think about fruits since they are as adorable as vegetables. Can one survive without food? Yea, probably months before you say hello to your maker. :P
• United States
12 Apr 07
No problem :) I didn't actually realize deveining shrinks the prawn so much. I've never been worried about eating other animals so I'm not entirely sure why it specifically bugs me in just this case -- maybe it's because I can actually *see* that "material" lining the little bugger's back and creeping me out :)
• United States
13 Apr 07
My mind flashes to hot dogs, and the fact that I cannot confortably eat them again after reading an article about how they are actually made. Lets just say what is in those I wouldn't even feed to a dog, let alone a human, and it is really kinda nasty when you think about it. Hebrew National brand hot dogs claims to not use the yucky parts, but I am not so sure about all of that
4 May 07
Well, I like eating shrimps. I never examined the shrimp before and never gave much thought about that till now. As much as possible, I try not to think of those things while we are on the dining table. But sometimes, my kids can't help but start crazy discussions like these. They start describing how the food was processed before we purchased them in the grocery or marketplace. So as not to make us all lose the appetite, I tell them not to worry about those things, because I'm sure I cook the food well enough to kill whatever germs that could be in the food before it was cooked.