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Old 12-08-2006, 07:54 AM   #1
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Wink Ever wonder how we knew what to eat?

Ever wonder how we knew what to eat? For example, oysters. What on earth ever possessed anyone to crack open and oyster and eat it? The only thing I can figure is at some point we saw sea birds and other critters knocking them against rocks and eating what was inside and decided hmmmm, that must be good. (Personally I don't like oysters unless they are battered and fried but many people love raw oysters.) Who ever thought to grab a lobster? They aren't particularly pretty and they don't look like they'd be tasty. Crawfish? I love crawfish but I never would have thought they'd be tasty just by looking at them.

Same thing with mushrooms and other wild vegetables like asparagus or fiddlehead ferns. (I had fresh fiddlehead ferns once, long story, shipped to me from a guy in Maine... they taste a bit like asparagus, actually!). We must have, at some point, observed wildlife eating this or that. Otherwise how would we have known? Of course if you make the wrong choice, especially with something like mushrooms, you find out pretty quickly you picked the wrong thing! You're either deathly ill or you're dead.

I remember a movie that Clint Eastwood was in when he was still a young guy, 'The Beguiled'. Set in the Civil War and he wound up at an all girl's school in the South. Took advantage of the ladies there after he'd been nursed back to health. They ganged up on him and served mushrooms at dinner... which none of them ate but they encouraged him to eat. You get the gyst!

Anyway, I do wonder sometimes how we knew what to eat and what not to eat and I can only figure it was wildlife that led us to the good safe food.



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Old 12-08-2006, 10:39 AM   #2
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Pretty good thought on the wildlife eating stuff theory. But...what about snails? For sure they're one of the things that I definitely wouldn't have considered as a foodstuff. Yet plenty of people eat and enjoy them. Go figure!

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Old 12-08-2006, 10:50 AM   #3
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My hunch is a lot of discoveries were inspired by starvation.
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:05 PM   #4
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you watch Animals (with the exception of birds).

did you know that wild Mushrooms were fed to dogs to see if they were (in)edible or poison before tribe type people would eat them?

and I still swear by a Cats nose if I`m uncertain of any meat, if they turn their nose up at it, it gets deep sixed no questions asked.
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Old 12-08-2006, 01:27 PM   #5
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What do you do if the cat begins to eat the meat???
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Old 12-08-2006, 01:51 PM   #6
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I thing the thoughts on the wildlife eating stuff theory is good.

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Old 12-08-2006, 02:21 PM   #7
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Lobsters were first served to convicts as they were plentiful and thought to possibly be poisonous.
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Old 12-08-2006, 02:28 PM   #8
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When the early settlers were really, really, starving they would follow the cows around and try what they were eating, i soppose they didn't eat the cow because it had milk.
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Old 12-08-2006, 02:57 PM   #9
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They discarded eating nonfood stuff in the world record book. Now people are catching boiled eggs and grapes...etc to set records. Good to know that we'll never see anybody eat another bicycle! lol
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Old 12-08-2006, 03:49 PM   #10
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That is an interesting point. I agree that following the animals may have been a start especially as early man existed by eating what theyfound - but how about foods that need processing?

Some things are not edible unless they are processed, ie most tubers and there are things like cassava that can be poisonous if it is not processed the right way. Actually that brings up the idea of puffer fish - who started that?


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