“I could never eat shrimps with heads”

[2/5/10]

Shrimp_gamba_nature_279947_l

(photo from imageafter)


I learned recently that my friends aren’t really down with the idea of eating shrimp still attached with their heads. Well, I know it’s never fun to look into the eyes of a dead thing while you’re munching on it, but I felt I received an over-reaction at my comment that I don’t eating shrimp whole.

 

Yes, this is the girl whose favorite food as a child was fish eyes, but give me a chance here.

The problem is that everything is so processed where I live now that people can’t attach middle to beginning. I’m calling it disconnection to source.

 

I’m used to eating as in a lot of people sitting at a circular table participating in a very active event. If I may, I will use my grandfather as an example. The majority of what my grandfather eats on a daily basis involves an additional process before it’s gulped down. That means peeling, cracking – you name it – parts of the food to eat it.

 

I lived like that too at one point. I’m positive my one-year-old self was better at spitting out fish bones than I am now. But it was because I had a need to do it. Nothing was done for me.

 

We all know how the story goes here. Everything – everything – is de-boned, de-scaled, be-headed and de-gutted. So perhaps my issue with this disassociation to where things come from is just cultural. Is it?

 

For me, it’s not about the shrimp. It’s that we forget where things come from and we forget where things go. It’s like seeing only yellow-green instead of the entire spectrum. How many of us take food that’s handed to us and swallow it all at once, not cherishing it or thinking about how difficult and how long the process was of obtaining it in the first place. How many people are aware that half the foods they eat during spring are out of season?

 

When I was little, I was told that I couldn’t waste a single grain of rice on my dinner bowl, because rice farmers had spent all day every day toiling in the sun to produce it for me. Someone else had to suffer so I could have something precious.

Sure, much of what I eat now is grown by farmers using efficient machines, but for many places on the planet, my old philosophy still holds. Understanding the most vital ingredient for sustaining life still matters.

 

I still love my friends. They can hate eating shrimp with their attached heads. I’ll carry on eating my seaweed, octopus and eel.

 

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