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Saturation Point

To Eat or Not To Eat
By Karey Burek
Jun 21, 2007, 13:31

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So my near death experience last week got me thinking. Okay, so I wasn’t really near death, but thoughts of starvation, dehydration and being faced with the prospect of eating my boyfriend’s toes for survival did cross my mind while we were racing down the wooded trail looking for signs of civilization.  Would I really be able to survive if I was truly lost in the elements with no way of text messaging my way out of it?  What if I was alone and had to solely rely on my instincts and quick wit to rescue myself; could I do it?

 There is a show on the Discovery Channel called “Man vs. Wild” that is a showcase for all the things that could possibly go wrong while out in the wilderness.  This young man puts himself in different elements and shows the viewer what to do to survive.  He has built a raft out of palm fronds, stripped down in the arctic to avoid hypothermia, urinated on his shirt and then wrapped it around his head in the desert, and eaten some really disgusting stuff—all to stay alive.  Although I might never find myself in any of these situations, it is always good to have the knowledge just in case.  I read in a survival manual once that whenever you are traveling by plane, you should always count the rows in front of you and behind to the nearest exit.  Just in case the plane is filled with smoke and you can’t see your way out, you will be ready to feel your way out.  This is something I do every time I get on a plane.

 Perhaps getting out of the plane wouldn’t be my problem, the eating part would be the problem.  Those who know me best know that I am a surgeon when it comes to eating; I dissect my food (especially meat) and need everything “well-done.”  Dare I say I am a picky eater?

 The idea of eating sushi makes me sick to my stomach before I even catch a whiff of raw seafood.  Ben and I went out for sushi the other night—he ate it, not me.  I ordered Soba noodles; buckwheat noodles and vegetables in a warm broth and fully cooked.  I watched Ben fiddle with his chopsticks and eyeballed the octopus suckers that were facing me.  There was eel and tuna; both making my stomach bubble.  If I were forced to eat it, could I do it?  I bet I could pull the old ‘mind over matter’ thing and wrap my lips around a grub or grasshopper, or maybe even catch a fish and start gnawing on it—anything to save my life.

 To be fair, humans have been eating raw fish for millions of years and can do so because there is a lot less connective tissue than lets say beef.  The fish must have shiny scales and red gills, clear eyes and not smell fishy.  So if I were to grab a fish out of a stream, unless I picked a sick one, I should be okay.  There are parasites to watch out for though—roundworm and flukes are the most common that can infect tissue.  Fish with a high fat content also are good candidates; such as red tuna and farm raised salmon.  Blowfish, Globe fish and Puffer fish should not be eaten because of their poisonous toxin that can kill a human if ingested.

 I guess I have learned that I am a wimp if I stop to think about eating raw fish and consuming insects.  But I know deep down that if I ever really were faced with surviving in the elements, I could do it.  I am the daughter of a Marine, and hopefully some of those instincts are inherited.  For now, I will watch Ben eat raw fish and be thankful that I can send my steak back if it bleeds on my plate.  At the same time, I can be confident that I could suck on a piece of tree bark and consume a handful of termites. My survival depended upon it.
 
 


 
 
 
 


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