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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wow!  There has been so much health information released lately and I'm trying to absorb it all and pass it on to my readers.  I spend many hours watching the news and reading to keep updated on the latest because I realize that many of you can't devote that much time.  I then try to break it down into manageable, understandable pieces.   Being educated is one key to staying healthy.

That said, I have to share an unusual experience with you.  I will try almost anything though I'm not quite up to bear Grylls' standards.  While recruiting neighbors for a neighborhood cleanup project, I had the chance to get to know one of my neighbors better.  The area I live in is very wooded and houses are far apart, making neighborly interaction a bit difficult.  In our conversation, one topic led to another and after hearing that I write health related articles, he asked if I'd ever eaten raccoon.  Though my father hunted and I've attended my share of wild life dinner banquets with him many years ago, I couldn't say I had.  Being a very friendly man, he promised to bring me some the next time he and his wife cooked one.

Yesterday was the big day.  My neighbor brought me a pot of what he called goulash but I'd call pot roast.  I heated it up and tried it on my unsuspecting family.  (Cameron was gone and has yet to participate in my experiment, but shhh, don't tell him!)  Grace being fresh from swim practice and ravenous, dug in and immediately pronounced it delicious, quickly followed by Barry.  I watched them, amused.  "Do you even have a clue what you are eating?" I asked as Barry commented on the strange bone on his plate.  He looked up.  "Possum?"

"No, but you are close.  It's raccoon."  They ate on, undisturbed by this announcement.  I, however, was having a bit of difficulty.  I was somewhat surprised by my reaction since I've eaten other strange meats like squirrel, rattlesnake and alligator.  I will not eat veal as I am opposed to the inhumane way it is raised.  I guess that is a double standard since many farm animals like chickens are raised in horrific conditions.  But I digress.

I finally did take a bite and it was good.  No gamey or weird taste; close to beef but much better.  I couldn't eat more than a few bites though.  I love raccoons; their cute, inquisitive faces, their shuffling gait and ability to climb trees.  I love cows too, especially milk cows with their large eyes and creamy coats.  Maybe that's why I don't care for beef?  Is it only a matter of time before I love chickens, fish and pigs?  Time will tell.

Anyway, the moral of this story, (is there one?) is to keep an open mind and to try new foods.  Don't insist that you don't like vegetables, try them prepared different ways.  Don't say you don't like a certain texture, take a tiny bite.  Don't turn your nose up at another culture's cuisine, try it before making a judgement.  Look at food as part of life's adventure.  That doesn't mean you have to eat meat if you are a vegetarian or something that truly turns your stomach, like insects.  Life has many experiences to offer, don't shut yourself off from them.

Have a wonderful Easter weekend with your family and friends.  And don't forget that Walk With A Doc is this Saturday at Joe Mac Campbell park, 9 a.m., starting at the playground.  Help someone get started on that exercise path and bring them out.

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