Saturday, March 29, 2008

"All of them were squirrel-brain eaters."

It is true. I had heard about this disease a number of years ago, but only as a rumor among my foodie friends. If only I'd thought to look it up sooner. No longer a myth, Mad Squirrel Disease is a fact. So put that squirrel down!

Kentucky Doctors Warn Against a Regional Dish: Squirrels' Brains-NYTimes, August 29, 1997

"Doctors in Kentucky have issued a warning that people should not eat squirrel brains, a regional delicacy, because squirrels may carry a variant of mad cow disease that can be transmitted to humans and is fatal.

Although no squirrels have been tested for mad squirrel disease, there is reason to believe that they could be infected, said Dr. Joseph Berger, chairman of the neurology department at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Elk, deer, mink, rodents and other wild animals are known to develop variants of mad cow disease that collectively are called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.

In the last four years, 11 cases of a human form of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, have been diagnosed in rural western Kentucky, said Dr. Erick Weisman, clinical director of the Neurobehavioral Institute in Hartford, Ky., where the patients were treated."

'All of them were squirrel-brain eaters,' Dr. Weisman said. Of the 11 patients, at least 6 have died."


Eric Wright said...

I wonder how many squirrels it takes to harvest a full serving of brains. The critters never really struck me as all that intelligent-and if iI recall there is some correlation with brain size and ability dodge truck tires.

Also, am I am bad person for changing the pronunciation of squirrel to squarell as if Natasha were saying it?

La_Petit_Rouge said...

You are not bad at all for changing the pronunciation of squirrel. Remind me the next time we meet to ask you to demonstrate the pronunciation of squarell (as Natasha would say), you know, just to refresh my memory.

Harvesting a full serving of said it my friend...should be the title of a work memoir...I often wonder about who may have a full serving and who only got half...oh, I'm sorry, we were talking about brains as food, weren't we...