Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Edibility Education

A word that Cubby learned early in life was "edible."  As in, "No, stone is not edible.  Ever. Well, unless you're a bird, because they sometimes do eat little stones to help their digestion."  "Rubber is not edible.  Nothing eats rubber."  "That is . . . technically edible, but kind of gross."

We talk a lot about edibility.  And that is because Cubby is a natural gatherer.

I suspect this is true for most children, it's just that he has more opportunity to practice it.  So when we're outside, he's constantly on the lookout for stuff he can grab and eat.  Like garlic mustard.  Edible.  Tarragon. Edible.  Pansies.  Edible.  I don't even think it's that everything tastes particularly good (pansies, for instance, don't taste like much at all), it's just that he CAN eat it, so he WILL.

We had a long discussion yesterday about the edibility of mules.  He was reminiscing about the mules he saw at the pick-your-own farm the day before and inevitably got around to asking if people eat them.  A logical question, since there are so many animals people DO eat.  No, I told him.  Mules are not generally eaten.  Sometimes, he said.  Not really, I said.  Some people eat them, he said.  Not really, I said.  Mules are not edible, he said.  Well, I said, technically they are, because they won't make you sick or anything, but they're probably tough and maybe have a funny taste.

We eat them, he said.  No, I said, we have never eaten a mule.  Some people eat them, he said again.  Not really, I said again.

This conversation lasted a good five minutes, and I don't think I really convinced him that mules are not a significant protein source.

The things I never in my life imagined would become topics for conversation . . .

7 comments:

sheila said...

France.... they eat horses there. Mules, horses... bet they taste the same.

Anonymous said...

Mules ...the other dark meat.
Maybe ground mule. I can't imagine the flavor would be so good.
That Cubby sure gives you something to think about.
Beth

Anonymous said...

I hope you're keeping a list of these conversation topics. They'll make a great book someday...

Jen said...

Too funny! Thanks for the giggle this morning.
My mother owns a donkey. Trust me, you'd never want to eat one. He's an evil, tough, nasty creature and I'm sure his taste would match his demeanor.

mil said...

So should I or should I not tell Thomas about the time I ate donkey stew?

karenish said...

There are a couple of interesting books on the subject of why eat some animals and make other animals into pets.

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Dogs-Pigs-Wear-Cows/dp/1573244619

Drew @ Willpower Is For Fat people said...

I see I had the same thought as karenish. What happens when he asks if dogs are edible?