Man eats squirrel brains, gets brain disorder and dies


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/18/man-eats-squirrel-brains-gets.html


#2

"[Kentucky Doctors Warn Against a Regional Dish: Squirrels’ Brains.]

Squirrel Eaters?


#3


#4

Nothing like a bucket of KFS and it’s 7 secret herbs and spices.


#5


#6

Somebody’s going to catch Kuru and it is not going to be me.


#7

Brains?

Brains!


#8

Mmmmm. Squirrel.
Data point - my folks are from rural KY. NO squirrel brains, no roadkill. Yeesh. Sounds like storytelling for the outsider. BTW, depending on NYT to distribute public health info to rural KY is a weak strategy.


#9

Even the most creative death metal bands haven’t come up with this horrifying scenario.


#10

Prions on the brain, nasty way to go, and probably why the squirrels were caught instead of healthy ones.


#11

I lived in rural KY for awhile and I’m very glad nobody ever offered me squirrel brains.

Moonshine, yes.


#12

Queue Mitch McConnell. jokes, starting … now …


#14

You literally beat me to this by 2 minutes.


#15

I have family in Nebraska who would shoot and eat squirrel when they couldn’t find any deer… Don’t think they ate the brains though. I got the impression it was mostly the novelty of it…

Once, my step-grandfather gave me the tails of two butchered squirrels (I was about 6)… They were all stiff and a bit like feather dusters. I kept them on a shelf in my room until one day my dog ate them. Memories.


#16

Discussing this with a coworker, both from WV. Yeah, we’ve been there. I think we are OK. :thinking:


#17
  1. It’s not a paper; it was a poster at a conference (different level of scrutiny).
  2. The authors managed to find five cases of CJD in six years, with only one case admitting to a history of skwirl-brainzz consumption. Despite the supposed popularity of skwirl brainzzz. This does not sound like a risk factor to me.
  3. People have been looking for evidence of spongeoform encephalopathy among the skwirls themselves for the last 20 years (since that wildly-speculative 1997 piece in the NYT), without finding any.

The 1997 report talked of investigating 11 cases, six of them fatal, but called for support on a paper that only mentioned five cases. Not reassuring.

UPDATE: The risk factors given for Case 4 in the present list were “Residence in UK, intake of dog food”.
DON’T DO THAT.


#18

Burgoo is pretty good. Although (AFAIK) I’ve only had it make from beef and pork. It’s very much a “whatever meat you have on hand” kinda thing. Uticah, IL has one such a festival every year, and the state park there is a super common place for people from the city and suburbs to come hike, picnic, fish, etc.


#19

BRAAAIIINSS!


#20

Kinda raises the question of how the BCE got into the squirrel in the first place - I suspect cannibalism


#21

“do not eat squirrel brains” is a rule i can easily follow.