Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

MREs in Madagascar

I've eaten plenty of "ready-to-eat" foods, especially in those poorer-than-dirt college days when Ritz Crackers was about all that was in the house. We've all had pot pies, pizza in a box and Ramen noodles galore. I think these are staples to any first-time-away-from-home-and-Mom-did-all -the-cooking people. Eventually, though, we all have to put on our big person clothes and learn to cook. If we don't, we try to find someone to do it for us...and Carl, Jr. really doesn't help much.
I am led to believe that this fast food/last thing to eat scenario is played out around the world. Take the latest story from Madagascar, for example. Fishing along the coastline has been poor due to overfishing by the huge boats and pollution. The forests are gradually disappearing to make way for land more suitable for other uses. That means fewer fish and fewer lemurs, long staples of the Mikea tribe in Madagascar. They have resorted to what many of us seem to restort to when there are a lack of staples in the fridge: they go for fast food, already in its container. The only real exception is that their idea of fast food in a box is to find spider tortoises and bury them in hot sand for 20 minutes before scooping the, um, delicacy from the "bowl.
Sadly for the tortoise, it is one of four species of tortoises that have been placed on  the critically endangered list, and its population has shrunk by 71% in the last century. Other tortoises: the flat-tailed tortoise, the radiated tortoise, and the ploughshare tortoise are also part of the endangered list and are often sold throughout SE Asia as unique pets.
I see some drawbacks, though:
1. According to one tribesman, the spider tortoises are too small to really fill a person up, and it does little to develop muscle and real strength.

2. I doubt anybody can teach a tortoise to "fetch."
Still, a ready to eat meal in its own bowl is tempting to all of us.


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