Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Blowing Brains

WARNING: This is pretty gross.

I encountered the phrase "blowing brains" while reading the NY Times article "A Medical Mystery Unfolds in Minnesota." Here's the excerpt:

"On Nov. 28, Dr. DeVries’s boss, Dr. Ruth Lynfield, the state epidemiologist, toured the plant. She and the owner, Kelly Wadding, paid special attention to the head table. Dr. Lynfield became transfixed by one procedure in particular, called “blowing brains.”

As each head reached the end of the table, a worker would insert a metal hose into the foramen magnum, the opening that the spinal cord passes through. High-pressure blasts of compressed air then turned the brain into a slurry that squirted out through the same hole in the skull, often spraying brain tissue around and splattering the hose operator in the process.

The brains were pooled, poured into 10-pound containers and shipped to be sold as food — mostly in China and Korea, where cooks stir-fry them, but also in some parts of the American South, where people like them scrambled up with eggs."

They have a theory that having pig's brains splattered and aerosolized all over you is a bad thing, especially when you are not wearing a mask and face shield. The body just doesn't seem to dig this.

For some reason I'm no longer that interested in my breakfast. Then my thought is, wow, someone actually does this for a living. M'kay. I'm guessing that the kids don't bring them to show and tell at school. (Sudden image of kids running and screaming from their classroom.) The next thought is that well, I really don't need to experience this culinary delight. No my friends, I will leave that to the capable palate of Anthony Bourdain.

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