Thursday, April 26, 2007

Mmmm. Ground squirrel.

I'm sitting here finding new stream-of-consciousness topics to write about. And as I sit here vegging on the medium rare burger with gravy fries I had for dinner, I'm reminded that I have far more food at my fingertips than many people. Case in point: Les Stroud, the "Survivorman" of Discovery Channel's Survivorman series.

"Chef Les," as he is never called, is dropped off for a week in some inhospitable environment where he must survive off the land, all while logging 50 lb (okay, 25 kg since he's Canadian) of camera equipment around with him. Just imagine having to lug 25 kg of camera equipment with you around the Mojave Desert or the frozen forests of northern Ontario. All while you are starving and slowly dehydrating. But he manages to do it! If there is anyone with whom I'd want to be lost in the harshest environments of our planet a week, it is Les Stroud. Take that however you want to.

Les is quite good at finding food, just not finding a lot of it. And he doesn't really need a whole lot to survive. It's amazing how your body re-adapts to a minimum calorie situation. I'm currently watching an episode where he was dropped off in the Altamaha River Basin in Georgia for a week. He's eating a swamp turtle - it looks like some weird terrapin horror film, little turtle legs on sticks roasting on an open fire. This is not the type of show a vegan would enjoy, especially when you watch Les break open a conch shell, like on the last episode they aired, when he was stranded on a desert island off the coast of Belize for a week. He just ate that puppy raw (Mmmm. Conch sushi).

He also has the most ingenious ways to catch water. On this Georgia swamp episode, where drinking the water is just not a possibility, he finds a "water vine" that he slices open, puts an end into a can he brought, and lets the water collect. And I learned that if the water is not drinkable but otherwise safe to consume (like slightly brackish water that could make you sick if you drank it), you can always consume it by putting it in the other end.

Yes, a survival enema.

And this show has given me one of my all-time favorite quotes from any television show: the title of this post ("Mmmm. Ground squirrel.") This while he was lost in Utah's Canyonlands for a week. But cook that ground squirrel very well, as they can easily make you sicker than most animals' raw meat.

Oh snap! He just clobbered an Eastern diamondback rattlesnake! He'll be eating off of that for a while.

Photo linked from the "Science on TV" page form "Survivorman - Alaska".


Fairfax said...


Baltimore Snacker said...

Hee hee. Is that in reference to the ground squirrel? I have eaten rattlesnake before. I don't know if it was the prep but it was nothing to write home about. Tasted like chicken.