Consider this a spoiler alert — literally.
Fads come and go, but miniskirts and disco didn’t carry the danger of severe food poisoning as does a new internet craze. Eating spoiled, rotting, raw meat is the latest health/high food, according to some online nuts. I would call them stupid, but Mom taught us that was an ugly word and not to be used.
The practice of eating spoiled raw meat to achieve a high is as nutty as huffing gasoline, as far as I’m concerned. Its purported nutritional or entertainment effects are far outweighed by the inherent dangers
Social media sites have recently included an increasing number of posts with photographs and videos of people performing this incredibly dangerous act. I say performing because who knows if the craze started as what people in news call a “bar bet.”
For those of you who never worked on a city desk in a newspaper newsroom, a bar bet is exactly what it sounds like. People in a bar start debating and end up calling their source for facts — their local newspaper. The calls usually come late in the evening, just as editors are trying to get the daily news on the press.
Many bar bet calls are immediately transferred to the sports desk where they are quickly resolved. If you’ve never talked to a newspaper sports guy you probably aren’t familiar with their memories for useless stats and player rosters.
Other bar bets involve political figures, current events and trivia beyond imagination. But in decades of work as a news person, I never heard of a bar bet involving the consumption of raw meat. Some bar bets don’t involve calling newspapers for resolution. Some involve crazy stunts like eating as many pickled eggs as possible from the jar behind the bar or slamming down shots of tequila. Perhaps the raw meat fad began as a bar bet. Who knows.
The whole thing escapes me. But so does the use of cocaine, heroin and sniffing airplane glue.
Some users — that’s what I’m calling the raw meat nuts because their main goal appears to be getting high — say they enjoy the short-lived euphoria that comes with the consumption of uncooked, spoiled meat. Public and private health experts say the high is because of toxins in the rotten meat.
Mold, parasites and bacteria including Salmonella and E. Coli love to procreate in rotten food, particularly spoiled meat. Some users say those potentially deadly pathogens are not a concern because animals eat rotting raw meat all of the time. They cite big cats and crocodiles. Apparently, they don’t understand that humans’ digestive tracts are not built the same way as lions’ and tigers’ and crocs’ guts.
As if this craze wasn’t ridiculously dangerous enough, there is now a video online that shows a woman eating raw chicken and saying that’s the reason she “never gets sick.”
Wait for it.
Sooner or later the Salmonella and campylobacter present on raw chicken will catch up with her. Bacterial infection will ravage her body, with the least of the impact being fever, severe vomiting, explosive diarrhea and dehydration for a few days. At worst she will die from complications brought on by the infection and its nasty side effects.
Bottom line, as with so many substances people use to get high, chasing the rotten meat dragon is more than a little dangerous. As with heroin, you never know when this trip will be your last.
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