Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Rabbit Food and Ruffage

I came home this evening at a quarter past ten in the evening and in sheer desperation I ate two tomatoes.  Yes, two.  I picked up first one baby tomato and then another and chewed them up whole, unceremoniously and completely unmasked by other foods, flavours or tastes.  What has happened to me?
Red cherry tomatoes
Photo Source: flickr by Swaminathan
Perhaps I should explain that I have always hated vegetables.  And just like everything else in my life it was not a casual dislike and reluctance.  I don't do things by half measures.  I have always hated vegetables with a passion that stemmed deep from my five year old soul.  I declared them rabbit food and refused to eat them.  I am not a rabbit so why should I eat rabbit food? Do people eat dog food or cat food I ask you?  NO.  Nobody would reasonably expect me to eat a dinner comprised of bird food.  I didn't see why the delicacies of rabbits should ever be placed upon my plate.  I wasn't an ambassador to the rabbit population of my town, or any other town for that matter.  I didn't need to improve human rabbit relations by symbolically accepting them and their culture by dining on their foods.  No, I didn't eat rabbit food.  I waged war on it.
Cat guarding rabbit food, or salad, in the fridge
Smart cat knows if he waits by the rabbit food the rabbits will come to him.  Cool as a cucumber he waits.  I bet you can't get him to eat rabbit food.      Photo Source: Flickr by Psyberartist
It was ruffage.  Or more properly spelled, roughage, and roughage is defined as "the coarse indigestible constituents of food".  Indigestible!  And you want me to eat it why?  Ick.  No thank you.  Now people will tell you that tomatoes are good for you.  That tomatoes are a fruit.  But they also come from the night shade family and are therefore a nightshade food. Nightshade foods produce these things called alkaloids that can affect the nervous system and digestive system.  You see alkaloids can inhibit this enzyme, cholintesterase, which is found in nerve cells.  If it is very strongly inhibited it can disrupt the nerve-muscle system and cause trembling, twitching, paralyzed breathing or convulsions.  Great, right?  They say that these certain nightshade foods do not block the enzyme to a great enough degree to cause any trouble.  Yet, there is no definitive research on the subject.  Some researchers recommend cutting it out of the diets of those people with arthritis and other joint problems.  And there are many individuals who swear that nightshade foods do cause them joint pain.  

Do you know what foods are nightshade foods?  It may surprise you to find that the list includes:
Sweet and hot peppers (bell peppers, and cayenne etc.)
Ground cherries (not real cherries, whatever a ground cherry is...)
*And a few others. This is not an exhaustive list of nightshade foods.

Some researchers claim that the level of alkaloids in nightshade foods are too small to have any real effect.  Yet the alkaloids do exist in these foods and can be shown to inhibit cholintesterase at least to a small degree and cooking only reduces the alkaloids by 40-50%.  So, you can make up your own mind.  Don't believe me, check out more reputable sources and ask your doctor.  But I will argue that these nightshade foods are poison.  So, these "oh so healthy for you" tomatoes could in fact be poisoning my body and ruining my joints.  Why should I trust your health advice after you advocate poison and indigestible foods.  No, thank you, I'll pass. Or at least that is what I used to say to myself.
Colourful peppers and tomatoes
Look at all those colorful poisons!         Photo Source: flickr by moon angel

Yet desperate times called for desperate measures and there I was standing in my kitchen munching down tomatoes.  What on earth was happening?  I was starving and it was the only food in my house that could be eaten post haste without any cooking, preparation or waiting-time involved. There was no extended longing for that moment of sweet delight when your food is done and you nibble on the first mouthful.  No, immediate gratification was what I needed in order to satisfy the monster growing restless and growling from deep within.  But it did not end there.  The monster demanded a further sacrifice.  It demanded I give up my cause.  It demanded I eat... a salad.  Yes, a salad.  complete with leafy green lettuce and carrots, a rabbit couldn't have been happier.  I, the Madder Hatter, the crusader against people eating indigestible rabbit food, succumbed and ate not only two tomatoes but also an entire salad.

I can almost hear myself, that logical side I try so hard to suppress, saying desperate times luv, in a Yorkshire accent of course.  But this does not excuse my behavior.  It is a mere platitude.  Who I am?  What have I become?  There is no going back from what I have done.  What will happen next?  I may be lead inexorably downward.  Next I could be eating dog food, or bird food.  Why stop there?  I could move on to worm food and just eat dirt.  But there is something else about it that is bothering me deep down.  It is the slippery slope to all things bad.

Not only do I feel like I have abandoned my morals (see my struggle with technology) I feel I have also lost my identity.  I am no longer a rampant ruffage destroying, rabbit food protesting rapscallion.  I'm becoming something else. Dare I suggest it, an adult?  Gasp, the reality of such a concept is too horrible to even contemplate for one instant.  The unadulterated boredom of responsible adult life swept over me for the milisecond I even considered considering that thought. Cringe. No, no, that can't be it.  I'm still five.  I must be turning into a rabbit.  You are what you eat, right? I'm sprouting whiskers and a little bob tail, aren't I?  That is the only logical explanation.  I'd better do some research on rabbits next.
Glaring cat guarding rabbit food, or salad, in the fridge
Smart cat guards the rabbit food knowing I must come for it.  He is waiting.  He sees through me.  There is no escape.       Photo Source: flickr by Psyberartist


  1. I am absolutely aghast at your tomato consumption. Even now, I only eat tomatoes when drowned in balsamic glaze and hidden by pieces of mozzarella.

  2. I know! I have truly sunk into a deep and dark place. Tomatoes. Blegh. I shudder with the memory.