Banned and Controversial Foods

Sam O'Nella Academy
23 Mar 202406:53

Summary

TLDRThe video script delves into the peculiar culinary practices and controversial dishes from around the world, such as island syndrome's influence on the evolution of species like the dodo and the Saint kill a field mouse, the banned Kazum Marsu cheese with live maggots, the texture-rich yet controversial shark fin soup, the regulated Aki fruit from West Africa, and the traditional yet ethically debated Ortolan bird dish. The narrative highlights the unique and sometimes risky aspects of these foods, their cultural significance, and the legal status in various regions.

Takeaways

  • 🏝️ Island syndrome refers to the unique evolution of species living on islands due to different environmental pressures, often resulting from a lack of predators.
  • 🕊️ The dodo bird lost its ability to fly on islands where there were no natural threats, exemplifying island syndrome.
  • 🐭 Island syndrome can also lead to unusual size changes, like the Saint Killa field mouse growing twice as large without predators.
  • 🧀 Kazum Marsu, a Sardinian cheese, is made with maggots that partially digest the cheese, making it goopy and filled with worms.
  • 🪲 Consuming Kazum Marsu without proper chewing can lead to myiasis, a condition where fly larvae live in the intestines, causing symptoms similar to food poisoning.
  • 🚫 Due to health risks, Kazum Marsu was banned in the EU, but a black market for it still exists, worth millions of euros annually.
  • 🦈 Shark fin soup is controversial due to its impact on shark populations and the wastefulness involved in its production, as fins are made of cartilage and collagen with little nutritional value.
  • 🌿 The Aki fruit, associated with Jamaican cuisine, can cause Jamaican vomiting sickness if not properly prepared, and is tightly regulated in the United States.
  • 🐦 Bird's nest soup contains actual bird nests made from the saliva of swiftlets, and is a delicacy in some cultures, though it cannot enter the US due to bird flu risks.
  • 🐧 Ortolan, a type of bunting, is traditionally prepared and eaten whole by being drowned in brandy, and was banned in the EU due to threats to its population, but has since recovered.

Q & A

  • What is Island Syndrome and how does it affect species?

    -Island Syndrome is a phenomenon where species living on islands begin to evolve in unusual ways due to different environmental pressures. A significant driving force behind this is often the lack of predators, leading to unique adaptations like the dodo losing its ability to fly.

  • What is Kazum Marsu cheese and why was it banned in the EU?

    -Kazum Marsu is a Sardinian cheese made by allowing a specific type of fly to lay eggs in it, with the maggots partially digesting the cheese. It was banned in the EU due to the risk of myiasis, a condition where fly larvae live in the intestines, causing symptoms similar to food poisoning.

  • How has the trade of illicit Kazum Marsu impacted its market?

    -The illicit trade of Kazum Marsu has created a black market, with estimates in 2019 valuing the trade at €2 to 3 million annually, showing a significant demand despite the ban.

  • What misconception does the speaker initially have about shark fins?

    -The speaker initially believes that shark fins are primarily made of meat and are the most valuable part of the shark to eat, but later learns that they are actually made mostly of cartilage and collagen.

  • What is the unique characteristic of shark fins that makes them desirable in soup?

    -The unique characteristic of shark fins is their texture, which is described as being somewhere between chewy and crunchy, or stringy due to the collagen growing in structures called serat treia.

  • What is the controversy surrounding the consumption of shark fin soup?

    -The controversy lies in the impact on shark populations and the wastefulness of the process, as many fins are taken from a single shark, and the fins themselves have little nutritional value or flavor without being prepared in soup.

  • What is the Aki fruit and what controversy does it bring?

    -The Aki fruit, originally from West Africa and commonly used in Jamaican cuisine, becomes controversial when prepared improperly. If the fruit is consumed too early or not cleaned properly, it can cause Jamaican vomiting sickness, which can be fatal.

  • Why is the consumption of bird's nest soup controversial?

    -Bird's nest soup is controversial because it contains actual bird nests made from the saliva of swiftlets. The collection of these nests can lead to the spread of diseases like bird flu, and the nests are currently banned from entering the US for this reason.

  • How is the Ortalon bird prepared and served?

    -The Ortalon bird is prepared by drowning it in brandy, which also serves as a marinade. It is then roasted, plucked, and presented whole to the consumer, who eats it in a specific ritual involving holding the bird's head and picking out bones while chewing.

  • What was the reason for the ban of killing Ortalons in the EU?

    -The practice of killing Ortalons was banned in the EU in 2007 due to overconsumption threatening the bird's population. However, as of 2018, the conservation status of the Ortalon is under least concern, suggesting the population has recovered.

Outlines

00:00

🌿 Island Syndrome and Unique Delicacies

This paragraph delves into the concept of Island Syndrome, where species evolve differently due to the absence of predators on islands. It discusses examples like the dodo and the field mouse, then transitions into a detailed description of the Sardinian cheese, kazum marsu, which contains live maggots. The segment covers the health risks associated with consuming this cheese, its ban in the EU, and the thriving black market surrounding it. The paragraph also touches on the controversial nature of shark fin soup, highlighting its lack of nutritional value and the environmental impact of its production. It concludes with a mention of the fruit Aki, associated with Jamaican cuisine, and the potential health risks of consuming it improperly.

05:00

🍽️ Bizarre and Controversial Dishes from Around the World

The second paragraph continues the exploration of unusual foods by discussing bird's nest soup, a dish made from the nests of swiftlets, and its ban in the US due to health concerns. It then describes the traditional French delicacy, ortalon, which involves a unique preparation method that includes drowning the bird in brandy and eating it whole. The paragraph also mentions the conservation status of the ortalon and the cultural significance of these dishes, ending with a humorous take on their consumption and the ban on killing orlons in the EU.

Mindmap

Keywords

💡Island Syndrome

Island Syndrome refers to the unique evolutionary adaptations that occur in species living on islands due to the distinct pressures of their environment. In the video, it is mentioned as a biological concept where a lack of predators often leads to significant changes in the species' characteristics, such as the dodo losing its ability to fly and the Saint Killa field mouse growing larger as there was no need to hide from predators.

💡Kazum Marsu

Kazum Marsu is a type of Sardinian cheese that contains live maggots, which are intentionally introduced by allowing a specific type of fly to lay eggs in a wheel of Peino cheese. The maggots' partial digestion of the cheese gives it a distinct texture and taste. However, consuming the cheese without properly chewing can lead to a condition called myiasis, where fly larvae live in the intestines, causing symptoms similar to food poisoning.

💡Myiasis

Myiasis is a medical condition where fly larvae live in the intestines of a host organism, typically caused by poor consumption practices of certain foods like Kazum Marsu. The symptoms resemble food poisoning, but the psychological impact of knowing that one's bowels are inhabited by living larvae adds to the distress.

💡Shark Fin Soup

Shark Fin Soup is a traditional Chinese dish made from shark fins, which are cartilaginous and lack flavor or nutritional value on their own. The fins are soaked in broth to create a soup with a unique mouthfeel described as somewhere between chewy and crunchy. The production of this soup has been criticized for its impact on shark populations and the wastefulness involved in obtaining fins for the dish.

💡Aki

Aki, also known as the September plum, is a fruit native to West Africa and commonly used in Jamaican cuisine. It is known for its savory flavor, described as nutty or bean-like. However, if the fruit is not properly prepared or consumed before it is fully ripe, it can cause Jamaican vomiting sickness, a serious condition that can lead to death.

💡Bird's Nest Soup

Bird's Nest Soup is a delicacy made from the nests of swiftlets, which are constructed from the birds' saliva. These nests are rich in proteins and have a gelatinous texture when reconstituted. However, the consumption of bird saliva is associated with the risk of contracting bird flu, leading to the prohibition of importing raw bird's nest into the United States.

💡Ortalon

Ortalon is a type of bunting bird that has been traditionally consumed in France. The bird is prepared in a unique and controversial manner, where it is drowned in brandy, which also serves as a marinade. The consumer then eats the bird whole, plucking and removing bones while holding the head. This practice was banned in the EU in 2007 due to the threat to the ortolan population.

💡Conservation Status

Conservation Status refers to the classification of a species' risk of extinction, based on factors such as population size, trends, and habitat conditions. The video mentions that as of 2018, the ortolan's conservation status is 'least concern,' indicating that the species is not currently threatened and its population is stable.

💡Cultural Practices

Cultural Practices refer to the customs, traditions, and rituals that are specific to a particular society or group. In the video, various cultural practices related to food consumption are discussed, such as the preparation and eating of Kazum Marsu, Aki, Bird's Nest Soup, and Ortolon. These practices are often unique and can be controversial due to health risks or ethical concerns.

💡Food Safety

Food Safety involves preventing foodborne illness and ensuring that food is handled, stored, and prepared in a way that does not harm consumers. The video touches on food safety in the context of various dishes, such as the health risks associated with consuming live maggots in Kazum Marsu and the potential for contracting diseases like bird flu from Bird's Nest Soup.

💡Ethical Considerations

Ethical Considerations refer to moral principles and values that guide decisions and actions, especially in regards to the treatment of animals and the impact on the environment. The video raises ethical considerations related to the consumption of certain dishes, such as the impact on wildlife populations from Shark Fin Soup and the treatment of the Ortolon bird.

Highlights

Island syndrome is a phenomenon where species evolve differently due to unique pressures of their environment, often due to a lack of predators.

The dodo bird lost its ability to fly because there were no predators on the island it inhabited.

The Saint Killa field mouse grew larger as it didn't need to hide from predators.

Kazum Marsu, or 'rotten cheese', is a Sardinian cheese made with maggots that partially digest it, making it goopy and filled with worms.

Kazum Marsu can cause enteric myiasis, a condition where fly larvae live in the intestines, if not chewed properly.

The cheese was banned in the EU and elsewhere due to health concerns, but a black market for it still exists, worth millions annually.

Shark fin soup is controversial due to its impact on shark populations and the wastefulness involved in its production.

Shark fins are made mostly of cartilage and collagen and have little nutritional value or flavor on their own.

The unique texture of shark fins, described as somewhere between chewy and crunchy, is the main reason for their consumption.

Aki, a fruit from West Africa, is associated with Jamaican cuisine but can cause Jamaican vomiting sickness if prepared improperly.

Bird's nest soup contains actual bird nests made from the saliva of swiftlets, which reconstitute into a gelatinous texture when soaked.

The consumption of bird saliva is banned in the US due to the risk of catching bird flu.

Ortalon, a type of bunting, is prepared by drowning the bird in brandy and then roasted and eaten whole, with a towel over the consumer's head.

The hunting of ortalon was banned in the EU in 2007 due to the decline in their population.

As of 2018, the conservation status of ortalon is under least concern, hinting at a possible return of the tradition.

The video discusses unusual and controversial food items, their origins, and the cultural or ethical implications surrounding their consumption.

Transcripts

00:00

[Music]

00:07

hey Majors so I'd like to start off with

00:09

a little biology lesson when a species

00:11

finds itself living on an island it can

00:13

start to evolve in strange ways based on

00:15

the different pressures applied by the

00:16

new environment this is called Island

00:18

syndrome and while it can manifest in a

00:20

lot of ways the biggest driving force is

00:22

often a lack of predators for example

00:24

the dodo lost its ability to fly since

00:26

there was nothing to flee from the saint

00:27

kill a field mouse got twice as big

00:29

since it no longer had to hide and with

00:31

no one around to bully them the

00:32

sardinians started putting maggots in

00:34

their cheese meet kazum marsu literal

00:36

translation rotten cheese it's made by

00:39

taking a perfectly good wheel of peino

00:41

and letting a special type of fly lay

00:42

eggs in it the fly babies then work to

00:44

partially digest the cheese rendering it

00:47

goopy and wet and maybe quite tasty and

00:49

worm filled now cheese as a concept is

00:52

already quite suspect it's clotted milk

00:54

that you fill with bacteria and mold and

00:56

let sit for a while but cheese is safe

00:58

and delicious cheese is my friend I

01:00

trust cheese so my guard would be down

01:02

around kazum marsu I've learned to look

01:04

past to Cheese's childhood strange

01:06

upbringings are what give them their

01:07

character but it turns out those maggots

01:09

are still alive and if you don't chew

01:10

well enough they can cause anic miasis

01:13

which is a fancy term for fly larvae

01:14

living in your intestines symptoms are

01:17

similar to food poisoning except with

01:18

the added psychic pain of knowing that

01:20

again your bowels are full of squiggly

01:22

new friends it's for this reason that

01:23

kazum marsu was banned in the EU and

01:25

elsewhere a black market still exists

01:27

which is wild and it's not a small one

01:29

2019 the illicit kazum marsu trade was

01:32

estimated to be worth € 2 to3 million

01:34

annually personally I would just do it

01:36

prohibition style like definitely don't

01:38

put these fly eggs on this Sumptuous

01:41

wheel of peino but if you do you

01:43

absolutely shouldn't keep it warm and

01:44

damp for a week but although it's

01:46

traditional to leave the larae alive

01:48

when you eat your mag and cheese some

01:50

consumers still prefer them dead

01:51

shockingly in that case one puts the

01:53

cheese in a sealed bag and when the

01:55

maggots run out of oxygen they ride

01:57

around and fling themselves all over the

01:58

place this is heard has a distinct

02:00

pitter patter against the walls of the

02:02

bag and when the sound stops the

02:03

contents are ready to eat like popcorn

02:05

shark fin soup is one most of us have

02:07

heard about already mostly in reference

02:09

to its effect on shark populations and

02:11

the wastefulness that goes into making

02:13

it until recently though I never looked

02:14

into the nature of the dish itself I

02:16

figured right the fins are just the only

02:18

part of the Shark worth eating big whoop

02:20

it's probably not much different from

02:21

like swordfish apparently though I had

02:23

it backwards shark fins aren't even meat

02:26

they're made almost entirely of

02:28

cartilage and collagen they are the last

02:30

part we should be eating that's why it's

02:32

only made into soup because without

02:33

being soaked in broth it has zero flavor

02:35

or nutritional value on its own their

02:37

only redeeming quality is their unique

02:39

mouth feel due to how stringly the

02:41

collagen grows in structures called

02:43

serat treia the texture has been

02:45

described as somewhere between chewy and

02:47

crunchy which I find describes most

02:49

things actually other adjectives present

02:51

on Wikipedia include Snappy gelatinous

02:54

and seny the exact sensation of eating

02:56

this substance remains a mystery to me

02:58

and the unintended side effect of of all

03:00

this research is that I now really want

03:02

to try it like it's a big trade I've got

03:04

to be the one that's wrong there is

03:05

imitation shark fin soup available but

03:07

I've already decided that it's not

03:09

nearly as good so I've come up with a

03:10

compromise to this controversy everyone

03:12

on Earth gets just one bite say there's

03:14

10 btes to a fin four fins to a shark

03:17

200 million sharks die sure a necessary

03:20

casualty but then we can end the

03:21

practice forever all done you can

03:23

finally rest Mr Ming come here baby a

03:26

Aki what Aki where Aki the Aki is a

03:29

fruit originally from West Africa which

03:31

is most commonly associated with

03:33

Jamaican Cuisine where it appears in

03:35

such dishes as Aki and saltfish these

03:37

alien kidneys here are called the arals

03:39

and they're the only part of the fruit

03:40

that's actually eaten the flavor is on

03:42

the Savory side being described as kind

03:44

of nutty or bean-like what makes the Aki

03:46

controversial though is the effects you

03:48

can cause when prepared improperly if

03:49

the arrows are allowed to completely

03:51

ripen they're harmless but if you eat

03:52

them too early or don't thoroughly clean

03:54

off all the non- Aral stuff they can

03:56

cause Jamaican vomiting sickness this

03:58

disease doesn't sound real it sounds

04:00

like it belongs next to Eastern sweats

04:01

and tangeri and Bone grindings but

04:03

that's actually an official term and as

04:05

for symptoms it does what it says on the

04:07

tin plus maybe death while Aki based

04:09

products aren't outright illegal in the

04:10

United States they are very tightly

04:12

regulated and the raw fruit itself

04:14

cannot be imported so if you're American

04:16

and want to try it your options are

04:17

fully cooked canned aie or going to

04:19

Florida where a few people grow it

04:21

domestically next we have bird's nest

04:23

soup this is another one that I've

04:24

vaguely heard of and for years I just

04:26

assumed the name was a playful metaphor

04:28

like ants on a log or on on a

04:29

shingle turns out nope this dish

04:31

contains an actual bird nest not like a

04:33

pile of Twigs like I was picturing but

04:35

rather a specific type of Nest only made

04:37

by certain species of swiftlets these

04:39

nests are mostly made out of mucins

04:41

which are a set of proteins that among

04:43

other things serve to thicken all those

04:45

wonderful secretions our bodies make

04:46

there's a little bit in human saliva a

04:48

little bit more in mucus and in swiftlet

04:50

saliva look out pal so all the swiftlet

04:53

does is it finds a nice wall starts

04:56

laying out fat strings of slobber which

04:58

dry and eventually she's got nice place

05:00

to roost that is right up until some

05:01

Gourmand says today I crave bird spit

05:05

you can keep the eggs though and they

05:07

then reconstitute it back into its

05:08

original gelatinous texture

05:10

unfortunately these nests can't enter

05:12

the us since believe it or not eating

05:14

bird saliva is a great way to catch bird

05:16

flu and now the time has come to speak

05:19

of the ortalon the ortalon is a kind of

05:22

bunting which is a sort of passerine

05:25

which is a type of

05:26

bird they're birds like many animals

05:29

they have a long history of being eaten

05:30

by the French but what separates the

05:32

ellon from your average squab or

05:34

pheasant is the unique way in which it

05:36

is prepared and eaten they're typically

05:37

caught with Nets and kept in the dark

05:39

which causes them to overeat for some

05:41

reason once it's about twice as fat the

05:43

entire bird is then thrown into a

05:45

container of Brandy alive and sealed in

05:48

while this serves to marinade the

05:50

creature it also drowns in the process

05:52

thereby killing one bird with no Stones

05:54

the orelon is then roasted plucked and

05:56

presented whole to the consumer who

05:57

inserts the carcass into their mouth

05:59

feet first as they chew one hand

06:01

continues holding the bird's head while

06:03

the other picks out the larger bones

06:05

this whole ritual is usually performed

06:06

with a towel or large napkin over one's

06:08

head there's a few explanations for the

06:10

purpose of the towel some say it's just

06:12

there to keep the Aromas in While others

06:14

say it's there to quote shield from

06:16

God's eyes the shame of such a decadent

06:18

and disgraceful act yeah this one I'm

06:21

okay with not trying actually notable

06:23

fans of this dish include not joking

06:25

Bill Cosby and the guy who invented the

06:27

labotomy ah to be part of that so Social

06:29

Club our mission is to eat Bird's whole

06:32

and then make people not remember things

06:34

killing Orlons was banned across the EU

06:36

in 2007 not for any ethical reason but

06:38

because French people did this so much

06:40

that the entire ortalon population was

06:42

threatened thankfully as of 2018 their

06:44

conservation status is under least

06:46

concern so hopefully the French can get

06:48

back to it soon anyway that's all I have

06:50

for today till next time I'm samonella

06:52

and thank you for watching

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Related Tags
Exotic FoodsCulinary CuriositiesIsland SyndromeKazum MarsuShark Fin SoupAki FruitBird's Nest SoupOrtolansBanned DishesCultural Cuisine