I wonder how many ants I’ve eaten

The ants here are very small. Today I found a bugger exploring my pile of stewed cabbage. It makes me wonder how many I’ve eaten.

I have the privilege and the horror of being welcome in the kitchen. This means that I can eat whatever and whenever I want. This also means I’ve seen some things I haven’t wanted to see. One night, while getting an after-dinner snack, I went into the kitchen to be greeted by about 10 half-frozen chickens in the sink, and also about 1/4 of a cow on the counter. No one had any plans to transfer these into the refrigerator after they thawed. To make matters worse, I noticed about 20 ants crawling over the meat, as well as the same number of cockroaches on the countertop.

Now, this makes my mind go in a few different directions:

1) I don’t want to think about it. I want to be in my happy place.

2) I want to think about it, kind of, and it makes me want to not eat meat. Or much of anything.

3) No one that I know of has ever gotten sick here. This includes the KUEF people, the U of M people, the string teachers, etc. This means that the way they handle their meat doesn’t make people sick. So this makes me think that either:
a) It’s a big hoax that you need to refrigerate chicken after a few hours.
b) The way they raise their chickens makes it so that they can handle their meat in different ways.

With all of this, I’m all confused. So I’m still eating everything I’m given and I’m hoping for the best.

This entry was posted in 2nd Kenya trip (Jun-Aug 2011), Kenyan food stories. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to I wonder how many ants I’ve eaten

  1. Heidi Morgan says:

    My public health hat – The big differences are how the chickens/beef are raised AND slaughtered. A lot of the contamination in our food supply in the US is due to factory-type slaughterhouses (and farming). HOWEVER insects crawling around meat is a great way to spread bacteria…

  2. andrea says:

    Ooh that’s really great to read. Not the insects part, but the chicken/beef part. I figured it was okay, since all of us American’s haven’t gotten miserably ill while we have been here.

    I have actually gotten over the ants being INSIDE the syrup container. Yes, it’s true: I eat syrup that passes by ants. Sigh.

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