Tag Archives: lobster history

Gout – The Rich Man’s Disease

My vegetarian friends might be aghast at the sheer number of hapless mollusks and crustaceans that have been shucked, steamed, and deep-fried for my culinary enjoyment but they can unruffle their lettuce leaves and indulge in a little schadenfreude. (I can spell this word without looking it up. How cool am I?) Karma can be a bitch and I just got a full-extension, back-handed slap to my face in the form of a mild case of gout, or at least I think it’s gout. Either that or it’s early onset arthritis.

What is gout? Well according to wiki, gout is a condition where little crystals of uric acid have attached themselves to your joints and cause flashes of pain in those areas. This condition used to be more commonly known among the affluent, since excess consumption of protein and purine rich foods such as foie, lobster, crab, and even champagne can lead to gout.  Hence, the term “rich man’s disease” or  “disease of kings”. Yes.  There can be too much of a good thing.

So for the past couple of weeks, I’ve woken up to random twinges of pain in my joints, namely, the joint of the middle finger on my left hand, and in my toes, making it slightly uncomfortable to walk sometimes.  Gout does commonly strike the big toe. And just why my middle finger is afflicted is perplexing to me, but since I’ve matured beyond flipping people the bird, it doesn’t impede my forward motion. Just the matter of the toes and trying not to look too gimpy.

Though my symptoms clearly do not exhibit the acute pain and inflammation commonly attributed to gout, I’m fairly certain that the seafood weekend in CT did me in. Luckily, I find that the further away I get from my seafood adventures, the more the symptoms dissipate. Clearly I have swung the pendulum too far in gastronomic excess and now in an attempt to bring the yin and yang back into balance, I am declaring a veggie detox for the next couple of weeks to cleanse my temple and garner forgiveness from the gods of retribution.  Shellfish can rest easy for now…

Here’s a little piece of trivial food fact: Did you know that in the old days, lobster was considered poor people food? Yes, according to lobster.org, Massachusetts had a law forbidding lobster to be served to servants and prisoners more than twice a week because a higher frequency would be inhumane.

*quick update* Unbeknownst to me, today is World Vegetarian Day and it kicks off Vegetarian Awareness Month. How apropos.

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