When I was a kid growing up in the Boston area, the only people who ever ate octopus were Sicilians like my own family, who ate the seven fishes on Christmas eve.
Yum. My Grampa made it steamed and served it with olives and capers.
Now almost everyone has tried the seafood delicacy. It’s popular in Asia, the Mediterranean and in upscale restaurants in Hollywood and New York.
But not everyone is enjoying their octopus.
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow wrote to a group chat on Slack recently, explaining that she can’t continue to dine on the eight legged cephalopod.
Octopus are too smart to be food. They have more neurons in their brains than we do. I had to stop eating them because I was so freaked out by it. They can escape from sea world and shit by unscrewing drains and going out to sea.”
That’s right. The 44 year old actress just can’t get herself to consume any creature that is smarter than she is.
It is true that octopus are successful escape artists. Like “Hank” in the movie “Finding Dory,” they are cunning and determined. Scientists agree that the creatures are intelligent, and that in fact, they do have a huge number of neurons inside their squishy little heads.
In some parts of the world people enjoy eating live octopus. Given the high number of neurons in there, they are likely to feel the pain of being chomped on while still living. I can that as a good reason not to eat a live octopus, if anyone was on the fence.
But cooking an intelligent creature? We do that all the time.
Gwyneth might be happy eating clams or calamari or chicken. I don’t know. But I can’t imagine her checking on their neural capacity before she cooks them.
All I know is, life is going to get very complicated if we have to give an IQ test to dinner before we throw it in the pot.
Watch this. You might end up agreeing with Gwyneth.