They say that fish is not only good for you, it’s also "brain food." "They" being people who go to college to study such things (and I decided to be a writer…go figure.)
It’s all about those Omega-Delta-Buick fattening acids and anti-oxidations, I think. Supposed to make you smarter, somehow, because those are the chemicals the ol’ noggin works best from, sorta like a steam engine gets hottest when shoveled with coal instead of grass clippings.
It really doesn’t make sense to me. Fish, you see, are not that smart. In fact, one of the great topics of angling literature has been why fishermen such as myself gear up with hundreds, in some cases thousands of dollars worth of equipment to go and try to fool a creature with a brain the size of a grain of rice into eating, for cryin’ out loud. C’mon now, that’s pretty much all they do, eat and swim and occasionally make a little romance when the moon is right. The notion that fish are smart simply because they like to be in schools was something developed by a marine biologist who was sidelining as a standup comic.
So maybe that’s the key as to why fish are brain food: They aren’t that smart themselves, and all those El-Camino-acids and fancy-pantsy oxidations just kinda collect in their system, so when we eat a big helping of fried fish we get it all for ourselves. Hey, works for me.
I know that whales are considered extraordinarily smart, but then, whales are not fish, they are mammals, just like ourselves and, believe it or not, so is a porcupine, which is scary. Whales may be so smart by eating baitfish and tiny shrimp, further evidence to support the whole "brain food" hypothesis.
Now to make matters worse, for those of us who are watching our girth as well as trying to raise our intelligence quotient into the triple digits, sugar and carbohydrates appear to be brain food. These are, of course, the very things we girth-minded zealots try to avoid. So are we in fact taking a mind that can do calculus and exchanging it for a six-pack tummy? Does this explain the whole phenomenon behind supermodels?
Research recently has shown a chemical called choline is an excellent brain food. "Choline" is not to be confused with "chlorine" which will whiten your brain, nothing more. "Choline" is found in the following foods in order of which contains the most: Beef liver, eggs, beef steak, peanut butter, oranges and potatoes.
Well, all right! Now we’re talking a menu, friends and neighbors. Let’s start with a breakfast of fried eggs, medium-hard, with hash browns and orange juice. For lunch we’ll have a serving of catfish fillets with fries. If we need a snack sometime in between lunch and supper we’ll have a peanut butter sandwich. Or A Reese’s cup. For the evening meal, a porterhouse with a baked potato fits the bill quite nicely, or beef liver, smothered with onions, with mashed potatoes for the gravy.
The fact that beef liver is considered a highly regarded brain food only serves to reinforce what I’ve always believed anyway: People who like liver are smarter than those who curl their noses up at it and complain loudly about the smell. (Whoa! Look out Mr. Postman, the Letters to the Editor are coming!)
If we use the premise that since fish are dumb but therefore make great brain food, then we can extrapolate perhaps that turkey is an excellent brain food, but a careful observation of the facts does not bear this out. For one thing, a turkey is so dumb it will drown itself staring up at the rain in puzzled awe. For another thing, people who gorge themselves on turkey for Thanksgiving rush out the next day and get in fights at Wal-Mart over the new X-Box. Turkey is definitely not on the brain food list.
Of course, the fish-as-brain-food hypothesis starts to fall apart as well if you examine it too closely. If fish are so dumb, why do you hear fishermen saying, "The fish were feeding all over the place and I couldn’t get them to bite!" Fish maybe aren’t so dumb…or maybe the fisherman was a catch-and-release only angler? There’s just too many variables to draw a firm conclusion.
In fact, scientists tell us the smartest animals are, in ascending order, squirrel, squid, raven, dog, pig, parrot, elephant, monkey, dolphin, primates (that means us.) You’ll notice there are no fish, cows or chickens laying eggs on the list. The lesson in the above list is clear, though: We should not eat pig, since incredibly they’re smarter than Labrador retrievers (though it’s no surprise they’d be smarter than poodles), dumber than parrots, and would get stepped on by elephants in a chess game. For the record, the dumbest animals, scientists believe, are the armadillo and possum. Well, that explains the whole highway thing…
This is why PETA’s argument also falls apart. This group of animal rights activists who, apparently, eat absolutely no beef liver, fish, beef steak or other such brain food, has published a comic book called "Your Daddy Kills Animals!" It shows Dear Old Daddy in a fishing hat and with tackle all around him. He’s holding a big knife and gutting a fish with maniacal glee. The lower headline reads, "Ask your daddy why he’s hooked on killing!"
Nope. No brain food consumption here. PETA might be better served if they all went out for a lunch of peanut butter sandwiches twice a day. Do peanuts feel pain? Hmmm…