Moose Meet: Introducing a New Food

Since digestive balance is paramount for IBD patients, uncertainty about how our bodies will respond to new foods is a common concern. As a result, we typically treat unfamiliar foods with a fair amount of caution. I had a unique opportunity to try a new one today.

My sister in law is visiting us from Alaska. She and her boyfriend went duck hunting shortly after my wife and I visited them this past summer. On that hunting trip, in full accordance with the Alaskan spirit of wilderness adventure and adaptability (something I’ve written about here before), rather than coming home with a sack of waterfowl, they instead came home with a moose.

It’s a long story, but it had something to do with finding a great duck hunting spot, finding it already occupied by a moose (conveniently also in season at the time), and finding that it’s a good idea to carry more than one kind of shotgun ammo. Then it also had something to do with carrying a thousand pounds of meat, by foot and canoe, many miles back to civilization.

A few days of processing time, a few weeks in the freezer, and a few plane flights later, some of that majestic creature landed at my kitchen table tonight in the form of meatloaf. Mooseloaf, if you will. Or shall we say meatloose?

Despite having the so-called “cave-man” blood type (ostensibly ideal for a meat-heavy diet), I have never been a big fan of wild game. Venison gives me heartburn, and I failed plenty of opportunities to gain a taste for elk when I lived in New Mexico. But I had always heard that moose is quite tasty. Plus, I have always loved meatloaf, so I was excited to try this new formulation.

But testing a new food can be a little complicated, especially when a loved one has harvested and hand-delivered it to you from the remote wilderness and cooked it into a wonderful meal. People are generally understanding of the caution, but it can still be a delicate conversation since cooking for others generally conjures a sense of excitement, pride and/or eagerness to please. Although sometimes you can get away with not mentioning it.

I cautiously sampled a small portion. It passed the first test quite easily—it was delicious. Aside from the slightly different texture, I’d have a hard time distinguishing it from beef. It’s been a few hours now, and there’s been no digestive trouble so far. If all is well by morning, you can guess what’s going to be in my lunch tomorrow. The best part about meatloaf is the next day’s sandwich. Moosewich here I come.

Thank you Heidi & Jason for that unusual treat. And thank you Mr. Moose for providing the meat.

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