Tag Archives: Star Wars

Medical Microfiction: Monophagia

The Other White Meat

The investigators surveyed the grisly scene in the kitchen of the YT-1300 light freighter. Severed limbs stewing in pots. Bleached bones wedged inside the pantry. And fur everywhere, stuck to the sticky surfaces.

“What happened here?” asked Landry.

“Turns out the captain’s got a food fixation. Developed a taste for these little guys and couldn’t get enough. Apparently it’s been going on for years now,” said his lieutenant.

“Oh God. So the liberation of Endor…”

The lieutenant grimaced, nodded. “A harvest.”

“Where is he now?”

“They picked him up en route to the Wookiee homeworld. Loaded down with barbecue gear.”


Han Solo
Han Solo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Monophagia is the practice of eating only one kind of food. In the natural world, some species do this naturally, such as the Giant Panda, which only eats bamboo. Humans are usually not monophagous, unless you’re a toddler going through that phase when you’ll only eat orange things. In humans, monophagia is a disorder because (to my knowledge) there is no one food that will impart all the nutrition we need to survive. We crave variety because we need to.

We previously discussed the disorder pica and its links to iron deficiency, but that’s not the only dietary deficiency we’re up against. Notably, we humans do not produce our own Vitamin C. That’s a problem, especially since almost all other animals and plants DO produce their own without needing to get it from diet. This is why your dog or cat doesn’t have to eat oranges to avoid getting scurvy. Scurvy is a disease resulting from Vitamin C deficiency. Among other things, our bodies need Vitamin C to make collagen, which is found in our skin. Without collagen, the skin becomes weakened, which leads to fatigue, sores on the skin, loss of teeth, and eventually death.

Which is why man can’t live on Ewok alone, unless you eat the Vitamin C-rich liver while you’re at it.

Speaking of barbecues, a happy Memorial Day weekend to those of you living in the United States! I hope you have gorgeous weather and a relaxing long weekend off. We’ll probably take advantage of the excellent forecast here in Georgia to cook out. Blog updates may be spotty this weekend unless I’m feeling ambitious, but I’ve got something special planned for next week. Stay tuned for our first-ever theme week, starting Monday!