7 Foods I Cant Eat After An Autopsy!
I’m not a fussy eater (some would disagree with me), there are just some things I don’t like and I know I’m not alone in this. Someone I met yesterday had a real hate on for quiche! Not particularly offensive when you consider some of the strange things that are eaten all over the world. I’ve tried frog in Vietnam and quite liked it, but I’d draw the line at chickens feet, foetal egg or brain!!! You wouldn’t want me on your Bush Tucker Trial team on ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’. It’s one of those must-watch tv shows, even if you are gagging behind a cushion, you still watch it out of morbid fascination. I have compiled a list of 7 Foods An Autopsy Puts Me Off Eating and if you can stomach it I'll explain why!
What On Earth Could Put Me Off My Dinner?
As much as I love my job, I love food more. I have a strong stomach for the grim visions of death I see on a weekly basis. Very essential in my job I’m sure you will agree! But there are still times when the sights and smells of a particular scene get to me and I lose my appetite – tragic!! And the main event that puts me off my dinner is when I attend an autopsy.
I’ve attended hundreds of these over the years and they usually don’t bother me, I think I've seen it all. However it never fails to amaze me how weird the human body can be, or how gross some dead bodies are.
Now Here Is The Weird Bit
Rather than trying to irradiate these sights from my head, my brain has decided that it will liken certain aspects of the human body to food. And sometimes food I really do like! I’m not ok with this as I said before, I LOVE food!
So here are some parts of the human body my brain has decided are similar to my favourite foods. I then have to avoid eating them for a while until I forget I've been put off eating them! Once again if you can stomach it, here are 7 Foods An Autopsy Puts Me Off Eating! Enjoy!
Here We Go, Are You Sure You Want To Know What Foods An Autopsy Puts Me Off Eating?
It Might Put You Off Them Too!
1 - Cheese
I’ve put this first as cheese is one of my favourite things in the world (apart from the blue stuff, it’s mouldy, put it down!) Fun Fact coming up. Did you know that the larger you are, the thicker the layer of fat is that surrounds your organs? I doubt you have given any thought to what this layer looks like, so I will enlighten you!
Sure You Want To Read On?
The layer is bright yellow just like cheese! I’ve seen this layer be literally INCHES thick before, and the poor medical examiner is hands deep before even reaching an organ! I’m sure you will love to know it can range in colour from a mild pale cheddar to that bright orange burger ‘cheese’ colour.
All varieties of cheese are reflected in the layers of fat surrounding your organs! It’s a sad day when I can’t face eating cheese because I’ve seen the insides of an obese human being! Will you ever look at cheese the same?
Not a great rib lover on a normal day, too much effort for little product in my opinion. But I’m completely put off even thinking about trying them when the ribs are ‘flayed’ at that point of every autopsy. From the point where the skin is ‘peeled’ back by a scalpel and exposes them all joined together. Leading to where the knife goes between each one tp check for broken bones. They are all separated and stick out in a variety of directions (especially if they are very broken)!
For some people in the room this makes them crave it and they go home and eat a rack!! Wrong!
3 - Sausages
Who doesn’t enjoy a good sausage? On the BBQ, in a hot dog or just in ‘Toad in the hole’ (British dish, google it - no toads involved). Yum! However, your (approximately) 10 metres of bowels very much replicate a string of sausages! They are all bunched up and are twisted in to sausage shapes. This has the effect when you are opened up that you look like you have a stomach full of raw sausages!
I will say no more, sorry if I’ve ruined sausages for you! I am frequently put off eating these after an autopsy!
4 - Rice
This is a new one for me. I’ve clearly been sheltered from this horror show throughout my career, and I won’t be rushing to repeat it either! Very recently I had the ‘pleasure’ of photographing the autopsy of a body which hadn’t been found for over 8 weeks! The deceased was found in a warm house, under a duvet and was riddled with maggots. And I mean riddled. At the scene we had the issue of removing the body without it falling to pieces, but the autopsy hit a new level of horror!
Bring On The Part Where I Start Gagging!
Maggots were everywhere; they seem to have multiplied over night! Because with every cut of the blade they poured out of the newly made hole to try and find freedom! Their hopes were cut short as they were swilled down the plug hole by the beady eyed assistant. But the damage had already been done; my head had already likened this new image to a food.
The reason why? There was a large pile of maggots at the end of the slab which looked like a moving bowl of rice!!! At a glance it looked like egg-fried rice from your local takeaway. But upon close inspection was a pile of wriggling, body feasting maggots! Funnily enough I couldn’t face eating rice for a good few weeks! Even now when my husband asks if I’d like Thai or Indian for dinner I still think about the massive moving pile of rice!
5 - Porridge
I’m not a fan of this for breakfast; the warm milk mixed with oats takes on the texture and taste of wall paper paste. Whatever you eat, the chemical reactions and churning in your stomach turns any food you eat in to something similar to porridge. For some reason there is also orange carrot like chunks present. Therefore if you put this delightful combination together you get porridge with carrot! As far as I’m aware this is not an edible combination in the first place.
There is a particular moment during the autopsy when the stomach is held up and opened by the pathologist. The lumpy chunky porridge-like contents is poured in to a pot for us to freeze and I never fail to gag at the sight and smell!! (Read 9 exhibits I hate to pick up if you want more gore!)
6 - Chocolate Mousse
You will never guess what this is, not in a million years. Luckily I’ve only ever seen it twice but that is two times too many! When you picture a brain you will probably have the pink, plump wiggly lined image in your head yeah? I’d say you were correct 99% of the time. The other 1% you might not even want to know about.
Be Warned, This Could Ruin One Of Your Favourite Foods!!!!!!!
If you die and are not found for a very long time then naturally your body starts to decompose. The brain is one of the first organs to break down. Naturally I had given no thought to what this could look like.
So imagine my surprise the first time I witnessed this disgusting vision first hand. An autopsy had been started on body but was stopped when something unusual was found in the skull. A specialist was called and when the body was uncovered there was a metal bowl in the body bag too, very odd! What is this for and what on earth is in it, it smells horrendous!? “That’s the brain” I’m told.
What the hell??
This Would Put Anyone Off Food Forever Surely!
“No, I think you have it wrong, that looks like a cross between cat food and chocolate mousse”.
Where is the actual brain? Apparently this is the brain. It had turned in to a brown lumpy liquid similar to gone off chocolate mousse! Horrendously revolting! Click, photo done and now take it away from me!!
I Hoped I Would Never See That Again!
The second time around when there was a similar decomposed body I was more prepared. However this time it would be like watching a 3d horror show. This brain was still in the skull, which was in the process of being sawn open. This posed a problem for everyone as each organ has to be weighed, and technically this wasn't really an organ any more, more like mush!
A bowl was being held at the ready underneath, and I was hovering close-by, ready to capture the moment on camera when the liquid brain starts oozing out. My life!!!! Where was this in the job description???? I think I’ll have to end it there as I’m gagging! I cannot face eating chocolate mousse any more as it just reminds of a silver bowl in an autopsy!
7 - Calamari
I've had to add this is at the last minute as once again the human body has only last week decided to imitate another of my favourite foods and put me off it!
Everyone has heard of spinal cord but I doubt most people, even in my job will ever get to see it. It's definitely not the worst part of your body to look at, but it really didn't need to resemble what it did!
So after the vertebrae were sawn open from inside (yes inside) this pale wobbly fleshy cord was pulled out. Once cleaned up it looked exactly like a piece of calamari without the batter or breadcrumb coating! How on earth am I ever going to be able to eat that again without thinking back to that body!
I'm going to run out of things I actually CAN eat at this rate.
Luckily for you I have come to the end of my list for now, but who knows what this week will bring!
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Let me set the record straight and tell you what it’s really like to be at an autopsy and what perils await us CSI’s. We are used to being in this environment but sometimes even we can be squeamish!
How do you identify a body which is badly decomposed? Read on to find out about tricks CSI’s use to forensically identify corpses
I have created especially for you a list of the 9 most unpleasant exhibits that I personally hate to pick up. They definately do not show this on CSI Miami, but I can assure you it’s all true. You may never complain about your day job again once you have got to the bottom.
Enjoy……..you probably won’t though!
The reality is that if you die in the warm weather or in your house with the heating on and you aren’t found for a while the result is not going to be pleasant. It’s a fact! You will swell up, turn a different colour and you will smell horrendous! The stench of a dead person is very unique and not one you will ever forget.