Does human flesh tastes like pork? I have heard from TV shows that it may taste like pork or chicken.


Actually, by some reports from cannibalistic tribes, human flesh is reported to taste more of pork than chicken. The chicken taste is actually more of a joke (EVERYTHING tastes like chicken).

I did find this first hand account: William Buehler Seabrook, a journalist with the New York Times, traveled to West Africa and lived with the Guere tribe. He asked the chief what human meat tasted like, but the chief couldn't describe it to Seabrook's satisfaction. Seabrook had the opportunity to try it himself, from a man who had recently died in an accident. He got a portion of stew with rice as well as a "sizeable rump steak, also a small loin roast to cook or have cooked" however he wanted. In his book "Jungle Ways," he described it as follows:

"It was like good, fully developed veal, not young, but not yet beef. It was very definitely like that, and it was not like any other meat I had ever tasted. It was so nearly like good, fully developed veal that I think no person with a palate of ordinary, normal sensitiveness could distinguish it from veal. It was mild, good meat with no other sharply defined or highly characteristic taste such as for instance, goat, high game, and pork have. The steak was slightly tougher than prime veal, a little stringy, but not too tough or stringy to be agreeably edible. The roast, from which I cut and ate a central slice, was tender, and in color, texture, smell as well as taste, strengthened my certainty that of all the meats we habitually know, veal is the one meat to which this meat is accurately comparable."

The Polynesians and Melanesians in the South Pacific called Europeans 'Long Pig' because they claimed their flesh tasted sweet like pork and much different compared to their neighbors. American firefighters often cannot stand the smell of bacon because it reminds them of burnt human flesh.

So we have two opinions: veal and pork.

As with any meat sold in the market, the taste will vary depending on what the person was raised on. A high-pork diet such as Europeans have, will result in a "pork" flavor. A high beef diet will result in a taste of veal (such as the quote above). An all-fish or vegan diet will probably produce a completely different taste.

As for heath effects, many are concerned about possible prion diseases associated with eating human flesh.

Prion diseases, a group of uncommon and deadly brain diseases, can be spread by eating the contaminated flesh of humans or other animals. The human brain is more contaminated with prions than other body parts, though bone marrow, the spinal cord and the small intestine also contain these fatal brain-eating malformations. Prion diseases occur when the prion protein misfolds, causing a cascade of misfolding prion proteins that clump in the brain and damage or destroy nerve cells, creating sponge-like holes. Current examples include kuru and Creutzfeld-Jacob disease in humans, and mad cow disease in animals, both of which cause brain deterioration, loss of motor control and ultimately death.

In the early 20th century, a kuru epidemic devastated the Fore, a tribe of cannibals in the eastern highlands of Papua New Guinea. The kuru epidemic was linked to a Fore ritual of feasting on the brains of the dead. In the mid-1950s, Australian authorities banned these feasts. After this, the incidence of kuru declined, and no new cases have cropped up in people born since the ban.

Not to mention the psychological effects on cultures that view cannibalism as taboo!

EDIT TO ADD: In all my survival training, I was never instructed or even suggested to eat other people (or drink my own piss). Training may differ for the Royal Navy though!

  • 2
    I am going to assume that's a dig against the other sites. :) I try to even give somewhat silly questions serious answers. Jun 20 '11 at 1:05
  • 3
    It's my way of saying our answers are far superior.
    – Borror0
    Jun 20 '11 at 1:06
  • 3
    This is an awesome answer! but it makes me sick @.@
    – Sufendy
    Jun 20 '11 at 1:47
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    +1 for being the only other person to reference Kuru in an answer! Now.. back to the plumbing. Jun 20 '11 at 4:53
  • 1
    Drinking your own piss wouldn't be wise anyway, because of the amounts of salt. It would speed up dehydration. If you distill it, it's just water and should work again. Mar 18 '13 at 10:16

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