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It is that time of year—summer—which of course means barbeques and picnics galore! Neighbors and friends get together to share food that has been grilled or pulled out from an icy cooler. If you are anything like us, you cannot help but look at the food with a bit of skepticism. Did they really cook the meat long enough? Is that cooler at the right temperature to preserve the food? Will I get food poisoning? To help temper your paranoia, we present you a list of five characters who have eaten strange items and didn’t get food poisoning (at least in the standard sense of the term).

 

Persephone from Greek Mythology

Apparently you can eat food from the Underworld and not get any indigestion. When Persephone eats pomegranate seeds from Hades’ kingdom, she doesn’t have any side effects. At least, not when it comes to her physical health. She does have to return to the Underworld because she consumed the seeds. On second thought, maybe that is the equivalent of food poisoning for immortals.

 

Count Ugolino from The Inferno by Dante Alighieri

Dante makes us think of Hell’s Kitchen in a whole new way. Count Ugolino must spend eternity gnawing on the Archbishop Ruggieri degli Ubaldini’s head. How did he end up in this ninth circle of hell? Well, it is a long story, but the theme of betrayal plays a huge role. Basically, don’t do it. Although he has to snack on the Archbishop’s head for eternity (and let’s face it, that’s pretty terrible), Count Ugolino does take a moment of rest to chat with Dante. That is something, right?

 

Alice from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

We have got to hand it to Alice: the girl has guts. It takes a certain kind of person to eat or drink something without really understanding its purpose or potential consequences. In fact, that would be a huge reason for many people not to partake in these refreshments. Alice did shrink and grow a bit too large, but she doesn’t experience any other symptoms of physical discomfort. In the end, she does return to her original size, so we would say there is no harm done.

 

Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Like Alice, Violet is a girl who is not afraid to experiment with food. In this case, Violet willingly chews gum that she knows is still in its testing phase. As a result, she takes on the flavor and essence of the gum and turns into a blueberry. Let this be a lesson to you folks: always wait for food to be approved by the FDA. Sure, it may not give you food poisoning, but you could spend the rest of your life as a piece of fruit. And we all know that is not a very good look on anyone.

 

Baz from Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

There are so many vampires in literature to choose from. There is the classic Count Dracula. There is the sparkly, dreamy Edward Cullen from the Twilight series. But the vampire who really sticks out in our minds for having an iron stomach is Baz. Like all vampires, he does drink blood, but he is pretty principled about it—he drinks blood from rats in very creepy places. Instead of making him ill, blood actually gives Baz strength and is a necessary part of his diet. We lobby that there is a new food pyramid created for vampires. 


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Sarah Fox's picture

Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox is an editor, writer, writing consultant, and pop culture enthusiast. Besides regularly contributing to Quirk Books’ blog, she has published an edition of William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and Pembroke Welsh Corgi. You can find her online at www.thebookishfox.com.