March 5, 1939
Goncins comes to love the taste of raw fish, preferring it over anything in France, and also thinks that fish helps warm the body better than carbs in rice.
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"It wants very little time to return to the primitive. Already I had ceased to feel the need of the appurtenances of our civilization; and yet I had been reared in a far degree of comfort, I was rather more than less sensitive than the average, and I was even, in a manner of speaking , an "intellectual." After a brief few weeks, all this had dropped away from me. I do not mean that I had stopped yearning for telephones and motor cars, things I should always be able to live without. I mean that the thought of a daily change of linen was gone from my mind; that a joint of beef would not have made my mouth water, and I loved the taste of frozen fish, particualrly if it had frozen instanteously and retained its pristine savour all through the winter. As a matter of fact, I do not remember being served anything in France as much to my taste.
Besides, Father Henry was perfectly right: the white man's diet would never have lent me the power of resistance needed for this life. Boiled rice warmed you while you ate it, but its warmth died out of you almost as soon as it was eaten. Frozen fish worked the other way: you did not feel its radiation immediately; but twenty minutes later it began to warm you and it kept you warm for hours. As for raw meat, with its higher vitamin content, the advantage of eating it frozen was that you could absorb enormous quantities of it; and after a hard day on the trail there was no end to what you ate. Even the taste for rotted food came in time, through I never reached the point of considering it a delicacy. "In the beginning," Father Henry admitted, "I was like you; I always chose the freshest piece. But one day I happened upon a bit of ti-pi, the high meat, and I said to myself, 'Mm! not bad!' Since then fresh meat has seemed to me almost tasteless.