If some day we managed to travel to another planet, and discovered aliens, what is the likelihood that we could eat them?
What do you think?
People have already mentioned Molecular Chirality & noted that most of earth's organisms use (& can only process with Enzymes) Left (L) Handed chirality. I did want to mention that Right (R) Handed molecules do show up occasionally, they just can't be properly processed by our Left Handed Enzymes. Also, R molecules taste sweet to our taste buds, so R-based Alien life forms could be tasty, just indigestible.
The aspect of Alien Life that hasn't been mentioned yet is the probability that it could trigger an Immune Response & even Anaphylaxis. Even a single bite could cause your immune system to go on the warpath, attacking everything in sight - eventually causing your lungs to fill with fluid & your throat to swell closed, quickly killing you.
The Color of Distance by Amy Thompson is a science fiction novel that addresses some of the difficulties of visiting alien worlds. In the book, humans must live in completely sealed off from the xenobiology, as the slightest contact with any of the local environment will trigger an intense immune response (Anaphylaxis) that would potentially be lethal.
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