ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — Get Ready For Lutefisk Season …

According to the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists have isolated the gene that causes people to eat lutefisk.

The news was greeted with jubilation in the lutefisk-eating community, which hopes the discovery that the desire for lutefisk is genetic will lead to greater acceptance of their eating habits.

“This study strikes a great blow to the forces of lute phobia,” said lutefisk activist Elmer Bjorgland. “No longer can they say we eat lutefisk by choice.”

Bjorgland, who first became aware of his love for lutefisk at age 9, said the discovery should provide encouragement to young people coming to terms with their emerging feelings for the glutinous delicacy.

“If eating lutefisk is not our choice, we can no longer be discriminated against.  We are only doing what is natural to us,” Bjorgland said at a press conference Tuesday.  Ivan Stern, chairman of the Coalition Against Lye-Laced Food, disagrees. “Our efforts to show that lutefisk eating is wrong will continue,” he said in a prepared statement issued to the press.

“This is just the beginning. Soon, radical lutefisk activists will want lutefisk on the menus of our public school lunch programs,” Stern said, adding that if that happens, he would educate his children at home.

Bjorgland claims that the anti-lutefisk forces are overreacting and points to a recent report by the National Association of Lutheran Theologians which goes so far as to condone the consumption of lutefisk “in moderation.”

Stern replies that Lutherans have been soft on the lutefisk issue from the very beginning.

“The Lutheran church was strangely silent on this reprehensible habit,” Stern said, until the recent convocation confirmed that the church would give its blessing to those who openly eat the lye-soaked cod dish.

This essay is taken from Eric Bergeson’s “Down on the Farm,” now available for Kindle.

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