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The Surprising Reason Gwyneth Paltrow Won’t Eat Octopus


SheKnows Editorial

Do you ever have existential food moments when you think a little harder about what you’re actually eating and it starts to feel kind of wrong or gross? Like, “Yum, this pasta with Parmesan cheese is delicious! But grated Parmesan is actually made from cellulose, which comes from wood, so basically I’m eating… pasta sprinkled with sawdust right now?!”

Well, it looks like Gwyneth Paltrow has those moments too. She recently schooled some of her Goop employees on Slack when one of them suggested trying the barbecued octopus at a Los Angeles restaurant. “Octopus are too smart to be food,” she told them. And lest you think that sounds crazy, hear her out. “They have more neurons in their brains than we do. I had to stop eating them because I was so freaked out by it.”

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Yeah, that is a little freaky. Octopuses are apparently so smart that they can navigate mazes, problem-solve and even remember the solutions to those problems for future use. They also play, which comparative psychologist Jennifer Mather told Scientific American is “something that intelligent animals do.” Give two octopuses a ball and they’ll play catch, just like humans do. They’re smart enough to get bored and also have individual personalities according to Mather.

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Paltrow also pointed out that octopuses “can escape from sea world and shit by unscrewing drains and going out to sea,” something that can be confirmed by watching (spoiler alert) Finding Dory. While Paltrow did overstate the intelligence of the octopus in terms of brain strength (they have about 500 million neurons, while humans have 100 billion), they’re still cunning, playful creatures.

It’s easy to give Paltrow flak for some of her more bizarre ideas (um, vaginal steaming, anyone?), but with all the evidence in tow, it’s hard to argue with her decision not to nosh on octopus.

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