There has long been debate over lobsters’ ability to feel pain, primarily as a result of the controversial cooking method of boiling or steaming them alive. Numerous countries have banned the practice, requiring that the crustaceans be killed first by stabbing them in the head or electrocuting them before cooking.
But the owner of a lobster restaurant in Southwest Harbor, Maine has a different idea for making the execution more humane, rooted in compassion and the fact that lobsters have been found to have an endocannabinoid system.
As an experiment, Charlotte Gill, owner of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound, placed a lobster named Roscoe into a covered box with a few inches of water before blowing cannabis smoke inside.
Afterward, Gill removed the rubber bands from Roscoe’s claws and kept them off for three weeks, watching for adverse effects. During that time, the lobster did not wield his claws as weapons and seemed to have an impact on the other lobsters in the tank.
Following the experiment, Gill released Roscoe back into the ocean.
Gill holds a medicinal cannabis caregiver license and plans to sedate all lobsters with personally-grown cannabis during the next season while still offering customers the option of choosing the traditional cooking method.
For anyone wondering if the process turns the lobster into an edible, Gill says that it does not, due to the fact that THC breaks down completely at 392°, and the temperature during the steaming reaches 420°.
“The difference it makes within the meat itself is unbelievable,” Gill told the Mount Desert Islander. “Everything you put in your body is energy.”
Under new procedures researched and developed by Gill and her employees, a larger tank will be used to hold lobsters while cannabis smoke is pumped into the water to sedate them before steaming and picking.