Can I Eat That? is a learning tool that embraces the natural curiosity of children.
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Bold Biz: Fatherly

Fatherly is a platform for new dads who want to be better dads! We sat down with their editor, Joshua David Stein, to discuss some of the fun tools they provide to new dads.

Posted by BoldTV on Tuesday, November 28, 2017

As a writer tackling both food and parenting advice, Joshua David Stein is uniquely qualified to write an original take on the cookbook. Initially conceived as a project to teach his child about what’s edible and what isn’t, Can I Eat That? is a learning tool that embraces the natural curiosity of children, answering quite a bit more than its eponymous question.

Why it was written

The book is an example of a unique idea building on an established one. There are tons of cookbooks for purchase and even more recipes to be found online. Parents looking to cook with their kids have tons of options. But how do you introduce children to not only the concept of cooking, but to the practice of appreciating food? Coupled with Julia Rothman’s stylized depictions of the foods in question, Can I Eat That? provides kids with a fun way to learn about food they might not normally consider edible — such as the sea urchin, which Stein actually credits as the impetus for the book. After stepping on a stray sea urchin on a Hawaiian beach, he had a discussion with his son about whether you can eat one. Apparently, the creature’s gonads are a delicacy.

Of course, Stein uses the phrase “bright orange strips of meat” to euphemistically describe the food’s origins. This is known as “uni” in Japan. On a page alongside an orange and an olive, Stein places the uni. It’s clear that he’s writing from the perspective of a food critic attempting to introduce foods to children that they’d normally not discover or think of as edible.


You’re not the target audience, and you probably don’t have kids, but it’s hard to not respect the idea. If you’ve got a unique idea and a perspective, share it with the world and see what happens!

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Posted 12.12.2017 - 10:00 am EDT