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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Eating Season

Current music: St. Elmo’s Fire – John Parr
It occurred to me this morning that the two months starting with Hallowe’en and ending with New Year’s Day could be called “Eating Season,” at least in the US, Canada, and maybe Europe. Why do we have so many holidays at this time of year that involve candy, big meals, or both?

It actually makes sense if you look at it on an instinctual level. This is the time of year when non-tropical creatures are working on storing up fuel for the winter. Winter fat has a couple of survival advantages: one, you have a reserve when regular food gets hard to come by; two, fat insulates, so you don’t burn as many calories to stay warm. Calories, after all, are a measure of heat... although a dietetic calorie is 1000 “chemical” calories (or a “kilocalorie”). I don’t know why. So it makes sense that we, on a sub-conscious level, would look for excuses to load up on the chow this time of year.

Nowadays, we have other ways to survive the winter. Grocery stores are well-stocked with fresh produce from South America, we have nice warm houses (if we don’t forget to order fuel for the furnace, of course), and most of us have warm jackets if and when we do have to go outside. But racial habits, built on over thousands of years, are the hardest of all to break. So this year, I'm not going to worry about how much I eat during Eating Season. If I feel led to try a little of everything, I will. A little of everything. I’ll try to get outside more over the winter, letting Mother Nature burn those calories for me.


  1. I don't think eating around the holidays has much to do with "storing up energy for the winter". It has more to do with huge portions at Thanksgiving and X-mas and eating those wonderful cookies that seem to be in every office and house. Of course if it were easy to limit portions then I might as well say that I'll hit the gym everyday too. ;)

    BTW, when did you figure out it was me? I thought I'd have some fun with you, I really like your blog.

  2. Oh, I'd figured it out at your first post. Look at my response (which I can't seem to find at the moment) again: "I can relate... maybe more closely than usual".

    You're right about the huge portions, but have you ever wondered why we have "eating" holidays that involve those huge portions at this time of year? Sure, there's Memorial Day & July 4, but they tend to be picnics or BBQ rather than humongous spreads. It probably helps that there's a ball game in those early summer outings... but then again, did you ever get in on the football games in the snow at Grandma's place? I don't remember.

    Glad you like the blog, too. I see you have a name for yours picked out, but you haven't started it yet. You ought to... you might not have diarrhea of the keyboard like I do, but surely you have something to say. Write about what interests you.

  3. Speaking of thanksgiving I'm hosting my 3rd dinner at my house. I'll brine a 15 lbs turkey and grill it, and make oyster stuffing. Sonny gave me his recipe for it and it's great!!

    As soon as I get broadband at my house I'll probably start playing around with my blog. Right now I'm doing all my internet stuff thru work. I'm finally getting most of the big stuff done at the house, all I have left are the french doors and finish the exterior painting.


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