Thanksgiving, Patriotism and Right-Sized Eating

For Thanksgiving I’ll suggest (and practice myself) a novel idea: to not eat a great deal. Just a normal-sized meal, with more sociability than usual.

“Unpatriotic!” I can imagine you criticizing me. “Killjoy!” “The economy would nosedive!” “Anti-consumption equals Anti-Christ!” (OK, pardon my drama.)

In truth, I’m very patriotic. I love our forebears. In fact I suggest we be more like them — by not being overweight and not wasting so many resources in the process. For example, it takes 441 gallons of water to produce a single pound of meat, versus seven gallons for a pound of wheat. If we’re wondering how Atlanta will resolve its drought problem, maybe reduced consumption of meat should go onto the table.

And the average food item Americans eat travels more than 1,500 fossil-fueled miles to reach us. My household subscribes to a local farm for weekly doorstep deliveries. Lowered dependence on foreign oil: very patriotic.

As for our GDP: to the degree that our national economy depends on overeating (and overconsumption in general) it is ill and needs to recover. A group of Americans resolving to eat moderately this Thanksgiving can be a step toward that recovery. Write in and take Alison Wiley’s Thanksgiving Moderation Pledge.

I’ll close with a little self-disclosure. When I eat normal-sized meals I retain my normal personality afterward: alert, friendly, affectionate. (At least my husband thinks so.) When I eat to excess I become slow and stupid, almost as if drugged. How about you?

I’m not a nutritionist, but from what I gather, human stomachs can’t digest enormous amounts of food dumped into them. It piles up and putrefies, making us gassy and grumpy. How patriotic is that? And how sexy?

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1 Response to “Thanksgiving, Patriotism and Right-Sized Eating”


  1. 1 James Milestone November 22, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    Well, it is Thanksgiving morning. Hope you have a good one. Liked your veiled sarcasm. Cant wait to hear the rest of it…Have a happy day!


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