Wednesday, November 26, 2008


This Thanksgiving, **** the food fascists

Editor's Note: This post first appeared in November of last year.

In addition to Thanksgiving Day itself, there are quite a few certainties during Thanksgiving Week: falling leaves, 14-pound day after Thanksgiving newspapers, Christmas commercials, football games featuring the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions, and "very special" holiday-themed movies on Lifetime.

Something else we can count on 'round Thanksgiving are bevies of "experts" coming out of the woodwork to tell us how much/what we should eat when turkey-time arrives. They say, "Don't overdo it" ... "Substitute [this] for [that]" ... "Avoid [this] entirely." If and when I ever come face to face with one of these food fascists, this is what I'll tell him or her:

Well, let's just say lots of four-letter will fly.

In the United States, there are two holidays during which food plays an important - nay, integral - part: Thanksgiving and Christmas. (While it's not an official holiday, I guess you could add Super Bowl Sunday to the list; but that day is known as much, if not more, for drinkin' than it is for eatin'.) Not only is food itself an integral part of these holidays, there are certain foodstuffs that are associated with 'em as well:

Turkey, giblet gravy, dressing, mashed taters, ham, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, rolls as big as your head, pumpkin pie, and assorted candies, cakes, wines and cheeses. We don't have a constitutional right to these things on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we sure as hell should.

Which brings me back to the food fascists. This past weekend, MSNBC re-posted an AP story from 2004 in which an anonymous author made the following statement vis-à-vis Thanksgiving:

"[Here's] what your plate should look like: a serving of turkey no larger than a deck of playing cards and half a cup each of two starches. (A half-cup is about the size of a computer mouse.)

"And that’s being generous."

The above-mentioned article also features this little chart:

● Try eating a little of everything, but that means just a few bites.

● Eat only the unique foods. Mashed potatoes and turkey may be traditional, but they also are easily had any day of the week. Instead, use those calories for ... more seasonal items.

● Fill up on salad and vegetables before heading for the turkey and candied sweet potatoes. Then if you are still hungry, hit the vegetables again after the turkey to reduce the amount of dessert you eat.

● Visualize your stomach; it’s about the size of two fists. If the food on your plate won’t fit, cut back.

Slices of turkey no bigger than a deck of cards?! A half-cup of dressing?! No mashed taters?! Salad?! See what I mean about wantin' a blankin' break?

Look, I'm a big boy. I don't need anyone - anonymous online "experts" included - to tell me what to eat and/or how much to eat during the holidays. I'll admit, I usually eat too much on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, as well as each day after (them left-overs gotta go somewhere). I'm smart enough to know, however, that if I engage in a two-day pig-out twice a year, I'm not going to freakin' die as a result; and I know that I'm not going to contract diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, herpes, HIV, etc. if, at one sitting, I eat enough turkey breast to fill my 7 3/8-size Brooklyn Cyclones hat.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: when a man's gotta eat, a man's gotta eat ... especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don't need no busybody, know-it-all food fascist to instruct me otherwise.

Pass the gravy ...

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