Comfort eating and the US election: What’s cooking at your house?

I’m just back from the grocery store, wearing a pantsuit, and thinking hopeful thoughts about the US election, though I’m a Canadian and I can’t vote #ImWithHer.

I’m an optimist at heart, mostly relentlessly cheery, though I confess I get more nervous as I age about the long dark days of fall (without much outdoor riding to keep me going!)

Lots of friends are sharing recipes for elaborate election night cocktails but I’m not a drinker. There are no plans at my house for Hilary specific boozy drinks. (I’m not contemplating the alternative.) But I thinking about dinner plans and what kinds of food will make me feel good. That was my first shopping challenge. The second was that I’m shopping for fewer people these days with just one kid left at home, in his last year of high school, and I need to keep better track of the things I buy so I don’t end up throwing food away. That wasn’t such a big problem with three kids and their friends eating here on a regular basis.

I opted for cauliflower stuffed pasta and bruschetta. Also salted caramel ice cream for dessert.

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Oh, and before I get comments telling me that comfort eating is a bad thing, let me just say I disagree. Some of you will call it “emotional eating” or “eating your feelings” and I wouldn’t mind that language except it usually comes with judgement, as if that were a bad thing. Food serves many different roles in our lives. We use food to mark special occasions and to bond with family. We also eat some foods because they make us feel better. That’s okay sometimes too.

Actually there’s lots to hate about the whole “emotional eating” language. It assumes again you can know something about someone from their size. It assumes that if you take care of your mental and emotional health your weight will fix itself. And that you can tell that people–and here pretty much we mean women–are emotionally unstable, because they’re fat. Just no.

Here’s two pieces in defense of emotional eating:

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What’s for dinner at your house tonight? Any comfort foods on the menu? I vote for creme brulee. I confess this image amused me (is this the bad stuff in her email, really?) and made me just a bit sad (wow, even such a powerful politician isn’t safe from moralizing language about food.)

About Sam B

Philosopher, feminist, parent, and cyclist!

5 thoughts on “Comfort eating and the US election: What’s cooking at your house?

  1. I really enjoyed this new perspective! Also your dinner sounds delicious 😊. My culture has always surrounded food and occasions. I have been shamed for it but it’s nice to see the positive connotations

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  2. klyse3 says:

    I’m making four cheese ravioli with alfredo sauce and chicken–definitely comfort food & no shame here! I’m in favor of emotional eating most of the time. But I often don’t eat well when I’m upset, which I worry about. Not because I’m counting calories, but because emotional eating often means I’m not taking care of myself/getting the nutrients I need.

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  3. marycycle says:

    We’re eating POWER foods: Salmon, kale, with dark chocolate and celebration cava (Spanish champagne) for dessert! When Pres. Obama was elected, we knew the results here in Arizona at 7 pm. Can’t wait for tonight! #ImWithHer

    Liked by 1 person

  4. G says:

    My husband’s cooking steak and I’m going to insist he steam some sweet potatoes and we’ll probably have leftover rice too. No drinking since we’re both sick with colds. We’ll probably watch something lighthearted and ignore the news. East coast here, so I probably won’t know the results until tomorrow morning…

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  5. On election night we had breakfast sandwiches, tots, and grapes. Breakfast for dinner is always a comforting dinner in our house.

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