The Western European cultural habit of eating three square meals a day “is anti-science, racist, and might actually be making you sick,” according to Mother Jones, the lefty magazine.
Mother Jones writer Kiera Butler explains that eating at certain times is racist because European people initiated the practice in the Middle Ages, imported it to North America and then discerned that Native American tribes were eating on different schedules.
“Sometimes, when food was scarce, they fasted. The Europeans took this as ‘evidence that natives were uncivilized,'” Butler writes, quoting Abigail Carroll, the author of “Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal.”
“Civilized people ate properly and boundaried their eating, thus differentiating themselves from the animal kingdom, where grazing is the norm,” Carroll proclaims. European settlers also watched American Indian dining routines “as a form of entertainment,” the author contends.
The settlers whom Carroll refers to are not clear. During the winter of 1609 and 1610, the colonists of Jamestown likely did some fasting because all but 60 out of 500 of them died over a period of a few months.
Neither Mother Jones nor Carroll mention whether an Indian ever observed a European eating.
The progressive piece then briefly reflects on the evolution of eating customs in North America. People began to eat more meat because they could afford it. Breakfasts got bigger and tastier.
“In an effort to rein in caloric intake, nutritionists began advising people to eat a lighter breakfast — and marketers pounced on the opportunity,” she writes. “In 1897, brothers Will Keith Kellogg and John Harvey Kellogg introduced corn flakes as healthy alternative to heavy breakfasts.”
The first known use of the word nutritionist was in 1926, nearly three decades after 1897, according to Merriam-Webster, but never mind.
(Mother Jones also charges that the Kellogg brothers deviously hoped to promote vegetarianism because they were Seventh Day Adventists.)
Breakfast became “the most important meal of the day,” which is a grave and serious problem, the magazine intones, because some scientists currently believe that “it doesn’t make a whit of difference whether you eat breakfast or not.”
The Mother Jones piece then cites no fewer than four scientists for the proposition that you should feel free to eat whenever you want, if for some bizarre reason you feel constrained to eat only at three particular times during each day.
One of the studies, by a National Institute on Aging scientist Mark Mattson, showed that mice which “fast” — or, at any rate, which are cruelly forced by Matteson to starve — “are leaner and live longer than their nonskipping counterparts.” Mice which starved also had “more robust brain cells” in the experiments.
In another study, Salk Institute biologist Satchidananda Panda forced some mice to eat all their daily food within an eight-hour window. Those mice “were less likely to develop metabolic diseases like diabetes” than mice unencumbered by intrusive scientists.