Monday, October 12, 2009

Statistical eating

I have been so busy that I missed my blog-iversary. Yes, Saturday, my blog turned one. It has been a good time to be busy because there is nothing to read on the blogosphere. What is everybody doing that they can't keep my 15 minutes-to-waste filled with interesting things to read?

So, I will post about all I have learned about blogging later, when I have more time, but I thought for now, I will share something I wrote last week.


One night, I am eating dinner a little late because I was writing. My husband had already eaten, but was accompanying me at the table. It was spaghetti and I had heated up some corn because I am weird and that is one of my all-time favorite combinations. I was happily chewing (and talking with my mouth full—how rude!) and I kept coming across little pieces of the cob on the bottoms of the corn kernels. It was a little like chewing straw so I took it out and put it on the edge of my plate (oh shoosh, it's not like I was in a five-star French restaurant).

A few minutes later, hubs points to it and says: “You do that a lot, why don’t you just eat it?”

I told him that it was inedible. He says: “You do that with oranges too, peeling off all the white stuff” (he looks at me like I am so neurotic). I kindly offer that if he doesn’t want to waste the corn cob, he could eat it, and I hold it out to him. He says: “You know me, I’ll eat it.”

Yes, I know, he will.

So I turn it around and say: “Yeah, what is up with that? You talk like I am some neurotic eater, but you eat the entire apple—core and all. I don’t know why you even bother to peel your bananas or oranges at all.”

When he eats something with bones, his prey looks like those fish bones that cats eat in the cartoons—where they put an entire fish in their mouth and pull out just the skeleton. When he eats a chicken leg, the bone is sucked clean—there are no ligaments, cartilage, gristle, nothing. It is impressive and a little nauseating.

Then I added, “But if we polled one hundred people I bet my eating habits would be closer to the norm than yours.

He says: “How many standard deviations away would you be?” (note: SD is the average distance from the average score)

Me: I would be pretty close to the mean (the average). YOU on the other hand, would be on one extreme… you’d probably be an outlier actually (one of those points far away from “normal”).

He is one of those people who will eat things, just so they don’t go to waste. I am all for not wasting, and I don’t think I am “a typical wasteful ‘American,’” but I have food standards. I try to use up what we have and to be conscious of waste etc. But I have limits. I generally don’t eat something past the expiration date. Most leftovers that have been in the fridge past about 5 days are questionable. (I know some people who won’t even go that long.) I’ll go up to a week with something like spaghetti sauce. He’ll eat meat from over a week ago or half-rotten grapes, just so we don’t throw them away. I understand that it probably won’t kill me, but I just can’t do it.

So where are you on the neurotic eating habits? How long are leftovers safe? Do you peel all the pith off of the orange? Will you eat something after the expiration date?

So let's poll my three readers: Are you more like me or are you more like my sweet freak of a husband?


Danielle said...

There is too much for me to say here about food and it's edible and non-edible state. I'll just go ahead, I'm very picky, but I don't like to waste. I will not eat anything questionable looking or smelling and absolutely nothing past the expiration date. Leftovers have a 2-3 day max edibility life. I've only had true food poisoning once (contrary to the belief of my formor employer) and I don't under any circumstances want it again. Making little piles of inedible food on the edge of my plate is a normal thing for me. Especially with meat. I don't eat things I can't chew. Watching your hubs suck the bone clean would probably make me ill. I have a hard time watching Josh eat ribs. Oh, very funny post about the "blink blink"! Must have missed that one earlier.

mosey along said...

I'm with you (and Danielle), mostly. Thankfully, my hubby doesn't eat much meat so I don't have to watch the bone-cleaning. And I can't eat anything if I don't like its texture, no matter how yummy it smells.

My bigger question for you is - do you and your husband really use "standard deviation" and "mean" in conversation? I mean, really? You graduate degree types, honestly.

Annje said...

Danielle--it doesn't bother me to watch him, just the idea of eating all that stuff--I am with you, if I can't easily chew it--it's out.

Mosey--that is word for word our conversation that night, but we don't generally talk like that and neither of us is a stats whiz--our talk is usually poop and defiant behavior like most parents ;-)

Sara said...

LOL! Your conversations are so similar to the ones I have with my boyfriend. Your husband isn't an engineer by chance is he?

Anyways, just this weekend he got after me because I didn't eat some of the cheese that had fallen off of the machas a la parmesana. I was all well it's cold and that grosses me out. Then he picked it up, ate it, and drank the juicy part *GAK* He said his upbringing taught him to eat everything.

Annje said...

Sara--HA! That is what my husband says too. He would totally drink that juice stuff from the machas. He also eats that "seaweed ball" on the machas that I call "poop" and cut out.

Eileen said...

I have the squeam about some food, yes I do, and that's at least 70% of why I don't eat meat. Texture is important, and do you mean to tell me your husband eats the pith of the orange? That's freaking me out.

Yeah, not raised Chilean. Proof number 436, and I knew about standard deviations and statistical outliers, yay!

Annje said...

Eileen... you're only up to 436?

Margaret said...

OK, I'm with the gringas on this one- waste not, want not, but better make sure it's gone before it gets gross!

redqueencjb said...

Haha! Stats jokes! I knew I was doomed when I saw a t-shirt that said "what's your p-value" and laughed so hard I cried. >.<