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3 Popular Thanksgiving Myths

Thanksgiving dinner: friends, family … and lies! 

 

November 2023

Script

Thanksgiving: a day of food, family, and ... lies!

There’s a common misconception about nearly every item on your Thanksgiving table.

For instance: that pumpkin pie you look forward to every year? It probably doesn’t contain any actual pumpkin (at least not the kind you’re thinking of).

Most pumpkin pies are made using canned pumpkin — and most canned pumpkin contains predominantly “Dickinson pumpkin” ... which is actually a variety of squash that looks nothing like what most of us think of as a pumpkin.i

(It turns out the familiar orange gourds we know and love don’t taste very good.)

Thanksgiving myths aren’t limited to the dessert course.

The idea that high levels of tryptophan in turkey make you tired is total gobbledygook ... (emphasis on the “gobble”).

Tryptophan is found in all sorts of protein-heavy foods, not just turkey.

So, it’s more likely that, if you feel like napping after Thanksgiving dinner ... it’s because you ate and drank too much.ii

Speaking of which, we’ve all been getting bad advice about how to avoid getting sick on holiday booze.

“Beer before liquor, never been sicker” has a nice ring to it.

But there’s no evidence that mixing alcohol in any particular order makes you less likely to get ill.iii Whether you get sick or not mainly depends on *how much* you drink.

And, at Thanksgiving, how much you drink ... probably depends on your relatives.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  1. Most pumpkin pies aren’t made using traditional pumpkins. 
  2. Tryptophan is common in protein-heavy foods, so turkey isn’t uniquely responsible for making people sleepy. 
  3. The order in which you drink different kinds of alcohol doesn’t affect whether you get sick. 

Sources

  1. "The Great Pumpkin-Pie Conspiracy" (Rachel Gutman-Wei)  The Atlantic
  2. "Mayo Clinic Minute: Don’t Blame the Turkey for Being Tired" (Jason Howland)  Mayo Clinic
  3. "The Claim: Mixing Types of Alcohol Makes You Sick" (Anahad O'Connor)  New York Times

Shownotes

SOUND: "Chipper Roundtripper" (Mark Wolfram)

FOOTAGE: Cavan Images, Bloomberg Creative Photos (Getty) // CITED SOURCES AND NEWS OUTLETS ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH AND HAVE NOT ENDORSED OR SPONSORED ANY PORTION OF THIS PRODUCTION. 

Sources

  1. The Atlantic
    "The Great Pumpkin-Pie Conspiracy" (Rachel Gutman-Wei)
  2. Mayo Clinic
    "Mayo Clinic Minute: Don’t Blame the Turkey for Being Tired" (Jason Howland)
  3. New York Times
    "The Claim: Mixing Types of Alcohol Makes You Sick" (Anahad O'Connor)

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