Saturday, 29 April 2017


I just finished cutting and cubing a watermelon. I am exhausted by the effort, the weight of the melon, the work of the cutting. Yet I really like watermelon, and I really like the process of cutting and cubing it into bite sized pieces I can pick up with a fork. This bowl of watermelon chunks beside me will become my snack, perhaps lunch too.

Given the amount of energy I used in carrying, cutting, and cubing this watermelon, I wonder if it is a net negative food for me? Do I use more energy in producing, eating, and digesting than I gain from the food itself? Probably.

There are no "negative calorie" foods. All foods deliver a calorie content. Digesting any food only consumes about 10% to 20% of its caloric value. So if someone else did all the work, carried the melon, cut the melon, and cubed it for me, then I would have a positive calorie gain. This 1 Kg. bowl of melon has only about 300 calories in it. I think the work effort on my part used a lot more than 300 calories.

I love to prepare food. Given that I am losing muscle mass already, preparing food is something I have to consider in my life. If the work of making and eating exceeds the benefit to my body, I should likely not do it. That will not happen, however, with watermelon. I want to eat it. I want to cut and cube it for myself. If there is nobody here to do it for me, then I will do it for myself. It's worth it. I'll make up for it by eating a big batch of Risotto along with it for lunch. There's your caloric intake!

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