We’ve all been there. It’s somewhere in the middle of the night, everyone is sleeping and all is quiet. And then, you suddenly remember that amazing pizza leftover from earlier on. Or, maybe the rest of that delicious chocolate cake just sitting there. What’s a little bite going to hurt? And, then maybe you remember someone once told you it’s bad luck to eat in the dark. Oh no! Are you cursed now? Is eating in the dark truly bad luck?
First, let’s try to explore the history of this superstition and see if there’s any truth behind it. This belief actually spans across several cultures in different forms, so maybe there’s a good reason for it! Then, we’ll get to the bottom of it all and see if it’s actually bad luck to eat in the dark. So, let’s dive in, much like how midnight snackers dive into a sweet pint of incredible ice cream.
Eating In The Dark And Diet Myths
Eating in the dark usually means eating at night. And, eating at night has all sorts of controversial beliefs around it. Some people believe if you eat certain foods you’ll have nightmares. Cheese and milk are said to cause all sorts of scary dreams! Others say you’ll have a restless night’s sleep because your body will be too busy digesting the food instead of resting. After all, how can you sleep with indigestion? Or, your metabolism slows down and you’ll gain weight leading to all sorts of health issues.
Well, believe it or not, science says the jury is still out on whether late night snacking is any better or worse than eating during the rest of the day. The reality is, it depends entirely on the individual.
However, eating later at night does probably mess with your sleeping schedule. If you’re late night eating something especially high calorie, you might take longer to settle down to sleep afterwards. So, we’ll have to put a big maybe for justification for this superstition because of this option.
Watch What You Eat Literally
Often times with superstitions, we must remember that they might possibly be from a different time. That’s right, think way, way back in the day. You know, the times before you could just open up the nice cold fridge for a quick bite. Let’s think back to when you would have had to light a candle to go out to the outhouse kind of times. How would you feel about eating in the dark then?
Of course, back then there probably wasn’t a lot of on demand readily available food. Anything that might have been sitting around would have been unrefrigerated and possibly unsealed. After all, there wasn’t plastic wrap or easy open food containers. Well, unless you count jars.
So, it was probably pretty important to have good sights on what you were eating. There could be bugs, mold, spoiled, nibbled on by mice, or rotten parts of whatever you were eating, among countless other things. You definitely needed to watch what you were eating in clear light. If not, it was probably pretty easy to get sick and run into some bad luck! So, in this context, it might make a lot of sense that eating in the dark was bad luck.
It’s also probably good practice to eat in the light because if you were to choke, other people could see and help you. That’s definitely some pretty bad luck if you were to choke in the dark!
Are You Dining With The Devil?
In some parts of Africa, it is a belief that when you eat in the dark you eat with the devil or demons. Because of this, it’s said that you might consume something poisonous and attract bad luck. The superstition even says that if the lights go out while you are eating, you should stop immediately just in case!
This makes sense because eating in the dark is a little foolish for practical reasons mentioned before. You can’t really see what you’re eating so you have no idea. I actually had this happen to me once during a late night snack. I went to reach for a chocolate covered donut and eventually when I looked down I noticed it was covered in ants. Gross! I already took a bite before I noticed. Yuck! I felt as if I had been tricked by a demon at the time for sure.
But, are malicious demons waiting around for the lights to go out to poison you? It’s unlikely. If demons were powerful enough to poison you, they could probably do so in broad daylight. Of course, that depends entirely on your belief system. And, in some traditional African beliefs, one is more susceptible to evil while they are eating. Because of this, it’s also said to be bad luck to eat while walking. Of course, this is probably because of a choking hazard as well. While not always, some superstitions very often are logical.
Conclusion – Is Eating In The Dark Bad Luck?
We’ve covered the highlights of why eating in the dark isn’t a great idea and discussed a few myths as well. Eating in the dark is a pretty bad idea overall from a practical safety standpoint. Can you eat safely in the dark? Absolutely. But has someone probably suffered bad luck from eating in the dark? More than likely at some point. Especially in places where food storage is questionable or refrigeration isn’t possible. So, the superstition seems justified for sure.
As always, I search for any reference to a question being good luck. And, as you can probably guess, there are no reports that eating in the dark is good luck at all.
So, final answer. Is eating in the dark bad luck? Yes. It’s possibly a choking hazard and a food safety issue because you can’t see what you are eating leading to possible food poisoning or consumption of less than savory things!