Turkey, tryptophan and the real reason we all might get sleepy

Long established mythology is that the high levels of the amino acid tryptophan contained in turkey causes sleepiness after thanksgiving dinner.    While this may have some merit, turkey doesn’t really have much more of this than other meats, and soybeans have much more so it should be all those vegetarians eating their Tofurkies (yes there really are such things) that are zonking out.  It might have more to do with the one two punch of largeamounts of carbohydrates we eat.  You know, breads, stuffing, potatoes, sweets, eat much of that for thanksgiving dinner? 

One of my esteemed colleagues here at GreenHomes America has another theory, and it’s a deadly one.  Carbon Monoxide (CO).  Our ovens can produce a great deal of the stuff which is why we test them on every assessment.     We’ve covered some of the issues here.

 This is the only unvented gas appliance allowed by BPI in our homes, partially because we usually don’t have it on for long periods of time.   Your average service man does not check for CO regularly, and when you’ve got that 20 lb turkey to cook that oven will be on for half the day!    Some homes may have CO monitors but most of these monitor do not alert at low levels—even levels which can cause illness (and no CO is good CO).  Get a good CO meter if you don’t have one already.  Vent the kitchen when you are cooking and consider having a professional test your oven as well as the rest of your home.

Thanks and be safe!


Photo from http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/wild-turkey/

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4 Responses to “Turkey, tryptophan and the real reason we all might get sleepy”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Carbon monoxide is no joke! I found your blog while looking for info on carbon monoxide detectors to possibly write an article for my new site Carbon Monoxide Detector

    • Mike Rogers Says:

      We certainly agree that CO is no joke! We run into a lot of CO issues in homes–as many as 20-30% have some serious CO or gas leak issue. Serious and potentially life-threatening problems.

  2. A Bad Idea: Unvented gas fire place « GreenHomes America Says:

    […] had a few responses regarding Carbon Monoxide lately, and for good reasons: it’s a concern we should pay close attention to.  As we button up our […]

  3. Spring Ahead and Think Ahead Too: Save Yourself From More than a Headache from Carbon Monoxide! « GreenHomes America Says:

    […] I’ve mentioned the dangers of CO in our homes in past posts such as in Testing: more than efficiency for safety’s sake  or A Bad Idea: unvented gas fire place.  I suspect CO may even have an unintended influence on us after Thanksgiving dinner. […]

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