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Thread: Elven Eating Habits

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In another post Terrijayne wrote:
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I would also enjoy visiting Rivendell and Lorien...great food, music and conversation.
The bit about great food got me to thinking: I don't remember reading about an overweight elf. Do they have a different metabolism than Mankind, or have they got better will power, or is their food so horrible that they don't wish to pig-out?

That Rivendel is frequented by hobbits, Dwarves, and Men as well as by Elves, I assume the food there is less than bland; however, I doubt that that of Lorien is much more than nourishing. But what do I know; does anyone have any ideas on this?
Bilbo,in Rivendell, said this in the Return of the King
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"The fire's cosy here, and the food's very good, and there are elves when you want them".


so i would assume elves have very good food (even in Lorien) and since they are the fairest race
they must naturally stay thin. (wish i could) but you know what happens when you assume.

(Grondy merely clicked the quote icon to separate the above text.)
Elves seem to enjoy the ability to have a greater control over their physical bodies than humans do. I assume that this includes an ability to maintain whatever weight they wish. They also seem to have better muscle tone and energy levels.(just not fair, is it?).

I have often wondered if diet and exercise were a problem for half-elves or Dunedain?
Well if most of the other Dunedein wandered around as much as Aragorn did, excerise was probably never in short supply! Same way with elves, as I fancy they often wandered around their areas just enjoying nature and conversation.

As for food, for some reason I picture the elves as being more vegetarian than meat lovers. Thats not to say they wouldn't enjoy a good steak, but it seems likely they ate only what was necessary to remain healthy. I imagine that they eat small portions of great food, and focused their feasts more on good company and music. This is probably why I'd make a better hobbit than an elf!
This thread strangely reminds me of another, familiar thread...
Very Big Grin Smilie
well, considering that they dont have cars in Middle Earth, they would have to walk everywhere or ride a horse which is faster but just as physically demanding.
I think elves can become overweight, but their sense of dignity prevents them from pigging out. I can't imagine Glorfindel or Arwen tucking into a big plate of pork chops.
Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
Haldir looked a tad on the chubby side though in the films...

Elves do eat meat, though.
From the Hobbit - Flies and Spiders

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There was a fire in their midst and there were torches fastened to some of the trees round about; but the most spendid sight of all: they were eating and drinking and laughing merrily. The smell of the roast meats was so enchanting that, without waiting to consult one another, every one of them got up and scrambled forwards into the ring with the one idea of begging some food.


It later mentions that when the Dwarves are imprisoned in the Elvenking's Halls, Bilbo is able to slip out by following the hunting parties. Likewise, the Silmarillion frequently mentions the sons of Feanor having a great love for hunting. I imagine they ate venison, boar, gamebirds and rabbits.
Or mayhaps they were merely hunting truffles, with a 12 bore? Elk Grinning Smilie
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I can't imagine Glorfindel or Arwen tucking into a big plate of pork chops.

I certainly can. Haven't you seen Arwen's large gob in the movies?
I think Elves had superior bodies that would not deteriorate in any way, unless they were slain outright. In the Doom of Mandos, he says that they were born not to die, and “no sickness may assail you.” To me this means that the Elves would always stay at a healthy body weight. We also know that they had great control over their bodies, according to JRRT in HoME Vol. X, Morgoth’s Ring, “Laws and Customs among the Eldar.”

So they probably were biologically designed not to overeat and their physical condition would have stayed the same, barring injuries.

I imagine that they enjoyed eating and drinking. I think they loved fish and game, and whatever plant food they could gather. Nuts, berries, maybe ground tubers, herbs for flavoring. I think some of them might keep orchards of apples or grapes, but they would not do much farming. They also knew how to make bread and lembas, and brew or distill miruvor and probably wine and ale. Elves who had a sweet tooth would eat honey or make honey cakes.
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I think Elves had superior bodies that would not deteriorate in any way, unless they were slain outright.

Only when they were in Valinor, under the blessing of the Valar, where no one and nothing ever decays. Not in Middle-Earth, however. After Elves had lived a long time in Middle-Earth, and once they grew weary of it, their bodies would age, or become slightly "transparent" : this is how Frodo sees Galadriel after they have that lil pic-nic just before they part (i can't give the exact quote now). Another example is Círdan the shipwraight who even had a beard, and hence probably appeared as an old man.

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I imagine that they enjoyed eating and drinking. I think they loved fish and game, and whatever plant food they could gather.

They certainly did. There's that nice part in LOTR where Frodo has dinner with Gildor Inglorion. There it already becomes clear that Elvish food and drinks are something very special and cannot be compared to human food : miruvor, lembas, ...

I for me think that Elves are not vegetarians - it is described for instance that some sons of Fëanor were great hunters, and i presume they hunted for animals to eat, not just for fun (killing for fun would not be in the spirit of Elves, even not in the spirit of Caranthir the Dark).
No WAY were ELves vegetarians. I don't think Tolkien would allow it. Eating rabbit food all the time - can you imagine Tolkien giving his BEST race that quality? Being a hobbit in all but size. Ha Ha Ha Smilie
And besides, Tolkien was religious, and I just read a BIble verse about it. IT says that all of God's creatures are good to eat, and nothing shall you refuse. MWAHAHAHA!!! Of course it's debatable.
I think that maybe Elves are thin because they dont need to eat as much as mortal races. Just like how they dont need to sleep much which they dont even do, they 'sleep' with their eyes open or sing or something. If they eat lembas bread alot its no wonder theyre always thin, you only need to eat one loaf of lembas to keep you on your feet all day.
Where can I get some Lembas - pleeeze Wiggle Smilie
In Lorien, especially, I suppose maintaining weight was easy from climbing up and down those talan steps. And climbing ropes. Some of the Mirkwood elves lived in trees too. I see them doing yoga stretches to keep fit, rather than running laps. I guess they got enough running in trying to keep ahead of those spiders! Big Smile Smilie
We elves do make fabulous food-lighter than air bread that the Hobbits drooled over,our dishes are almost heavenly. And Elves naturally have a high rate of metabolism, just as certain races do still today, so we can eat more if we choose.
But our love for learning and singing about great deeds of great elves and men is so much more desirable to us than even eating that we can sit in front of a banquet fit for elven kings and queens and but peck at it while we listen hour after hour.
Our guests though, be they men or dwarves or Hobbits, eat like they have never seen food before. Which might account for their slightly roundish or biggish forms , at least by the time their visit with us has ended.. Smile Smilie
Maybe those Elfies should have had their eight meals a day like the Hobbits and the Wookiees. Would've made 'em less scrawny and pale.

But I guess neither a Hobbit nor a Wookiee would be able to mount a bantha in full gallop.
Some think the Green Elves might not eat meat, based on (from Silmarillion text): '... these folk [Men] are hewers of trees and hunters of beasts: therefore we are their unfriends,...'

But even if so, I think in general Elves ate meat. There are a number of quotes that could be raised, but for an example from a prime source: in Flotsam and Jetsam the Hobbits note pork among the lunch given to Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli. Merry describes the drink, and...

'And this is firt-rate salted pork. Or I can cut you some rashers of bacon and broil them, if you like. I am sorry there is no green stuff: the deliveries have been rather interrupted in the last few days! I cannot offer you anything to follow but butter and honey for your bread. Are you content?'

Not the greatest of evidence here, perhaps, but I think the Reader would naturally assume that Legolas ate more than bread. Or at least I do.
Ah the soothing honeyed words of our Vir, makes me think of Frank Sinatra somehow. Smile Smilie
The thing is Vir, many particularly thin people do in fact eat several small meals per day instead of three large ones and a snack or two-keeps the fires burning so to speak.
If you haven't had your hug for the day, may I please have the honor? Smile Smilie
Well, it is understandable why Elves do not need to eat as much as the higher races of Atani & Naugrim, or in fact eat at all: what do they do all day, anyway? They recite poetry, they sing... while Atani & Naugrim are busy working in mines & smiths, building houses, palaces, temples instead of just climbing in a tree, or just busy hunting Orcs... this indeed puts it a bit in perspective.
Well, I heard that most elves ate Mallorn leaves which they imported from Lorien while the rich, powerful elves who could afford Noldor wives ate lembas. This text can found in the 'History of the Sindar' by Legolas Mallornleaf.
I personally think that the Elves enjoy good food, really good food as much as anyone. And they like their drink as well, at least in the Hobbit, the wood elves loved it by the barrel.
They probably do have a faster metabolism.
But also, I remember in the Fellowship of the Rings when at last the company reached Imladris, that the elves were enamoured with lays and tales to the point that they could ignore food for just hours and hours and listen and sing and enjoy these pleasures even more.
And if they are up in the middle of the night still singing and enjoying themselves in this manner, they must surely use up a lot of calories.
And for me, nowhere does it say they had poor manners , like eating with their mouths open. So I am good. Smile Smilie
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And for me, nowhere does it say they had poor manners , like eating with their mouths open. So I am good. (by LeeLee)


Can not agree more. Elves are not focused on material existance, but they are taking good care about their bodies after all. Food is not oftenly mentioned, but it does take quite some time to fill your stomach between nice conversations and singing, or walikng, or creating jewels or weapons. And, by Eru, we take that time as serious as all else!
You are so right!
What I would not give for a cup of tea and some silver and mithril and a few jewels to work on a masterpiece like all my brother elves.