human consumption

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Senior Member

These sentences are quoted from a book, <Gifts of Inperfection>.

<When we're in shame, we're not fit for human consumption. We need to get back on our emotional feet before we do, say, e-mail, or text something that we'll regret.>

I got the overall meaning, but I don't understand what the underlined expression is.

Waiting for your help.
  • pops91710

    Senior Member
    English, AE
    Fit for human consuption means something is edible. I suspect (though it seems strange sounding to me) the author means we are not fit to be around, to associate with others.


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I understand it, but I think it's a bizarre use of the phrase.

    We food has spoiled, or is contaminated, we say it's "not fit for human consumption"; that is, it's not edible.

    The writer you quote is expressing the opinion that if you are feeling shame for some reason, it's not a good time to try to connect with other people. What he has actually said is that when you're in that condition, you're not fit for other people to eat. He means to "take in emotionally", I assume. But he makes people sound like cannibals.
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