National Caramel Popcorn Day. National Empanada Day. National Pizza With the Works Except Anchovies Day. Make it stop.

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This story was originally published on April 5, 2017.

It’s April. The fruit trees of the great state of Washington are beautifully blooming, like fluffy pink and white dreams. Farmers markets are full of new hope in the form of fresh greens, radishes, rhubarb. Local asparagus, from east of the Cascades, will happen any minute. The other day in Seattle, I saw two adorable heads of stripy lettuce voluntarily growing in the middle of someone’s front lawn.

But none of that is cause for official celebration. Instead, we’re observing National Raisin & Spice Bar Day, National Caramel Popcorn Day, National Coffee Cake Day, National Empanada Day, National Chinese Almond Cookie Day, National Cinnamon Crescent Day and National Cheese Fondue Day.

That’s just one week (April 5-11).

I like an empanada as much as the next person. But when every day is a holiday, what does a holiday mean? April 7 is also National Beer Day. People, this is the United States of America. Isn’t every day National Beer Day?

Back in the day, national food holidays were much more of a rarity. The arbiter of them was a thing called a book — a hefty tome known as “Chase’s Calendar of Events,” cataloging “Special Days, Weeks and Months” since 1957. Imagination-challenged editors used to keep copies of Chase’s on their desks to reference when life’s rich pageant somehow faltered in providing story ideas. The volume deals not just with food, but marks other crucial dates as well: Paraprofessionals Appreciation Day, the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers, the 30th anniversary of the premiere of “Married … With Children” (all April 5, in case you’re wondering). I went to the library to look at a reference copy of Chase’s; in the current edition (which clocks in at 751 pages and costs $85), the same week in April discussed above listed only one national food holiday.

No one, anywhere, was clamoring for more national food holidays.

But nothing fills a void like the internet. The biggest player in national food holidays there might be Foodimentary, spewing up one (or more) onto social media daily, with 850,000-plus Twitter followers. Tavi Juarez, editor, social-media manager, and “The Foodimentary Gal,” says they’ve been around since 2006, laying claim to the title “the original source of food holidays.” Foodimentary does not, she says, use Chase’s. In fact, the one food holiday listed by Chase’s for our sample week in April goes unrecognized by Foodimentary. Chicago, prepare your ire: It’s National Deep Dish Pizza Day, April 5. (Foodimentary does, however, consecrate National Pizza Day on Feb. 9, National Sausage Pizza Day on Oct. 11, and National Pizza With the Works Except Anchovies Day on Nov. 12 … I am not making this up.) To further complicate matters, completely different national food holidays may be found on sites such as and

Foodimentary takes submissions for new national food holidays to replace “out of date or no longer relevant foods,” so if you feel that, say, Raisin Bran is being neglected, you may email Juarez and company. It’s not, however — National Raisin Bran day is Nov. 15, according to the site. Note that Raisin Bran is a brand. Likewise, National Cinnamon Crescent Day, at its cinnamony core, seems to refer to the Pillsbury product; otherwise, a cinnamon crescent is not a thing. The innumerable PR emails, the editors “resurfacing relevant content” across the land, the hashtags — it all smells like fresh-baked marketing.

Then companies like Chicken of the Sea use National Salmon Day (Oct. 8, though per Foodimentary, that’s National Fluffernutter Day) as a tie-in to release “An analysis … suggest[ing] that residents of a number of noncoastal cities known for their traditional meat-eating ways may actually prefer salmon.” National Salmon Day was, according to Business Wire, “christened an official holiday” in 2015 by … Chicken of the Sea. Having fun yet?

What does Foodimentary have to say to a wet blanket like me? “People tend to ask ‘why should anyone care about food holidays?’ ” Juarez says via email. “There’s no big story behind the creation of food holidays other than people coming together to celebrate food. In my humble opinion, I believe that food holidays will continue to grow in popularity online because there’s a lot of negativity out there. Why not choose to celebrate food instead?” She didn’t answer a follow-up asking how, exactly, Foodimentary designates the different days.

I get that some people might be excited by, say, National Doughnut Day. But you really can have a doughnut any day you want! And as part of the food media, seeing the National This or That Food Day machine crank up over and over doesn’t make me want to tweet about anything at all.

Meanwhile, we’ve got much bigger food-fish to fry. What if all those tweets, all that daily energy, went to the real crises we’re facing, foodwise, as a nation? How about National Eat Local Day, National Save the Bees Day, National Food Workers’ Rights Day, National Meals on Wheels Day? I know, I know: not as fun as tacos.