I posted a question on this site called Is it actually useful to ration food?. Some have commented saying that it is off topic for this site, and as of writing this, it has four close votes.

When I posted the question I was interested in the biological/nutritive perspective, so arguably I should have posted it on another site. However, the question does not call out that that's in the fact the perspective I'm interested in, and people interpreted it in an OutdoorsSE context.

It has gotten a lot of attention since it was posted two days ago (30 upvotes, 5 favorites, ~9000 views, and 5 answers), which tells me that the users of OutdoorsSE are interested in the topic and have something to say about it.

Some of the answers talk about morale, comfort, accountability and such, and though admittedly those were not the types of points I was looking for when I posted the question, they are perfectly fair points that answer my question in the OutdoorsSE context.

After seeing several comments talking about closing the question, I cross-posted it to HealthSE. I prefaced it with:

I posted this question on the Outdoors SE site. There were some good points regarding morale and such, but I'm curious about this question from a purely biological/nutritive perspective.

In my view, the question is on topic in both places and will garner answers from different perspectives. Let's discuss.

  • 1
    I think the question and its answers add something to this site, and will vote to reopen if the Q is closed.
    – ab2
    Apr 18, 2018 at 20:27

3 Answers 3


My two cents:

  • You either call it out in your original question that you are purely interested in nutrition and thereby make it out of scope for TGO, or
  • You make it purely within scope of TGO by saying you are looking at a survival situation (the edit done by one of the members I believe is based on the comment made by you in the comments thread).

Since neither was done, there ensued a discussion on whether or not the question was within our scope.

The question in itself is a very good question for outdoor survival situation. From the answers, you can see that most of the people have in some or the other way attributed it to survival. The answers themselves are really good and make a real good content for anyone wanting to know about rationing of food in a survival situation.

My personal view is to keep the question on the site. We've had a similar discussion before. And I went ahead and did some major edits to the question in question to make sure that the question wasn't questionable for us (can't believe I used the word 'question' so many times there!!!). Thankfully yours doesn't require any such edits.

In short, due to the quality of the answers and the content within them, I'll vote to reopen in case it gets closed (for the record, I retracted my close vote which I had initially cast).

Edit: Regarding cross-posting:

Personally I don't care. Neither do I agree that the question shouldn't be present in two different forums. The question is relevant for both survival and nutrition.

  • 2
    A fine answer. Let's go for four as in ".....to make sure that the question wasn't questionable for us...."
    – ab2
    Apr 18, 2018 at 20:24
  • @ab2 done.... ;) Apr 19, 2018 at 4:01

Yes, it's on topic as rationing food has clear uses in the outdoors just like rationing water.

I know that from your perspective it has 4 close votes, but as a user with more privileges and experience on the site, I can confidently say that it's either going to stay open or quickly be reopened.

Everyone who has reviewed it has voted to leave it open and its not staying open because there aren't enough close votes but rather because people believe that it's on topic. If it was off topic we would have closed it long ago.

As far as cross posting goes, I think that this is the one case I have ever seen where it actually makes sense and am fine with it. It's the same question but the perspectives and answers are going to be quite different.

Lastly, sometimes new users blunder into situations where there are lots and lots of old arguments lurking beneath the surface that become the subject of hot debate and that seems to have happened here.

Please don't leave because of the arguments as we are usually much less argumentative and nicer.

  • 4
    Thank you for your perspective. I am certainly not going to leave over this. I have been on SO for a longer time and understand that this kind of thing happens. I actually feel that a lot of the commenters have treated me very nicely, especially considering that you, with 30k rep, asked me if you could edit my question.
    – pushkin
    Apr 18, 2018 at 16:58

Cross posting is not specific to health.stackexchange.com or outdoors.stackexchange.com.

There is a meta.stackexchange on this topic. It has a lot of action. It pretty strongly concludes no as I read it. I think this is a duplicate but cannot mark a duplicate to another site.

A question getting interest to me is not an argument it is in scope.

I hold with nutrition is not specific to the outdoors. From your question and comments it is a nutrition not an outdoor survival type question.

This is clearly a better fit health.stackexchange.com. I VTC early. OP had the option to make it into more of an outdoor survival question and did not. OP cross posted before "The scenario is being stranded somewhere not knowing when rescue will come - so generally no activity" was added and it was not OP that added it. OP had the option of migrate and instead chose to cross post.

What is migration and how does it work

The question is left as a stub, or pathway to the new site, for 30 days, after which it is automatically deleted.

OP stated intent of get more exposure is hollow. This question already had a lot of action on outdoors and 30 days is enough to get plenty of exposure. The only plausible explanation I can think of is point mongering. Points are retained on answers but points are lost on the question. There are only 3 up votes on health at and the time of the non-migration it had like 30 up votes on outdoors.

I do not know why mods have not deleted one or the other but that is not my business. Why mod is did not just step in and migrate I don't understand. I don't want to debate the mod's decision.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Apr 18, 2018 at 20:58
  • @RoryAlsop Appears you down voted this. May I ask the basis?
    – paparazzo
    Apr 18, 2018 at 21:03
  • 3
    Your post doesn't mostly doesn't answer the question. The final paragraph is not helpful - if you don't want to debate it, why write it?
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Apr 18, 2018 at 21:07
  • This does directly address "In my view, the question is on topic in both places and will garner answers from different perspectives. Let's discuss."
    – paparazzo
    Jun 13, 2018 at 13:26

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