The Top 5 Most Irresponsible Meals of All Time: what a topic. Here I’ll define irresponisible as both incredibly detrimental to your personal health as well as the health of the environment. Double whammie!
To put it frankly, the following gastronomical abomonations are amongst the ultimate ‘FAILS’ of national and international appetites. While some of these may not be on the typical menu for many eaters, I thought it would be good to highlight the following to illustrate (in the most exaggerated form) meals that will send you on the express route to a quadruple bypass.
Organized in no particular order I present to you:
1) The Krispy Kreme Cheese-Burger (aka, The Death Wish)
So this choice might be self explanatory as to why it does not promote health in any way, shape or form. Looking at the photo, there is also the addition of bacon to this monstrosity. If you are going to eat this, you are asking for some serious health repercussions. A cheeseburger is bad enough, but then you add the trans-fats of 2 Krispy Kremes and you put this iconically American dish completely over the edge.
2) The Bacon Sausage Roll (aka ‘The High-Carbon De-lite’)
Here we have another culinary crime folks, The Bacon Explosion. I nickname this meal “The High-Carbon De-lite’ because livestock (beef/cheese) creates 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. It is recommended that you limit your intake of red meat and cheese to promote your general health, but if you plan on eating the bacon roll of death, I would recommend you never ingest meat or cheese again. This would be a life-time dose, an overdose perhaps..
3) Chilean Sea Bass (aka “If-You-Like-The-Taste-Of-Mercury”…)
Also known as “Toothfish” the Chilean Sea Bass has become almost endangered due to overfishing. This creates a ridiculously high demand for the product, bumping up prices, and motivating fisherman to use unethical ways to obtain this deliciously mercury-filled fish. The Environmental Defense Fund states that:
“The longlines commonly used to catch Chilean sea bass often snag endangered albatrosses and other seabirds as they grab bait, and the birds end up drowning. “
The EDF recommends limiting consumption to no more than 2 meals per month, and only 1 meal per month for children.
Therefore, unless you want to end up like Jeremy Piven, having a neurological breakdown from too much Mercury consumption, it’s best to steer clear of the Toothfish. Don’t buy into the lingo of restaurant menus, eating this fish is essentially eating metal. Bite into an old glass thermometer, that might be just as satisfying. 🙂
4) The Twinkie (aka ‘The Indestructable’)
I chose the Twinkie as a poster-child for an abundance of packaged foods that are shipped throughout the country and abroad. Not only does the Twinkie lack any kind of nutritional value, but packaging and shipping products like this consume an obscene amount of energy, not to mention nonbiodegradable waste. Just say no. I have faith in you.
5) Commodity Corn (aka ‘The Culprit in American Obesity’)
If reading Michael Pollan’s fascinating book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma taught me anything, it taught me that our government secretly loves to make us fat by adding corn into EVERYTHING. To be fair though, most of you eat this unintentionally, so I cannot place consumers at blame…
Unlike the corn you might have at a family BBQ, this commodity corn is not even edible in its natural state. To get into our stomachs, it must either be processed and placed under the guise of “High Fructose Corn Syrup” or, fed to our livestock to make them fatter and ready for slaughter in record time!
Commodity corn is a huge subject that I will elaborate upon in further entries, but basically, about 80% of packaged products you eat in the supermarket are basically made up of this corn-in-hiding. And hell, even though we produce so much corn we don’t know what to do with it, its production is subsidized by the government, a vicious cycle indeed. Its addition into our food is unnecessary and does not affect the taste of our packaged foods. We’re technically being used as a garbage disposal
In sum, eating this stuff adds unnecessary calories, and wastes even more energy than it creates in our humble digestive systems.
The goal of this exercise was not to make you stop eating, although some of those pictures might have done the trick… But rather, to get you to evaluate some of the choices you make when choosing your meals.
So what can you do to keep healthy and eat well to benefit both yourself and the environment?
- Eat Local: Eating fruits and veggies that are grown in your local area will help you maintain a low-carbon diet as these products do not require the massive amount of energy it would take to ship them across the country. This includes fish as well. “Fresh Alaskan Salmon” means it has been flown in, making it 10x more emission intensive than transporting products by ship.
- Eat Seasonal: When something is in season, it is probably grown in your local area. Eating watermelon in the dead of winter means that watermelon has most likely been shipped from another area, and to be honest it probably does not taste nearly as good.
- Cut back on the Beef and Cheese: As stated before, livestock is responsible for about 18% of carbon emissions. Cattle that are fed corn produce a lot of greenhouse gases.
For more information on the best and worst meal choices for you and the environment, check out the following websites:
The moral of the story? Eat well and eat WISELY! 😉