Archive for the Fast Food Category

The 20 Worst Foods in America

Posted in Burgers, Fast Food, STUFF ABOUT MEAT with tags , , on July 10, 2008 by chomposaurus

In a recent issue, Men’s Health did a rundown of the worst food in America. Predictably, many meat dishes were featured. The worst steak was Lonestar’s 20 oz T-Bone, with 124 grams of fat. Macaroni Grill’s spaghetti and meatball meal “satisfies your calorie requirements for an entire day.” Chipotle’s chicken burrito turned out to be WORSE than the beef or pork, coming in at 47 grams of fat and 1200 calories. Skip the tortilla and rice people – it tastes better that way. Ruby Tuesday’s “Healthy” Turkey Burger even comes in at 71 grams of fat and over 1100 calories.Although, lest anyone start holding meat solely responsible, check out the stats for the Chili’s Awesome Blossom:

2,710 calories
203 g fat 194 g carbs
6,360 mg sodium

That’s all for a SINGLE ONION, people.

Truth in Advertising, Part 1

Posted in Fast Food with tags , , on June 27, 2008 by chomposaurus

There\'s a Reason Your Dog Won\'t Eat It

Listen to Our Radio Station… and Perish!

Posted in Burgers, Fast Food, STUFF ABOUT MEAT with tags , , , on June 18, 2008 by chomposaurus

Driving through quiet Bladenboro, NC yesterday, I had my radio tuned to KZQ: Myrtle Beach’s station for New Rock. After rocking out alongside the corn and tobacco to “Cult of Personality”, I was intrigued by the station’s newest competition, where you could “fill up for free for a year.” Apparently, you got free gas on the station – not bad considering it now costs something like eight million dollars per cubic inch for sweet, light crude. Then I heard the second way they would fill you up:

A grand prize winner will be randomly drawn from all entries to win… 52 Hardee’s 1/3 Thickburger certificates- good for a whole year’s worth of great sandwiches.

My friends, Hardee’s Prime Rib Thickburger contains 48 grams of fat, 780 calories and 1480 mg of Sodium. This radio station is giving you a year’s supply of death. Or 40,000 calories, 2500 grams of fat and 77,000 mg of sodium to be exact. It’s probably best you don’t call in and stick with ham on rye instead.

Although given current gas prices, you could probably make a killing liquefying the burgers and selling them as ethanol at the side of the road.

Sunday Protein: Better Ways to Eat Meat

Posted in Fast Food, MEAT POLITICS, STUFF ABOUT MEAT with tags on June 15, 2008 by chomposaurus

…that’s not how most people would put the subject of this post. They would say “How to eat less meat,” which might seem more honest. But that’s not the problem here, really. If you’re a typical American, you should probably eat less of a lot of things; I’d cut down on french fries and spicy sweet Doritos before buying fewer chicken cutlets. Along the way, you can develop better meat-eating habits as well. The NYTimes has a good guide, with seven steps.

6. Make some rules. Depending on your habits, it may be no bacon at breakfast; it may be no burgers at lunch; it may be no fast food, ever; it may be “eat a salad instead of a sandwich three times a week,” or “eat a vegetarian dinner three times a week.” It may mean meatless Fridays. It may mean (this is essentially what I do) meatless breakfasts and lunches and all-bets-are-off dinners.

Some of the steps are a bit silly, like suggesting that you order “two salads” instead of a main course in a restaurant. First, it’s pretty hard to find two good salads in a restaurant that don’t have much meat (bacon vinaigrette anyone?) Second, I think you look kind of crazy doing that in Chili’s.

Anyhow, read the article. Its main advice is very sound: when eating at home, choosing to eat less meat, but eating it in more creative fashions, will lead you to a healthier diet. And don’t forget to cut out the junk food, too.

Sunday Protein: Junk Food Doesn’t Make You Fat?

Posted in Fast Food, MEAT POLITICS with tags , on June 8, 2008 by chomposaurus

A new study came out recently which proclaimed that junk food doesn’t make you fatter; or rather, access to junk food doesn’t make you gain weight. Its methodology was suspect; it found highway intersections with a lot of fast food, and then looked at obesity patterns (using BMI) for people who lived different distances from the food. On the one hand, that makes sense; since a Chipotle opened up near my house, I eat there a lot more. But on the other hand, I don’t think living five miles from Chili’s as opposed to one mile really stops anyone from going there who wants an Awesome Blossom. It will take a lot more than this to convince me that a person with a limited budget who lives or works near junk food will not suffer consequences from eating it too much, no matter how much they tend to adjust their other eating habits. Remember that sedentary lifestyles are encouraged by the frequent crashes and burns of a high-fat, high-sodium and high-sugar diet.

I thought Megan McArdle’s comments on appetite, in response to this study, were very interesting:

Appetite is an evolutionarily wired signal on par with pain; urging obese people to just eat less is like urging someone to tough out root canal surgery without anaesthesia. Every day. Peoples’ calorie consumption is dictated by their appetite. Which makes sense, if you think about it; it only takes a swing of ten calories a day (about five tic-tacs) to gain or lose a pound over the course of a year. If our appetites weren’t doing a surprisingly good job of regulating our weight, we’d all be bone thin or morbidly obese.

Which I think is less of an argument that you’re destined to be one weight or another, but rather that your body doesn’t need that much help to get you to a healthy weight if you can cut out the trips to McDonald’s and resist buying Spicy Sweet Doritos for the cupboard. You probably won’t need to do much else.

The Chomposaurus World Street Meat Map!

Posted in Fast Food with tags on May 22, 2008 by chomposaurus

Meat Friends & Family, we’re proud to announce the launch of the Chomposaurus World Street Meat Map, with photos! Our goal is to put together a picture of how, where and what meat is sold on the avenues and alleys of all civilization. Right now, there are only two entries on the map – because we’re waiting on entries from viewers like you. Email us at chomposaurus[at]gmail[dot]com with a picture, address and description from your favorite vendor. Bonus points if it’s a location outside the U.S.

Hopefully, this map will provide a new way to look at how food is produced and eaten in its simplest forms across the globe. But it can only succeed with help from our readers.


The $175 Hedge Fund Whopper (with fries!)

Posted in Burgers, Fast Food with tags , , on May 22, 2008 by chomposaurus

For those traders and fund managers looking for a way to spend their windfall oil profits, Wall Street Burger Shoppe now offers a $175 burger and fries platter. As per usual with these expensive burgers, the beef is all-kobe, and there is plenty of foie gras and truffle oil to go around. But what I want to talk about are the french fries. They appear, in the picture, to be wrapped in newspaper. NEWSPAPER? Sweet Enola Gay, at $175 that better be a vintage New York Times from the day the Titanic sank or I want my money back. Also, you’d think they could afford some high class ketchup.

Is Street Meat Safe?

Posted in Fast Food, MEAT POLITICS with tags , , , , on May 19, 2008 by chomposaurus

My friend, who we’ll call H. Cumberdale, recently moved to NYC to attend business school. Discussing the many culinary options available to him there, we inevitably hit upon street kebabs. “Is street meat safe?” he mused. I thought this was an excellent question; I have yet to find the answer.

The NYC Dept. of Health certainly claims to regulate street vendors, and they must go through an application and inspection process as rigorous as any restaurant in the city. However, whether these laws are currently enforced is up for grabs. A New York Times article from 1998 suggested that close to 80% of street vendors were undercooking their meat. It also suggested that the city’s inspectors were confused and overwhelmed when it came to investigating delinquent kebab karts and taco trucks. Now, 10 years later, are things any different? Recent stories have shown police more than willing to crack down on vendors breaking other laws, such as parking carts a few feet out of their proper space.

I contacted the makers of several vendor carts used in the city; none would respond to say whether their products included features designed to make sure meat was being cooked to the proper level. I’m also waiting to see if the Street Vendor Project has any information on vendors keeping up with health codes.
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Free McDonald’s Chicken Crap

Posted in Chicken, Fast Food with tags on May 15, 2008 by chomposaurus

For the rest of the day, if you’re unfortunate enough to be horribly addicted to McDonald’s, you can get one of their new “Southern Style Chicken Sandwiches” (Read: Chick-fil-a ripoff) for free with the purchase of a drink.

I do like the principle of McDonald’s having to give away their sandwiches in order to get people to eat them.

A Lifetime Supply of Chili Dogs? Hook It Into My Veins!

Posted in Fast Food, MEAT POLITICS with tags , , on May 13, 2008 by chomposaurus

It’s logical to say that greasy fast food, like gambling, sex or petting a fluffy dog, can be habit-forming due to the associated psychological pleasures. But does it contain chemicals that create a substance addiction the same way alcohol or pot does? According to research cited in a recent Slate article, some scientist are starting to say yes.

Interestingly, the brain response to smoking pictures (in smokers) is very similar to the brain response to food pictures. In a previous study from our research unit, the brain response to eating chocolate was similar to the response to cocaine (in cocaine addicts). Finally, the evidence that high calorie foods are, in a way, addictive (something soft drink and fast food merchants have known for years) provides a justification for public policy.

Does the fact that both good food and good alcohol make me feel good mean that they are the same? More specifically, is there a particular chemical that you can take out of a Big Mac that will make it lose its addictive potency, like taking THC out of pot or nicotine out of cigarettes? Not that we know of. Saying that obesity has a chicken-and-the-egg effect with certain hunger-causing hormones does not prove that your McRib is the next crack cocaine.
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