Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ask the Internet: I Can’t Believe This Food Product Exists

Today, our Ask the Internet question is inspired by sheer astonishment.

Q: Yesterday on Twitter, Mark Bittman linked to an article about, “a novel tobacco product that some critics say too closely resembles Tic Tac breath mints,” made (natch) by Camel. He was justifiably concerned they would addict children.

Tweeter retroklahoma then discovered that CANDY CIGARETTES ARE STILL AROUND. Which … what? How? In America? IN 2010?!?! Ack.

So, I was wondering: what food’s very existence shocks you the most? Why? Is it too old-fashioned? Is it obviously bad for everyone who would consume it? Is it inexplicable using the rules of physics and/or nature?

A: Yeah. Candy cigarettes. Can you believe it? Even in the '80s, we knew that was some damaging badness. Is there a food product that elicits the same reaction from you? The comment section is open, folks.

Want to ask the interweb a question? Post one in the comment section, or write to Cheaphealthygood@gmail.com. Then, tune in next Tuesday for an answer/several answers from the good people of the World Wide Net.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

39 comments:

Gabrielle said...

Chocolate powdered formula for toddlers!

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4020608

Gotta get 'em hooked on chocolate and sugar early!

If said...

Tomacco

breaMarie said...

The KFC Double Down is a big "WTF" in terms of food.

I can't believe that candy cigarettes are still around. Change the shape of the candy if you still want to sell it!

Elizabeth said...

I heard there was bacon flavored baby formula. That one was shocking. The worst part was I'm pretty sure I know half a dozen people who would feed it to their child. Which is probably a good indication that they shouldn't have children.

badgerdave said...

Candy Cigarettes are awesome, what's the big deal? It's not like you're lighting them on fire to eat them! I have had them as a child, and still buy them up when I see them because they are getting hard to find.

I think that smoking is pretty gross and on the few times I've tried it has left my throat all scratchy. I mean smoking looks cool, it just kind of sucks to do it; candy cigarettes get you the cool look w/o the scratchy throat, stained teeth, and bad smell around you. Actually I'm surprised that candy cigarettes aren't being pushed as a substitute for cigarettes.


For "I can't believe this food product exists" I always head to "This I why you're fat" some of the stuff there makes the DoubleDown seem wholesome.

Melissa said...

I heard/saw on the internet once that someone took a Krispy Kreme doughnut, sliced it in half, and turned it into a bun for a bacon burger, or something to that effect. My cholesterol went up just thinking about it.

pat1755 said...

I loved Candy Cigarettes! And I never smoked, and never will.

I am way more worried about the prevalence of processed food -- for God's sake, you can now buy frozen PBandJ's!

Alex D said...

I'm also not seeing the big deal with candy cigarettes. They're mostly sold in novelty stores aimed at adults, and branded like they're from the 50s, not disney characters or big tobacco.

It's not like kids can buy real cigarettes and you've got 18 years to help them make healthy choices. (Candy probably isn't one of them, but thats a different subject.)

I can't believe "uncrustables," a pre made peanut butter and jelly sandwiche, exist. Isn't a PB&J already the laziest food ever? (and delicious, don't get me wrong)

MCM Voices said...

Anything with "creme" filling, like Twinkies or whoopie pies. Or Cool Whip! The ingredients in the "creme" are bad enough, but I seem to recall that Twinkies also contain formic acid, a chemical produced by ants. Some species of birds practise a behavior called "anting", meaning they will pick up an ant in their beak, crush it, and swab their feathers with it because the formic acid is a natural insecticide. And experiments with ants have shown that if you smear formic acid on the outside of a live ant, its nest mates will carry it out of the nest because they think it's dead. The waving legs and shouts of "hey you dimwit, I'm still alive!!" go unheeded.

Goodness, I digress.

Ashley said...

Definitely "Splenda with Fiber"...as suspicious as it is unneccessary

Ray by the Bay said...

I have to join the chorus of what's wrong with candy cigarettes.

I'm probably in the vast minority but I remember eating candy cigarettes but I never even tried real cigarettes, the smell and taste of cigarette smoke is gross.

In terms of wtf, the Wendy's Baconator comes to mind. Looks like heart attack on a bun to me.

veggieterrestrial said...

GMO's. In everything we eat with corn and soy in it. Not labeled, so we can't even decide for ourselves.

amirudin said...

i like your blog

christiems said...

Crustless bread. Seriously, are we that lazy?? In defense of the Double Down, I think it's a good idea for people like me who are low-carbing and occasionally need some fast food. Granted, it's not healthy, but it is low carb, especially if you get the grilled one.

Milehimama said...

Potted Meat Food Product.

Why? OH WHY?
http://www.amazon.com/Armour-Potted-Meat-5-5-Ounce-Cans/dp/B0025UCGKK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=grocery&qid=1271785938&sr=8-2

Even worse, sometimes my husband buys it and eats it.

Milehimama said...

And, Clamato.

Clam juice and tomato? In a room-temperature shelf stable jar? Seriously?

Eric said...

@MCM Voices: Formic acid isn't a big deal, it is just a simple organic acid (hence its appearance in ant venoms) that is mostly harmless unless you're dealing with concentrated formic acid:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formic_acid

wosnes said...

For the purposes of this post, I'll have to say Splenda with fiber or vitamin waters with fiber. But I do think that possibly the title of your post is a clue: "I Can't Believe This Food Product Exists." Are "food products" food?

Robin@ Good for the Palate said...

I have never in my life puffed a cigarette and I never intend to. But I LOVE candy cigarettes. They are so delicious.

ScienceandtheCity said...

This is a great topic. I used to eat candy cigarettes as a kid and I have never smoked. Still, I can see why they're probably not a good idea.

What I can't believe is most of the processed cr*p that is at the grocery store - I echo the confusion about why we need frozen crustless PB&J. Also, anything featured on Serious Eats under the "Paula Deen is trying to kill us" category. She seriously has a recipe called "fried butter balls" in which she mixes butter and cream cheese and deep fries it. WHY?!?!

Robyn said...

Went to a school carnival this weekend where there was a table hawking this instant coffee (pre-sweetened and pre-creamed) that is THE NEW HEALTHY COFFEE because it contains some weird mushroom extract. For $2 per 6-oz. cup. My gosh, I can do better price-wise on coffee at Starbucks.

For that matter, all "nutraceutical" foods kinda boggle me. Like the pregnancy nutrition bar I saw at the store today. Can't pregnant women get their nutrition from, like, food?

Pork rinds kinda boggle me. So do wasabi peas, and for that matter, most Japanese snacks. But that's a cultural thing.

And those duck embryo eggs from Indonesia. What are those called, balat or something? Total mind-boggle.

Kris said...

You guys, I totally admit to taking a drag (or 30) on candy cigarettes when I was a kid. I just can't believe they market them now. Wouldn't you think some parent group would be all over that?

The pre-made PB&J is shocking, and I was not aware it existed. Do they assume we don't have arms? Yikes.

@Milehi: Potted Meat Product scares the beejeezus out of me. The sodium in those things could kill a country.

Anonymous said...

Clamato?! But it's the essential ingredient in a Caesar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_%28cocktail%29).

I'm surprised Fun Dip is still around. Candy powder that you eat with a candy stick. Saliva-sugary goodness! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fun_Dip)

TK said...

premade jello makes even less sense to me than the premade pb &j

Annie said...

All these comments are pretty funny! Although I can't figure out all the hatin' on uncrustables. I admit to buying them when taking my three nephews and 2 cousins to the zoo. It's an easy treat and much cheaper than buying zoo food. But, like I said, a treat...I wouldn't feed it to them if we were at home, definitely a road trip or event type snack. I also take lots of fruit and veggies and water!

Alice said...

Check out the "9 most terrifying attempts to improve popular food" at http://www.cracked.com/article/18372_the-9-most-terrifying-attempts-to-improve-popular-foods/

My fave? Carbonated yogurt. What?

Paula said...

For me it has to be the 2/3 lb. Monster Thickburger at Hardees - 2 burger patties, 4 strips of bacon, 3 slices of cheese, and mayo. 1320 calories for the burger and 860 cals from fat, over 3000 mg of sodium. And this is with no fries or soda! WHY?

Anonymous said...

I will add my voice to the chorus that frozen crustless PBJs are evil. So is chocolate baby formula. Really? They make that? I heard the bacon flavored formula was a hoax.

The thing that weirds me out is organic poptarts...c'mon. Doesn't make them healthy.

Mattheous @ Menu Musings said...

In Western Pennsylvania we have 'Jerky Snuff'. That alone has probably gotten thousands for people hooked to tobacco...

Not to mention they sell five gallon jugs of mayonaise at Walmart. Imagine how many people die of heartattacks due to that crap!

Harper said...

Hot Pockets. They smell aweful and taste worse.

But what really gets me are the "light" ones that my ex-roommate used to get. They still have an obcene number of calories and quantity of sodium. Besides, if you're on a diet, why are you even considering Hot Pockets of any kind?!

sextonae said...

The Twinkie. Now that I eat a healthier diet, one bite and I taste every chemical in its little seductive spongy covering...

Becca said...

The bacon-flavored formula was a joke. http://www.baconsaltblog.com/2010/04/sorry-baby.html

My vote? One word: Braunschweiger.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braunschweiger

My arteries are screaming...

Jessica said...

I have a few "really, people eat that stuff" foods. First, anything on a Hardee's commercial- that stuff just looks like a grease soaked fat bomb! Second- SPAM!! SERIOUSLY, WHO EATS THAT STUFF!!??? Has anyone seen the new Spam commercials where they advertise you mix it with scrambled eggs- ewwww!!! Ohh, and KFC now has a new thing- I think they're trying to advertise it as a "snack"- it's a fried chicken breast in a paper wrapping-so it's "more convenient" to eat or something. Really? It's a chicken breast-why does that need to be advertised?

Anonymous said...

I recently came across fried pork skins. Why anyone would make/sell them, let alone eat them, is 100000% beyond me.

Elizabeth said...

PEZ!

Yes, the dispensers are cute, but the candy is soooooo nasty.... I would have thought they'd have improved that candy years ago.

Dylan said...

In this post:

Judge Judge Judge, Judge Judge Judge Judge Judge.

Seriously, most of these products exist because people eat them.

That's the only way to keep a product on the market, make it a commercial success. And some people can't afford better.

Candy Cigarettes are just role play. Kids will role play good and bad, it doesn't mean anything. The countless hours I've spent on gaming have as yet failed to make me ever physically harm a single other human. I've never blown up a tanker or used a sniper rifle. I loved Fags when I was younger (Their name then) and I still do, and I thing smoking is disgusting.

Perhaps you can afford to not eat "Potted Meat Product". Some people can't. Being a vegetarian without knowledge of how is difficult. Cooking well without time, electricity, easy access to food and so on is difficult.

As for Twinkies, Deep fried whatever... Occasional eating isn't unhealthy.

Deep Fried food is *DELICIOUS*, which is why people still buy it. I personally think most Soy products are revolting, but I don't judge them for existing, or by extention, the people who eat them.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Dylan on this -- I've eaten and eat almost everything that everyone's left comments about being disgusting or can't believe it exists. I'm a 38 year old female. I just had a check-up. Doc says "You're as healthy as a 20 year old". It's all about moderation.

I never had candy cigarettes as a child. I ended up smoking. There's a monkey wrench in the direct causational link!

Kris said...

@Dylan and @Anon: I've eaten most of these foods, too, as have lots of people. Whatever floats your boat, you know? If you want to list "soy," then do it. There are no rules here.

Jolene said...

@Milehimama, I thought Clamato was just tomato and clam juices...but no! Once I saw that it had HFCS, I went to mixing my own tomato and clam juices for clamdiggers. Sad; I have fond memories of my dad using Clamato for clamdiggers.