The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit organization that promotes nutrition and health and food safety, has just bestowed one of its highest honors on Johnny Rockets. The ’50s diner-themed fast food restaurant won the “Xtreme Eating Award” for their Big Apple Shake, which consists of a slice of apple pie blended into a milk shake. The shake alone contains a 1,140 calories, which is over half of the daily calories a human needs. Basically, we don’t suggest shaking or even blinking too quickly after drinking one.
Other honorees include a pasta dish from the Cheesecake Factory that has as many calories as a 12-piece bucket of KFC Original Recipe fried chicken and a peanut butter smoothie from Smoothie King that contains an entire day’s calorie count, yet is billed as a health drink.
These food troughs won’t be able to rest on their laurels for next year, though: the Guys have developed a ball of Baconnaise filled with cigarette butts and bullets.
California regulatory agencies declared compound 4-methylimidazole, also known as 4-MI or 4-MEI — one of the ingredients that gives cola beverages their distinctive caramel coloring — “a known carcinogen.” The classification would have forced brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi to place a cancer warning on containers or resort to colorless colas, reigniting the Crystal Pepsi and Clear Tab Debacle of the early ’90s.
However, crisis was averted when Coke announced a formula change that will maintain their cola’s coloring while reducing the levels of 4-MI. And this is despite the company’s insistence that “the body of science about 4-MEI in foods or beverages does not support the erroneous allegations that [the Center for Science in the Public Interest] would like the public to believe.”
Historians who specialize in the period ranging from 1992 – 1993 are thankful that Coke was able to resolve this without unleashing clear colas onto an unsuspecting public once again. Now, we just have to make sure grunge remains securely in its grave.