GIGO: You are what you eat.

Epic Burger Time at the Heart Attack GrillI suppose we all saw this coming…

The second spokesperson for the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, Nevada, US has shuffled off this mortal coil. Cause of death: massive heart attack. The first spokesperson died of pneumonia aggravated by his weight.

This is not a moral issue, this is not merely “bad choices.” There is scientific evidence that fatty, salty and carb-laden foods, along with sweets, are preferences that are hardwired in us from millenia of mammalian evolution.

We have tons and tons of internal programming that are basically there to help us cope with famine. We have nothing programmed in us to cope with the side-effects of plenty. We have gotten very efficient at creating food that is cheap, tasty and while not deadly all at once, kills us slowly. Most of it actually falls under the category of “food-like substances” and is nutritionally vapid. In days when humans had to struggle for their very existence, calorically dense foods were survival food. We don’t have to do that now.

Most Southern and Midwestern “diner food” has its roots in food eaten by farmers and farm hands, which was meant to keep them working through long hours of labor intensive work from sunup to sundown. On a farm, that kind of caloric intake is actually necessary, although modern farm equipment has made it less strenuous than farming was a couple of generations ago. It’s still a real bitch of a life, though. However, most of us don’t earn our bread that way anymore. And yet, that kind of food is still very popular.

It is vitally important that we get a handle on our food intake. A lot of my predicament can be traced to other things instead of just food: I have been mostly adverse to exercise for most of my life, having had a hatred of it instilled in me from fearful experiences in the past and from gym class trauma. I also took medication that messed with my metabolism, and while on the meds I went from being merely overweight to obese. However, eating more food than is necessary, and eating the wrong kinds of food, had to play a part in the state I’m in now.

There is an old geek saying: Garbage In, Garbage Out. Usually, as is our wont, it’s been boiled down to an acronym: GIGO. It originally was a reference to coding: if you put garbage code into a computer, you will get nonsense out. If you feed yourself on garbage, you will wind up seeing bad results in your life. You don’t have to give up foods you like: there are alternatives. And even if you simply must eat that In N Out Double-Double every so often, the rule seems to be if you keep a handle on what you eat 80% of the time, and stay active, you can eat like you want 20% of the time and still be OK. Nevertheless, there is food that should be marked “biohazard” and one should stay well away. At least by calling the place The Heart Attack Grill you at least have a warning to stay away.


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