This year had its ups, and boy did it have its downs. The food world in 2016 was no exception to that roller coaster ride: For every Donut Ice Cream Cone this year gave us, there was a hot and juicy Rat Burger ready to follow it up. In remembering a few of those lows, and hoping that remembering them will keep history from repeating itself, we’ve put together a definitive list of our worst food moments of the year. Join us as in bidding a fond farewell to the dishes and memories we’ll miss the least from this tumultuous and confusing year.
1. All The Times Presidential Election Coverage Focused on Candidates' Eating Habits Instead of Issues
Seeing a before-picture of Trump about go to town on a taco bowl while proclaiming “I love Hispanics!” and learning about Hillary’s #HotSauceBagSwag is of general interest. But it doesn’t need to be on CNN. Maybe if we spent a little more time focused on actual issues, instead of candidate eating habits, our Facebook feeds wouldn’t be the hot mess of yelling and passive aggressive "likes" that they are today. (Only maybe, though).
2. When the Texas Rangers Revealed the Disgusting New Menu Mashups at Their Ballpark
The worst recurring nightmare we had in 2016 was probably the one where we had to watch a loved one drown in a Popcornopolis Pita. Food mashups truly scraped the bottom of the barrel this year.
3. When We Found out Parmesan Cheese Contains Wood Pulp
We weren’t laboring under the delusion that eating a lot of pre-shredded Parm was good—we just didn’t expect it to be wood. The moment the FDA announced that certain brands of Parmesan contained fillers like cellulose (more commonly: wood pulp) is the same moment we dug our old hand crank out of the drawer and started doing our best Olive Garden waiter impression — “Just say when.”
4. Anytime Sexual Harassment Was Considered OK in the Food Industry (Or Anywhere)
We’re talking specifically about the high profile case of celebrity chef Michael Chiarello who was sued by two former employees over accusations of sexual harassment. But we're also talking about the industry as a whole, where this sort of behavior is a surprisingly common occurrence. Here's hoping it dies alongside 2016.
5. When We Learned the Sugar Industry Has Been Trying to Blame Fat As the Real Enemy
This was also the year we discovered the sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to blame fat for increasing national obesity rates to keep pressure off overly sweet products (sodas, juices, coffee drinks, etc.). It left a real bitter taste in our mouth.
6. The Moment the Words Avocado Shortage Entered Our Vocabulary
NO, PLEASE, NO. TAKE THE SWISS CHARD INSTEAD! OR THE RADISHES! JUST SPARE THE AVOCADO.
7. The Continuation of Beef Between Anthony Bourdain and Guy Fieri
The two had allegedly put the bickering behind thems when Bourdain out of nowhere sort of threw some shade at Fieri. Bourdain told Adweek, “he’s worthy of a solid and relentless mocking as anyone who has made his sartorial choices deserves.” Maybe this beef is not so squashed. Me-ow.
8. When It Was Revealed That All Our Olive Oil Is Probably, Definitely Fake
In one study of grocery stores almost SEVENTY PERCENT of olive oil tested from stores shelves contained some instance of food fraud. Let that number really sink in and realize you’ve probably gotten duped out of your hard earned money at some point this year. Vito Corleone would be spinning in his grave.
9. When Science Said Climate Change Could Cause Lobsters to Go Extinct
“Pfft don’t be dramatic, climate change isn’t even real.” - Someone who clearly doesn’t care about future generations having the opportunity to enjoy lobster rolls, lobster mac ‘n cheese or lobster bisque. AKA: a monster.
10. Two Words: Wine Terrorists
Is nothing sacred?
11. That Time a Guy Fieri Bar Crawl Happened
One day in November a bunch of people got together, dressed up like Fieri, went on a bar crawl, and then ate at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square. (Yea, that one). We literally cannot decide if this is a best or worst moment of the year. For the time being we’re going to go with worst and hope that nothing pops up to top it in he next few days.
There you have it 2017, the bar has been set.
But don’t worry: It’s pretty low.
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