On the not-quite sixth day of Christmas, a researcher gave to "we" ... six lousy french fries -- and a salad grown organically.
Eric Rimm, professor of the departments of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and real-life Grinch recently was quoted in a New York Times story, "You Don't Want Fries With That." According to the article, "Of Americans' appetite for fries, Dr. Rimm said, 'It's too bad in this country you'll pry them from my cold dead hand.'"
Furthermore, he called potatoes "starch bombs."
And then he dropped this bomb about customers at fast-food restaurants: "There aren't a lot of people who are sending back three-quarters of an order of french fries. I think it would be nice if your meal came with a side salad and six french fries."
Let that sink in like so much vegetable oil.
And Rimm wasn't even being tuberous -- he was totally serious.
It quickly became a hot potato, hashed out (mmmm, hash browns!) in hashtags.
Twitter user @DietitiansHusband wrote: "The scientific study that said 6 fries are the limit...6 fries are what the beach chickens get when I'm done eating fries. Kidding...I don't feed seagulls at the beach."
Tweeter @bigdave325, who must come by his username honestly, said: "I eat more than 6 #FrenchFries just checking the bag to make sure that the whole order is there."
Another joked, "Harvard professor says that you should only eat 6 French fries per serving... Is this what Harvard kids are being 'tot?' I 'yam' appalled."
And another brought up the recent E. coli scare: "Ok so would you rather die by eating a romaine lettuce leaf or by eating 7 French fries?"
A college even got in on the Twitter action. From @ShippensburgU (a Pennsylvania University): "Your Ship professors might be asking a lot of you these last couple weeks, but at least none of their research says you should only eat 6 #FrenchFries."
Rimm tried to put out the grease fire with his own tweet: "My suggestion to the NYTimes was that perhaps restaurants should offer a smaller portion size as a tantalizing option to satisfy those with a taste for fries but who don't want the starch bomb." But people were still pretty salty.
VanityFair.com contacted the professor after his spud-den infamy. He felt his words were just small potatoes. After all, he wasn't suggesting a total no-fry zone.
VF quoted an email from Rimm: "Am I really a monster? A lot of tweeters in the U.K. and the U.S. act like I just caused a third world war!"
Indeed, he is a monster. One that we've taken to calling the Rimm Reaper.
The Rimm Reaper was further quoted as saying: "I was just suggesting restaurants could give much smaller options of fries for those of us who might need a taste but don't need a whole basket in front of us with a meal. For goodness sake, a large order of McDonald's French fries has 510 (calories).
"That's almost four 12-ounce Cokes. How's your stomach feel now?"
Totally satis-fried. Because we -- ever the picture of health and restraint -- would order a Diet Coke with it!
We imagine the Rimm Reaper will have even more of a potato chip on his shoulder after McDonald's next move.
It was since reported by BusinessInsider.com that the fast-food chain will be making its fries even more fabulously fattening.
McDonald's will apparently introduce cheesy bacon fries nationwide next year, even though a spokesman could not confirm: "'I'm afraid I'll have to provide a cheesy no comment,' a McDonald's representative told Business Insider in an email. ... 'At this moment, our kitchens are bacon-ing something together. But we're not yet ready to share the gouda news.'"
This development from his arch enemy -- the Golden Arches at that -- will certainly leave Rimm completely deves-tater-ed.
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Spin Cycle is a weekly smirk at pop culture.
Style on 12/16/2018
Print Headline: Nutrition prof in deep fat over fries comments