The 2009 Los Angeles County Fair opened September 5 and I’m reminded that back in the Seventies I once joined the late Bruce Pelz and other LASFSians to roam the Pomona Fairgrounds.
In the mid-Seventies the most calorie-laden food in sight was a Belgian Waffle heaped with toppings and whipped cream. I dug right in. Nothing to be proud of, yet today I could be doing infinitely worse damage to myself with contemporary offerings like deep-fried Snickers bars. The very idea sounds so funny to me there’s no doubt my younger self would have tried one.
Such things are sold at state and county fairs around the country. The Portland Oregonian recently analyzed foods for sale at these fairs looking for the absolutely worst thing you could put in your body:
Imagine searching through the fairgrounds for a decent meal, belly grumbling like a 4-H hog: That hot dog sounds tasty, but how much fat fills a foot of sausage casing? The 1/3-pound burger seems a bit better, but it’s not exactly health food. Then there’s that smoked turkey leg — it’s poultry, so it must be heart-healthy, right?
Diana always resorts to the turkey leg at the county fair – it’s turkey, how bad can it be?
Fairly bad, she’s discovered:
While no one expects fair food to be exactly healthy, some results are shocking.
A 19-ounce smoked turkey leg — with skin, of course — delivers 1,135 calories and 54 fat grams. That’s a full day’s fat supply: Government guidelines suggest average adults eat about 2,000 calories and 44 to 78 grams of fat each day.
The bird leg mounts a bigger arterial attack than the 1/3-pound burger (670 calories, 41 fat grams) or the footlong frank (550 calories and 41 fat grams). By comparison, the ever-popular corn dog has just 250 calories and 14 grams of fat (add 50 percent for a jumbo 6-ounce corn dog). In other words, you could have four corn dogs and load up fewer calories than one big drumstick…
Remember you could eat a hot dog, a chicken taco, an ear of corn, a side of baked beans, a churro and an ounce-and-a-half of chocolate fudge — all adding up to less fat and calories than the big turkey leg.
The Oregonian staff recommends the frozen chocolate-covered banana – it’s just 240 calories and 4 fat grams. If you eat just one.
[Via Laura Simmons.]