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long john silvers big catch

The Worst Restaurant Meal In America Unveiled

“Worst restaurant meal in America.” I have to admit that when I saw that headline this week, I figured that the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) was probably again taking a potshot at beef. But CSPI’s worst meal distinction went to Long John Silver’s Big Catch platter meal.

Dubbed a “heart attack on a hook,” the combination includes fried fish (haddock), hush puppies and onion wings. The meal boasts 1,320 total calories, 33 grams of trans fat, 19 grams of saturated fat, and a whopping 3,700 milligrams of sodium. CSPI, of course, is an admittedly radical group with a very sketchy record that is waging a war on partially hydrogenated oil and trans fat. But the group did raise some concerns about the way Long John Silver’s represents its nutritional information. For instance, CSPI claims their own analysis of the 8-oz. fillet tested out at 4-5 oz. of fish, and 2-4 oz. of batter. CSPI also criticized the chain’s nutrition information on the side items.

I mention the CSPI story because I overheard a discussion in our local McDonald’s the same day between two older farmers whowere looking at that same newspaper headline. Admittedly, it’s not a statistically valid sample of American consumer sentiment, but one of the men commented that it sounded like “a pretty good meal.” The pair even discussed making a road trip to try it out.


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I’m sure these two men won’t make that trip anytime soon, since both parties admitted to never having eaten at a Long John Silver’s. Plus, the nearest Long John Silver’s restaurant in our area is about 160 miles away.

But I would love to know what the effect of the CSPI mention will be on the sales of the Big Catch. With all the other things going on, there’s been a tendency to forget that people’s concerns about eating healthy continue to grow, even if there is a tendency for their opinions to be based on perception rather than reality.


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