Junk Food

Hot Dogs vs Hamburgers

According to a study conducted by Dr. Leo Wollman (and reported in Omni magazine in 1980), one's preference for hot dogs or hamburgers when going out for a quick lunch has a deeper significance:

The study of 3000 persons concludes that hot-dog eaters tend to be outgoing, aggressive, ambitious extroverts while hamburger fanciers are quieter introverted more conservative types. Wollman describes hamburger eaters as a bit on the wimpy side.
"The people who eat hot dogs usually grab it and go," he said. "Hamburger eaters take more time. They're better dressed executive types, used to making decisions—well done, rare, ketchup or mustard."

I like both hot dogs and hamburgers, but if I was pressed for time I'd probably grab a hot dog over a hamburger. However, I don't match Wollman's hot-dog personality type at all. So I wouldn't put much stock in his results. And digging into his bio a bit further, it doesn't seem that he was exactly known for his credibility as a researcher.

Omni - July 1980

Posted By: Alex - Sat Dec 01, 2018 - Comments (7)
Category: Food, Junk Food, Psychology

Shoes made from chewing gum

They can be yours for €199.95 (about $228). As the gumshoe website explains:

The soles of these shoes are made from recycled chewing gum from the streets of Amsterdam. In the Netherlands 1.5 million kilos of gum ends up on the street every year. Making it the second most common litter after cigarettes. By buying these shoes you contribute to the solution, by wearing them you show your support.

But what happens if people stop dropping their gum on the streets? Will the gumshoe company just go out of business?

Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 12, 2018 - Comments (5)
Category: Fashion, Shoes, Junk Food

A quarter pounder, hold the cheese

Cynthia Kissner and Leonard Werner have filed a class-action lawsuit against McDonald's, complaining that the cost of a Quarter Pounder without cheese is the same as it with cheese.

As people who like their Quarter Pounders without cheese, they feel ripped off and are asking for $5 million in damages.

Read their complaint here.

More info here.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 26, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Lawsuits, Junk Food

The Golden Flake Gobbler

Amazingly, never sued by Sesame Street or Jim Henson for resemblance to the Cookie Monster.

Explanation here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Apr 24, 2018 - Comments (5)
Category: Business, Advertising, Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings, Regionalism, Junk Food

Pretzels for God

The Pretzels for God movement was founded by Marlene McCauley of Phoenix, Arizona in 1973 after she became inspired to restore the pretzel to what she felt was its rightful place in Christian worship.

Apparently Christians invented pretzels back in the fifth century to eat during Lent since the pretzels contained only water, flour, and salt, but no eggs or milk which were forbidden during the observance. The shape of the pretzel symbolized arms crossed in prayer.

However, in modern times this religious origin has been largely forgotten as pretzels have become a bar and snack food. McCauley was determined to right this wrong. Specifically, she hoped to encourage Christians to eat pretzels during Lent and also to recite before each meal the "pretzel prayer":

"Grant us, we pray, that we too may be reminded by the daily sight of these pretzels to observe the holy season of Lent with true devotion and great spiritual fruit."

More info:
"The Twisting Religious Plot of the Pretzel," Houston Chronicle
"Pretzels for God,"[PDF] text of a speech delivered by McCauley at the National Pretzel Convention in 1974

"Rev. Cornelius O'Mara, S.J. holding Lenten Christian symbol of prayer and penance with students from Central High School"

Kane Republican - Feb 23, 1974

Arizona Republic - Apr 8, 1979

Posted By: Alex - Thu Mar 01, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, Junk Food, Religion, 1970s

Twinkie Diet

Back in 2010, in order to prove his theory that "in weight loss, pure calorie counting is what matters most — not the nutritional value of the food," Kansas State University professor of human nutrition Mark Haub lived almost entirely on Twinkies for 10 weeks. He ate one every three hours.

Though he added some variety into his diet with side helpings of Doritos, sugary cereals, and Oreos. As well as a multivitamin pill, protein shake, and some vegetables daily.

But by limiting himself to 1800 calories a day he lost 27 pounds, and other measures of health, such as cholesterol levels, all improved.


Posted By: Alex - Sun Feb 11, 2018 - Comments (5)
Category: Food, Junk Food, Dieting and Weight Loss

Burger Grease Artist

In 2009, Arby's commissioned artist Phil Hansen to paint a version of the Mona Lisa using grease from the burgers of 14 of their competitors. He called his creation Mona Greasa.

Another curious fact about Hansen. According to wikipedia, while in high school he managed to cause himself nerve damage because of his obsession with pointillism.

He's also written a book that sounds interesting: Tattoo a Banana: And Other Ways to Turn Anything and Everything Into Art

Posted By: Alex - Thu Sep 14, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Art, Junk Food

More Potato Chip Queens

Inspired by Paul's post yesterday about the Potato Chip Queen contest, I did some research over at (subscription required) and came up with what I believe is a complete list of the Potato Chip Queens from 1946 to 1956, except for 1947 for which year I can't find any info. Perhaps there was no queen that year. After 1956 the contest seems to have transitioned into a Miss Teen Potato Chip contest. So, not quite the same.

Based on what I found, Nikki Geer was awarded the crown in 1946, but Paul found info indicating it was given to Dorothea Fagnano. Since Dorothea was only 15, I'm guessing she must have been given some kind of teen version of the crown.

Also, In 1952 the crown was given to a chipmunk ("Miss Potato Chip-munk").

Finally, the Potato Chip Queen for 1953, Joan Gehan (aka UN-KA-PU-CHI), was so popular that the next year they promoted her to "Miss Potato Chip of the Century."

1946: Nikki Geer
Shickshinny Mountain Echo - Nov 8, 1946

1948: Joan Smith
Opelousas Daily World - Feb 12, 1948

1949: Patricia Hunter
Zanesville Times Recorder - Jan 29, 1949

Edit: Found a picture of Pat Hunter's potato chip photoshoot in Life - Feb 28, 1949.

1950: Peggy Sharpe
Honolulu Star-Advertiser - Mar 19, 1950

1951: Edie Pike
Honolulu Star-Advertiser - Mar 4, 1951

1952: Miss Potato Chip-munk (with maid-in-waiting Ronda Sherwood)
Marengo Republican News - Feb 7, 1952

1953: Joan Gehan — promoted to "Miss Potato Chip of the Century" in 1954
Image via

Pittsburgh Press - Jan 28, 1954

1955: Ruth Burkhart
Kingsport Times-News - Mar 6, 1955

1956: Elaine Kuntz
Louisville Courier-Journal - Jan 29, 1956

Update: a better picture of the 1956 winner, Elaine Kuntz. (via Pinterest)

Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 23, 2017 - Comments (5)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Junk Food, 1940s, 1950s

National Potato Chip Queen

The first Potato Chip Queen apparently was nominated in 1946.

The next gal I can find won in 1949. The caption also introduces the irreplaceable term "spud wafers," which I intend to use from now on.


Here is a pic from their 1948 convention.

I find evidence the NPCI existed as late as 1957.

But as for Potato Chip Queens after 1949, no luck. I think the NPCI is also defunct.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Aug 22, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Contests, Races and Other Competitions, Conventions, Junk Food, 1940s, 1950s

The Weeny Witch

From the 1940s to the 1970s, the makers of "Skinless" wieners tried hard, through relentless advertising, to establish "Weeny Witch" parties as a Halloween tradition. Basically, these were parties that completely centered around hot dogs. A "Weeny Witch" (a hot dog dressed up as a witch) would serve as a table centerpiece.

To make the Weeny Witch party more festive the company distributed a pamphlet with party suggestions, which included "Bobbing for Franks" as well as "Feeding the Weeny Witch." The latter involved creating a cardboard cutout of a witch's head. Blindfolded kids would then try to stick their weeny in the witch's mouth.

Image source: reddit

Image source: And Everything Else Too

Albuquerque Journal - Oct 23, 1949

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 31, 2016 - Comments (5)
Category: Food, Junk Food, Holidays

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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