Junk Food

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

Most Expensive Potato Chip

Swedish beer-maker St. Erik's Brewery recently debuted the world's most expensive potato chip. A box of 5 chips cost 499 kr, or around $56, which comes out to about $11 per chip.

They're made with a bunch of fancy-sounding ingredients: Matsutake, Truffle Seaweed, Crown Dill, Leksand Onion, India Pale Ale Wort, and Ammarnäs Potatoes.

However, you can no longer get your hands on any of these chips because the beer-maker only made 100 boxes of them, and they've already sold out.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Oct 19, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, Junk Food, Overpriced Merchandise

Mystery Illustration 27

Which regional magazine of the fifty states decided this would be a good way to illustrate the pleasures of summer?

The answer is here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Aug 11, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Art, Magazines, Regionalism, Sex Symbols, Junk Food, 1970s

Mr Burger

Mr Burger, a Melbourne-based chain of hamburger restaurants, recently offered to give "free burgers for life" to anyone who would legally change their last name to "Burger." They specified that this meant seven burgers a week, for as long as the person maintained the name Burger. However, anyone whose last name already was Burger, was disqualified from getting the award.

But then the restaurant heard from the Government Solicitor's office (the agency responsible for processing name-change applications), informing them that it would not process any applications for people changing their name to "Burger" for the purpose of winning burgers, because such applications "are not in the spirit of the name-change process." So the competition was canned.

At least, that's the story Mr Burger is telling everyone. Perhaps the restaurant actually got cold feet, realizing too many people might have taken them up on their offer.

As far as last names go, Burger really isn't that bad. I might have done it, except I'm not interested in eating burgers every day for the rest of my life.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 02, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Contests, Races and Other Competitions, Odd Names, Junk Food

40-year-old Twinkie

At the George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, Maine, a Twinkie has been kept on display for 40 years.

Back in 1976, chemistry teacher Roger Bennatti placed the Twinkie on top of the class blackboard in response to a student question about the legendary shelf-life of Twinkies. Eventually, the Twinkie was moved into a glass display box, but it remains at the school as a perpetual experiment on Twinkie immortality. More info: abc news.

Related Twinkie posts:
Twinkie Facts
Twinkies Art

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 01, 2016 - Comments (5)
Category: Food, Junk Food, Experiments

Man finds $20 inside cheeseburger

When people find stuff in their food that doesn't belong there, it's usually things like cockroaches, small frogs, rat parts, etc. But when Dave Cook bit into his McDonald's cheeseburger, he found a folded-up $20 bill. He didn't complain to the restaurant about the unusual topping. Instead, he took a picture of the burger, finished it, and then called up the local TV news (WTVR in Virginia) to tell them about it.

I don't think a $20 bill is something that would get into a burger by accident. It had to be put there. The question is who put it there: Cook himself or one of the McDonald's employees?

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jun 12, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, Junk Food, Money

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Who We Are
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.

Paul Di Filippo
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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