Culinary no-no #505

For new readers you might be wondering, “What’s a Culinary no-no?”  Here’s the short answer.

Father’s Day 2007, a beautiful summer day, I blogged about grilling brats. And eating brats. And topping those brats. I was inspired by my wife, Jennifer who, in my admittedly unscientific opinion, ruins brats by squirting … ketchup on them.

No no!


We had a blog title!

I’ve written a Sunday Culinary no-no ever since, and we’re now over 500 segments.

And you know what that means.

Regular readers of mine over the years are probably thinking at this point that what’s coming next is a litany of crummy, much too healthy, and vegan Super Bowl party appetizers and entrees. That would, indeed, be fun.

This culinary installment, if you buy into the theory, is actually far worse. It’s deadly.

Before we explain, according to the Daily Meal here are the 10 most popular Super Bowl foods, ranked:

  • #10 Potato Skins
  • #9 Jalapeño Poppers
  • #8 Pigs in a Blanket
  • #7 Deviled Eggs
  • #6 Pulled Pork Sandwiches
  • #5 Guacamole
  • #4 Nachos
  • #3 Chicken Wings
  • #2 Chili
  • #1 Pizza

Sounds right. In and of themselves, nothing wrong with any of those snacks. I suppose any nutritionist would add the caveat there’s nothing to worry about if eaten in moderation. Fine.

The no-no isn’t digesting too much. The no-no is a real killer.

In February of 2016 Tulane University released a study with the following title:

Success Is Something to Sneeze At: Influenza Mortality in Cities that Participate in the Super Bowl

From the study:

Using county-level Vital Statistics of the United States data from 1974 to 2009, we employ a differences-in-differences framework comparing influenza mortality rates in Bowl-participating counties to nonparticipants. We estimate having a local team in the Super Bowl caused an 18 percent increase in influenza deaths for the population over age 65. Results are most pronounced in years when the dominant influenza strain is more virulent, or when the Super Bowl occurs closer to the peak of influenza season. We find no impacts on influenza mortality in hosting cities. Our findings suggest mitigating transmission at gatherings related to large spectator events could have substantial returns for public health.

Influenza is an infectious disease that spreads by airborne droplets with an approximate travel radius of 6 feet, making close human contact an important infection vector (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2012).

In sum, we present evidence influenza mortality increases in cities with NFL teams during successful postseason play.  If a major contributor to increased influenza spread is local gatherings for watching games, a simple policy solution is to increase awareness of influenza transmission vectors during times of sports-related gatherings. Reminding people to wash their hands and avoid sharing drinks or food at parties during the height of influenza season, especially if they have high amounts of contact with vulnerable populations, could have large social returns.

The lead author of the study was Charles Stoecker.

Okay. No the flu is nothing to joke about. People die from it, and yet despite the years and years of data this all sounds a bit crazy.

That said, I can truly see this happening.


Making school lunches great again

And from our archive…

One thought on “Culinary no-no #505

  1. Pingback: UPDATE: Culinary no-no #505 | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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