The Appeal of ‘Bad’ Food

“Many of my friends’ guilty cravings are for wallops of predictably intense flavor: Nutella or peanut butter eaten straight from the jar, ketchup on everything, endless applications of Vegemite. They admit to loving processed food: Cheez Balls, Fun Dip, Froot Loops, Little Debbie Tree Cakes, instant mashed potatoes with bacon and cheese eaten dry from the packet. They like the intensity of burnt toast, popcorn, even chocolate, and the kick of weird combinations, like Doritos dipped in soft-boiled eggs. These are foods that speak of abandon, of a sensibility beyond diets and refined taste. One woman wrote that she loved drunk food—cheap, greasy pizzas, street meat—because it reminded her of eating what she wanted without guilt.”

The Atlantic, August 2016