Truckers in the Wild, our show about food trucks and the people who love them, heads to Las Vegas.
Photos of Death Row Inmates’ Last Meals
VICE: Hey Henry. So what made you start photographing serial killer’s last meals?
Henry Hargreaves: I’m really interested in people’s choices with food. It’s one of those things that everyone does several times a day, but you never really see it out of context or think about what it says about someone. I was reading about a campaign to abolish the last meal in Texas, so I went online and researched it. And as I was reading through these records, I felt that I could identify with these people for a brief moment just from what they ordered.
Do you think the meals offer a window into the psyche of the condemned?
I think in general—yes, definitely. The thing that kind of struck me with these last meals was how many of them were these big, deep fried meals, which we like to call comfort food. Here were these people in their last moments and all they really want was a little bit of comfort.
Is the project a statement about the death penalty?
Yeah. I mean, I’m from New Zealand, and when I came to America the death penalty struck me as a really inhumane thing. It’s seen by most of the world as this outdated, barbaric act. And it’s strange that it still exists in a country that spends so much time advertising their democracy and morals to the rest of the world. In the process of researching the project, I came across claims that reckon there’s about 12 people over the last 20 years who have been executed falsely in America. That’s only hearsay of course, but those people are still gone and they have no hope of a retrial.
Truckers in the Wild – Los Angeles
The luchador scene expanding rapidly through LA with fights popping up and a flood of new contenders entering the biz. Case and point, El Burger Luchador, the food truck that’s a manifestation of the cult following these masked wrestlers have cultivated. While not fighters themselves, the El Burger guys are huge luchador fans. They think outside the box with their burgers, always experimenting with new toppings and using the freshest ingredients and best burger buns in LA. They’re at once flamboyant and mysterious just like the fighters the burgers were inspired by.
After spending an afternoon on Wilshire cooking up the Luchador chef’s newest creation, Max and Eli Sussman find out how El Burger Luchador fares with the top Luchadors born and trained in Mexico City. The brothers take the truck to one of the biggest luchador fights of the year. Parked outside the Mayan, they find out whether these impressive burgers are enough for fans and veteran fighters.
Truckers in the Wild: Miami
Beloved food truck Mojo on the Go is the best of the best of “southern Florida cuisine”— a fusion of Creole-, Cuban-, and swamp-inspired food, including alligator, frog legs, and more. Located on the edge of the world famous Everglades National Park, the truck only offers swamp-caught food, so we follow Max and Eli as they hunt frogs in the Everglades for the truck’s daily catch.
The brothers then take Mojo on the Go to the hypersophisticated ladies and gentlemen of Coral Gables—the richest neighborhood in Miami—to see how they react to the truck’s swamp delicacies.
Gorging on Wild Animals with the Sultans of Sausage
Here’s what you need to know about the Rhode Island Rumford Hunting and Fishing Club’s annual meat feast: it’s not for outsiders. This manbash is for swinging dicks. It’s for straight white men with beards and guns and shirts that read PETA: People for the Equal Treatment of Tasty Animals. It’s for men who wear backward baseball caps with polarized Oakleys resting on the bill, like they’re watching you, and the rest of this country, with the eyes in the backs of their heads.
It’s also not what you think. This particular gun club, which was founded in the 40s, has been doing the game dinner fundraiser for 30 years. Among other outdoorsy items, they raffle off rifles, guitars, and kayaks. But the main attraction is the feast—for 30 bucks, you can sidle up beside a bearded, suspendered man and dig into 150 pounds of venison, or 120 pounds of goose, shot by one of the fellows themselves (plus 100 pounds of store-bought rabbit, for good measure). The profits go to cancer programs, food banks, and scholarship funds, but most definitely not to PETA, and of course not to anybody interested in infringing on the second amendment. They are interested in “lobbying to protect the gun rights of Rhode Island residents,” according totheir website, which features plenty of cheery photos of strung-up deer carcasses and animated geese flying serenely over their lifeless bodies.
My friends seemed a little alarmed when I first scored a ticket to the meat dinner, though it was never clear if that’s because I am a slim, bespectacled man or a transsexual one. But as a masculinity expert I can’t pass up the chance to embed in the dark, hairy, grunting underbelly of the type of man who kills for sport.
The March Madness of Fast Food
Fast food is blood to me. And I don’t mean that because I eat it often— I mean it populates my mind and flows through my veins. Sometimes I can be ultraproductive for a whole week by telling myself that if I make it through and finish all of my work, I will reward myself by eating shit. My carrot on a stick is a dripping Big Mac is what I’m saying. Some of my most powerful emotions have been procured in the drive-throughs of the dozens upon dozens of butthole food options America has bequeathed its hungry citizens. Sometimes even just driving down the road feels like a Death Olympics, where at any point you could pull over and upload a couple thousand calories into your face.
After spending several days sprawled out watching men on TV throw a ball at a hole in an effort not to get eliminated from some competition, I decided to subject the butt buffets of America to a similar competition. I seeded 64 of our most popular corporate fast food establishments from one to 16, based primarily on sales stats, then went to business facing the fuckers off based on what my body likes. Below are the results.
8. Del Taco
9. White Castle
5. Dairy Queen
13. Manchu Wok
6. Five Guys
3. Domino’s Pizza
14. Miami Subs
7. Church’s Chicken
2. Pizza Hut
15. Smoothie King
McDonald’s is hosted by a clown and their only item that isn’t shitted up are the french fries; Denny’s gives you actual silverware, so fuck Denny’s: McDonald’s.
In elementary school my mom would take us to Del Taco, and all I remember is the refried beans, how you could almost drink them; White Castle is piss: Del Taco.
Krystal is only OK to eat if you’re so drunk you won’t remember anything the next morning besides the smell; Dairy Queen dunks shit in chocolate up to your wrist: DQ.
This Man Thinks He Never Has to Eat Again
You know what’s a complete waste of time, money, and effort? Eating. I mean, wouldn’t you rather just ingest a tasteless form of sustenance for the rest of your life and never have to go through that tedious rigmarole of opening and eating a premade sandwich or feasting on a pile of fried delicacies ever again? Rob Rhinehart—a 24-year-old software engineer from Atlanta and, presumably, an impossibly busy man—thinks so.
Rob found himself resenting the inordinate amount time it takes to fry an egg in the morning and decided something had to be done. Simplifying food as “nutrients required by the body to function” (which sounds totally bulimic, I know, but I promise it’s not), Rob has come up with an odorless beige cocktail that he’s named Soylent.
I wasn’t sure if he was trolling at first because that’s the name of a wafer made out of human flesh and fed to the masses in the seminal 1973 sci-fi film Soylent Green, but then I read the extensive post on Rob’s blog about how he came to make the stuff, and I started to believe he was serious. Soylent contains all the nutritive components of a balanced diet but just a third of the calories and none of the toxins or cancer-causing stuff you’d usually find in your lunch of processed foods. Despite the fact that it looks a bit like vomit, Soylent supposedly has the potential to change the entire world’s relationship with food, so I spoke to Rob to find out how.
VICE: Hi, Rob. Why did you decide to boycott eating?
Rob Rhinehart: It was a combination of things. I was home for Christmas and saw an elderly family friend get admitted to the hospital after losing an unhealthy amount of weight. He was losing strength in one of his arms and found it very difficult to cook. I started wondering why something as simple and important as food was still so inefficient, given how streamlined and optimized other modern things are. I also had an incentive to live as cheaply as possible, and I yearned for the productivity benefit of being healthy. I’d been reading a lot of books on biology, and I started to think that it’s probably all the same to our cells whether it gets nutrients from a powder or a carrot.
What was the next step?
Hacking the body is high risk, high reward. I read a textbook on physiological chemistry and took to the internet to see if I could find every known essential nutrient. My kitchen soon looked like a chemistry lab, and I had every unknown substance in a glass in front of me. I was a little worried it was going to kill me, but decided it was for science and quickly downed the whole thing. To my surprise, it was quite tasty, and I felt very energetic. For 30 days, I avoided food entirely, and I monitored the contents of my blood and my physical performance. Mental performance is harder to quantify, but I feel much sharper.
So what’s in Soylent, exactly?
Everything the body needs—that we know of, anyway—vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients like essential amino acids, carbohydrates, and fat. For the fat, I just use olive oil and add fish oil. The carbs are an oligosaccharide, which is like sugar, but the molecules are longer, meaning it takes longer to metabolize and gives you a steady flow of energy for a longer period of time rather than a sugar rush from something like fructose or table sugar. I also add some nonessentials like antioxidants and probiotics and lately have been experimenting with nootropics.
YouTube sensation Shoenice22 has spent the last two years eating and drinking everything from sticks of deodorant, to tampons, to full bottles of grain alcohol. He’s a grown up and more self-destructive version of that weird kid at camp who would eat worms for attention.