When I was 19, I had a crusty boyfriend who spontaneously decided that for health reasons, he was going to eat half a dozen or so raw garlic cloves every day. Which actually sounded kind of okay, at first; garlic is delicious and antiviral and antifungal and anti-everything-bad, and I’m generally unfazed by garlic breath if it’s emitting from someone I love. It seemed like a welcomed addition to his diet that otherwise consisted exclusively of spaghetti with hot sauce and tofu dogs. But after a week or two, he was a changed man. An insidious scent wafted not only out of his mouth, but also out of his armpits, feet, neck, and hairline. I have a distinct memory of kissing his cheek and tasting an industrial-strength aroma analogous to the bottom layer of a mid-summer New York City dumpster. He was emitting a pungent garlicky venom, 24 hours a day, seemingly from every pore (and orifice) on his body. The garlic ritual had to go; it was me or the garlic.
And so it did, eventually, but my memory of this phase, in addition to some other choice experiences, has since instilled me with a trust in the belief that “you are what you eat”—in other words, whatever you put in your mouth is going to make its way into every weird perspiration, fluid, and mucous that lives in or comes out of you. And as it turns out, we’re not imagining it.
I Ate Live Food from a Pet Store for a Week
Long story short: We need to find viable, palatable, nutritious alternatives to traditional meat.
With that in mind I decided to replace one meal per day for seven days with sources of protein that can be purchased alive from a pet store.
At this point I should note that I’m not some granola here to chew your ear off about how fucked up factory farming is. In fact, I eat a lot of meat myself. I’m from northern Michigan, where there’s only one day in the Christian calendar year when most folks will intentionally choose fish, and I’m the type of heathen who doesn’t even abstain on that day. So this little experiment was done for my own sake, to know what sort of animal-based dishes I can look forward to when hamburgers are enjoyed exclusively by the one percent.
Before beginning the diet, I consulted my doctor to make sure I wasn’t about to spark someContagion-type situation. As I told him about my plan he put his chin in his hand and nodded politely, but seemed pretty unconcerned.
“Isn’t there anything I should be worried about?” I asked.
He shook his head with an offhand warning against eating mice intestines. “Make sure to take those out.”
“Sure,” I said. “I wouldn’t want to eat their poop.”
After a pause, and without irony, he told me where in town I could find the best price on regionally raised beef tenderloin.
And so, with my doctor’s blessing, I drove to the pet store to buy some groceries.
Day 1: Crickets Pancakes
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving equals 100g of crickets. Each serving contains 121 calories, 12.9g protein, 5.5g of fat
4 cups of flour
1 cup of roasted crickets
Place your crickets in the freezer for 1-2 hours, then boil briskly for 1-2 minutes. Strain and cool. Place clean and cool crickets on a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.
Remove antennae and legs gently; they fall off easily. Crush collected crickets using a rolling pin or mortar and pestle until they are ground into small brown specks. Insufficient grinding will result in their small faces peering out at you from the batter L. Use flour in pancakes.
Crickets smell fishy—an aroma no doubt exacerbated by their placement in my local pet shop in thick plastic bins against a backdrop of blue fish tanks. In an effort to outwit my better instincts I told myself that the shrimp-like aroma wafting from my hotcakes was actually almonds.
Crickets taste like almonds, if you think of almonds, and shrimp if you think of anything other than almonds. This flavor is subtle, but when you place it in a pancake drenched in syrup, it becomes amplified. I recommend incorporating the cricket flour into a savory pastry, instead. Like nuts, they add a satisfying crunch.
We Got 20 Strangers Who Aren’t Models to Kiss Each Other
Earlier this week, an “arty” black and white video in which polite Americans kiss each other on the mouth made the internet squeal with excitement. The twist was, you see, that these people were all strangers, so this was footage of ten first kisses—gross saliva sounds fully audible over the sort of song that a depressed person might put on during sex.
It was really awkward and sweet, and so far it’s had over 47 million YouTube views. Many bloggers called it “beautiful,” but it was mostly beautiful because all the people that director Tatia Pilieva cast were models, actors, and musicians—that is, professional performers. Oh, and also it was a commercial for clothes, because everything that goes viral on the internet is a lie or an ad.
So our London colleagues went out into the street and found 20 strangers who aren’t models of any description to stick their stiff British upper lips together for £20 (about $33) a pop. This is how strangers really kiss.
These things get so big that some of them can’t walk. Watch as they explain that making these gigantic beasts is a hobby with a lot of luck involved. Almost every moment of this video is worth screen-grabbing, but the shots of the boar with green mulch all over its nose and the beauty pageant winner posing behind him are incredible.
Food That Is Bigger Than Food
Any time food gets too big to eat, it becomes entertaining. One curiosity for me is looking at abnormally large fruits, vegetables, or animals. When you start to explore this universe, you’ll find that it’s a place filled with record-breaking pizzas, lasagnas, burgers, and other foods that would taste better if they were proportionally sized to your mouth. The process of making and growing these overweight items is a waste of time, a waste of food, and a waste of everything but your attention. But there’s an endless supply of videos on this theme, and this small selection is an attempt at singling out the pointlessness of it all. Enjoy.
Picking the World’s Largest Watermelon
It’s been almost three years since I found this video, and it’s still one of my absolute favorites on YouTube. It’s the kind of thing I look for all the time and almost never find. If you really want to be transported to a hot summer day in Hope, Arkansas, you should watch this at home, on the big screen, with the volume turned all the way up. The best moment comes when they drop the first watermelon they try to pick and it cracks wide open—without hesitation, everyone in the picking party begins feasting on the wreckage. Stay tuned until the end, when they drive the watermelon to some nondescript loading dock and the entire town arrives to weigh the beast.
World’s Largest Fried Egg!
I don’t think that I have to convince anyone that this video is disgusting. Before watching this, I didn’t think that you were supposed to fry an ostrich egg, but as soon as she actually started frying it, I knew for a fucking fact that you’re not supposed to. Even though I am fighting the urge to throw up, I appreciate the effort behind someone thinking, Oh, that’s something you can do, and just doing it.
Inside the 2014 Ferret Fandango
Their personalities. Each one is so different. They are so individual. They will make you laugh and just constantly play. You could have a bad day at work, and they will just perk you up.
Sugarless Gummy Bears Are Not Safe for Humans
There has been lots of talk on the internet lately about Haribo sugarfree gummy bears and how they make you make shit like a madman. According to these detailed Amazon reviews, just a handful of the bears can cause an immediate evacuation of the gastrointestinal tract. There are 53 pages of reviews on Amazon, each one topping the last with a story of gummy-fueled diarrhea nightmares. “Gastric exorcism at 30,000 feet,” a reviewer named I Like Cheese wrote. “Don’t use the bathroom on a Delta flight. That stench is from me, seven years ago.”
I’m no avid Amazon shopper or reader of online reviews, but I’ve scanned my share and have never seen anything close to the kind of in-depth reporting that’s found on the Haribo sugarfree gummy bear Amazon reviews page. The metaphors are akin to something the poet John Donne would have written with after a particularly stinging shit.
"Gastric exorcism?" "Liquid razorblades?" I wasn’t buying it. This whole thing seemed like a stupid internet hoax—an excuse for people to pen elaborate fictions about their somewhat irregular but ultimately harmless gummy bear-induced shits. The reporter in me knew what had to be done. I bought a few pounds of the day-glo bears at a candy store in Manhattan and found myself in the VICE offices late last Saturday night, shoving handfuls in my mouth, determined to find out the truth.
Motherboard’s Brian Merchant spent a month living on nothing but Soylent, the futuristic meal-replacement drink. Watch the documentary