• Mercedes Benstock

The F word.

Fat. “How can anyone in NY be fat? I know its mean but how can someone let themselves get to that point?”-Anonymous (we can call him Ken).

As I started walking the streets of Manhattan this morning, I thought about what New Yorkers eat, or what we are offered to eat. I thought about the ubiquitous food carts filled with those large glazed swirly donuts, atrocious apple turnovers, stale bagels, and bacon egg and cheese sandwiches.

Honestly they look like the most unsanitary source of “street cuisine” I have ever seen, yet I always see dozens of people crowded around to get there morning coffee from there, or their usual donut. So my question is why? As children we were taught never to talk to strangers, or take candy from strangers, so why the hell are we BUYING food from strangers (most of which that don’t even have there permits). And yes, I understand that we buy food from strangers everyday-most of which are from established companies though. Which are not going to risk getting their license taken away by hiring a food poisoning expert, or serving food that isn’t fresh.

Even when I skim a box of frosted flakes, I look at the ingredients and cringe at the unknown chemicals I am putting into my body! So imagine what exactly is in that “large glazed swirly donut” aka a cinnamon roll minus the cinnamon according to the breakfast cart guy I interviewed this morning. Out of curiosity I asked how much he charged for one of them, and he said $2.50, yet a few blocks forward they were charging $1.25 for the heart attack swirl.

Once 12PM hits the breakfast carts are gone, and the lunch carts begin. So what exactly is on the lunch menu for street cuisine in manhattan? Well, just about everything if we include food trucks, but as for right now we are still talking about food carts. Notorious eats for food carts are, hotdogs, knishes, pretzels, and falafel’s. Unhealthy, unhealthy, unhealthy and..unhealthy! We do see fruit stands occasionally but really, where do these people even obtain their fruit from?

It’s a mystery to me yet tons of people are loyal customers to these food carts along with loyal patients to their cardiologist.