Going to a baseball game is not just about watching the game anymore; it's also about how much delicious ballpark food you can consume in a nine-inning game. Very few of us, though, consider the nutritional value of anything we eat, so we decided to try and give a nutritionist some nightmares by having her give her opinion on some of the craziest concession foods we could find across baseball.
Nutritionist and health coach Stephanie Perry helped us out by giving her thoughts on some food items that she described as "unfit for human consumption." Needless to say, I disagree (unless she meant in one sitting, then yes, I agree).
Pulled Pork and Pierogi Stacker
Introduced at PNC Park for the 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates season, this sandwich's life-span may be short. It is currently in a fan voting competition to decide whether it or a Stuffed Pepper Hoagie (*cough* lame *cough*) stay on the menu for the rest of 2011. The winner will be announced after the MLB All-Star break in July. One thing is for sure, the Pulled Pork and Pierogi Stacker at PNC Park in Pittsburgh will immediately go into the food alliteration Hall of Fame.
- Pretzel Roll
- Pulled Pork
- 2 Potato Pierogis
- Caramelized Onions
Nutritionist's Take - The sodium content of this meal is out of this world! A little basic math and you’ll be amazed. One serving (about 3 ounces) of pulled pork contains over 500mg of sodium. Now we all know this sandwich more than likely has at least 3 – 4 servings of pork. That’s almost an entire day's worth of sodium and we haven’t even included the pierogis or the bun (and the extra salt on top)!
My Not-So-Expert Response - The only math I have to do is Pulled Pork + Pretzel Bun + Pierogis = DELICIOUS! If I had to create the perfect sandwich, this one would be mine. Last time I checked, my blood pressure was perfect, so I think giving this sodium sandwich a try can't hurt me too much. Right?
Rocky Mountain Oysters
Not a fan of seafood? Well, don't worry; these oysters may be perfect for you as they come from nowhere near the ocean. Instead, they come from a bull's nether region. See, not seafood. Here is how Wikipedia describes them: "Rocky Mountain oysters are bull testicles used as food. They are often deep-fried after being peeled, coated in flour, pepper and salt, and sometimes pounded flat." Mmmmmm. Rocky Mountain Oysters currently grace the menu at Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies.
- Bull Testicles
- Salt & Pepper
- Cocktail Sauce
Nutritionist's Take - Testicles by any other name are still just that - testicles. Need I say more? This is a great example of why consumers need to be careful when purchasing items with catchy names!
My Not-So-Expert Response - Oh come on! It's just a unique beef product that is deep fried, what is so wrong about that… No but seriously, I would never go near these unless I was betting my friend $10 that he wouldn't do it (If you knew my friend, you'd know he would be $10 richer).
Named after Hall of Fame baseball player Hammerin' Hank Aaron, The Hammer is served at Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves. In the South, fried chicken and waffles is a natural combination and everyone knows bacon makes everything better. Throw on maple mayo and onion straws, and you have one heck of a sandwich.
- Southern Fried Chicken Cutlet
- Fried Onion Straws
- Strips of Applewood Smoked Bacon
- Pepper Jack Cheese
- Maple Mayonnaise
- 2 Waffles
Nutritionist's Take - Five of the six ingredients listed for this item are forms of fat. No…fried onion straws are not considered a vegetable! If heart attacks run in your family – maybe you should avoid this one.
My Not-So-Expert Response - Fried onion straws not a vegetable? Next thing you are going to tell me is that candy corn and potato chips aren't vegetables either… wait, what was that? They're not? You're going to have to give me a minute; my world just got turned upside down.
The first three entries on this list come from Major League Baseball stadiums, but when it comes to crazy food, it's Minor League ballparks that do it right. The Akron Aeros, the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, introduced this behemoth sundae which is served in a full size replica batting helmet for the 2011 season. You may want to bring a friend, or ten, to help finish this sundae off.
- 1 lb. Brownie
- 21 Scoops of Ice Cream
- 4 Bananas
- Hot Fudge
- Whipped Cream
Nutritionist's Take - If you’re looking for an emergency room visit and an insulin shot then this sundae is for you. The entire pound of brownie and 21 scoops of ice cream alone contain a whopping 4600 calories and 1.3lbs... yes that’s pounds… of sugar! Hello, hypoglycemia!
My Not-So-Expert Response - I'm used to getting the miniature helmets filled with an ice cream sundae, but a full-sized one! Where do I sign up and ultimately have to sign a disclaimer about the all-but-guaranteed hypoglycemia and diabetes? I mean we are talking a replica batting helmet here. A BATTING HELMET!
Fifth Third Burger
The Western Michigan Whitecaps, a Detroit Tigers minor league affiliate, introduced the Fifth Third Burger in 2009, when it was added to the menu at the aptly named Fifth Third Ballpark. It has gained plenty of notoriety over the past couple years with appearances on "SportsCenter," "The Today Show" and most recently, "Man vs. Food." According to CNBC estimations, the burger has 4889 calories, 299 grams of fat and 10,887 milligrams of sodium.
- 5 One-Third Pound Hamburger Patties
- Nacho Cheese
- Sour Cream
- 8-inch Sesame Seed Bun
Nutritionist's Take - Get ready for some more artery clogging messiness. There are almost 200 grams of fat in those five hamburger patties. Want to take a guess as to how much fat is in the entire concoction? The thought alone makes me shudder. Call the ambulance while you eat this one – it’ll give even a super fit person a heart attack!
My Not-So-Expert Response - This is my Mount Everest. Ever since I saw this burger on "Man vs. Food," I have wanted to try to take this bad boy down. Unfortunately, flying from Connecticut to Western Michigan just to try and kill myself via a massive cheeseburger doesn't fit into my budget (considering the medical bills from the triple-bypass it would require). You win this round, Fifth Third Burger.
Stephanie Perry is a nutritionist and Certified Holistic Health Coach. In July she will receive her Board Certification through the American Association of Drugless Practitioner. You can visit www.a-newhope.com or email StephaniePerry@a-newhope.com for more information on her health coaching and how she can help. Mention this blog and she will extend a complimentary consultation.