Somewhere between breakfast and a cup of coffee lays this middle ground of stupid -- food that isn't really food, but still seems appropriate to consume for the (allegedly) most important meal of the day.
Jon Stewart and The Daily Show exposed the ridiculousness of the pancake-wrapped sausage years ago, but for the sake of real breakfast foods, it behooves us to extend the list beyond just the AM corndog. So we present the "Ten Stupidest "Breakfast Foods Ever."
Pop-Tarts are not food. They're edible -- and there's a difference. In 2006, Kellogg's was asked to cease advertising that Pop-Tarts were "made with real fruit." They actually were, but only in the way that high-fructose corn syrup is made from corn, or heroin is made from pretty flowers. In the 1967 commercial above, you'll notice that early on, breakfast is hardly mentioned -- they seem made for dessert. As a dessert, Pop-Tarts make at least some semblance of sense. As a breakfast, they make about as much sense as eating leftover pizza and claiming it's like having a V-8.
9. Carnation Instant Breakfast
Before yogurt smoothies were in every dairy case and Jack LaLanne started selling juicers, this was the power-drink for downing on the way to work. And it still (perhaps surprisingly) exists on store shelves today, though it now goes by "Instant Breakfast Essentials," probably to compete more directly for the shopping dollars of the Ensure-crowd. But this was originally a weight-control, busy-executive, no-time-for-breakfast sort of breakfast--sure, the ads showed a kid drinking it, but no kid we knew did. It just tasted like weak Nestles Quik with a metallic aftertaste. It was proof: being an adult sucked.
Admittedly, bagels themselves aren't great for you; they're carb bombs, and typically drenched in cream cheese. But they're quick to eat -- although apparently not quick enough. These relatively new entrants into the world of too-much-convenience-is-bad-for-you turn bagels into Twinkies, only with a harder shell and thicker cream. Ick. To top it off, according to this ad campaign, they're also apparently easy to mistake for ferrets. Mmmmmm...ferrets.
7. Pre-Cooked Bacon I don't know if this stuff is made out of zombies, or just bacon that's been somehow necromantically preserved to remain in the same physical state, but either way, it's bad news. It's a little wizened, not much more than a shell of its former self, and I believe that it actually moans a little bit if you listen closely. Also? Tastes like zombies. I rest my case. 6. Eggo Mini Muffin Tops
Okay, Eggo's aren't known for their nutritional value--but seriously, this was a Seinfeld joke, people. It was a joke, and Eggo went and made it happen. What's next, Eggo Puffy Shirts? And seriously, what a boon for breakfasts everywhere to take an item that's already available fresh from local bakeries and grocery stores and then freeze it so that your customers would have to re-heat it in their toasters. That's like taking a banana, breaking it down into mush, reforming it again into a frozen banana-shape, and then wrapping it in a plastic peel-like container which can easily be removed for toasting. Genius.
5. The Egg McMuffin
Compared to the other complete crap that you can get from McDonald's in the AM, this one isn't bad--but then, that's sort of like being the least hard drug that Amy Winehouse ingested on a Friday night. The McMuffin's biggest problem is that it ushered in a whole slew of terrible breakfast sandwiches that do a serious disservice to the simple grace of fried egg on toast. And this insipid commercial from 1979 (transparently trying to re-create the success of the Big Mac tongue-twister) doesn't help.
4. Any Cereal with "Sugar" in the Name
This pretty much leaves out any cereal made after the mid-1970s, when moms caught onto the fact that there was a connection between them feeding their kids a bowl full of sugar and those kids bouncing off the walls, slapping each other around, and setting fire to things out on the lanai. So all of a sudden Super Sugar Smacks became Honey Smacks, and Sugar Pops became Corn Pops, and so on. People talk about the mid-twentieth century being a more innocent time, but seriously, are we talking about innocence here, or just plain I-don't-give-a-shit-ness? 3. Milk and Cereal Bars
Cereal bars are stupid on their own. But seriously: You add a suspicious layer of white goo to the thing and call it "milk"? And this is supposed to be a good thing? I'm assuming that the white goo contains calcium and protein and other nutritional goodness that one might get from an actual glass of milk, but dude, it's white goo. The value of X plus white goo is almost always less than the value of X alone. That's just simple math.
2. Burger King's Enormous Omelet Sandwich
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Generally speaking, you don't want to eat any food that also aptly describes your ass should you consume one on even a semi-regular basis. There's really no good reason why anyone should purchase and consume a sandwich that contains 730 calories and all the fat and salt that a person should have in a day -- which is why, of course, that the above commercial used to advertise this monster of a breakfast sandwich instead focuses on how it helps you befriend bears.
Apologies to any scrapple-lovers out there, but seriously: this stuff is toxic. It's malevolent. It doesn't even really belong on this list--pre-cooked bacon might pale beside its fresh-cooked counterpart, but at least it's still bacon. But scrapple--oh my god, scrapple. It is, to be clear, fried hog offal--that is, the head, heart, organs, and assorted scraps of a slaughtered pig, usually boiled on the bone and then reduced, at which point the bones are removed, the meat is minced, cornmeal is added to the broth, and the whole thing is mixed and seasoned and shaped into a loaf. Hungry yet? The seasoning is key, of course, because you certainly wouldn't want to eat your pig head without some thyme and savory. It's notable that people normally douse scrapple in ketchup, maple syrup, Tabasco sauce or all of the above in order to mask the taste of it.They have to, because scrapple tastes like liver-flavored dog food, and with good reason: This is how you fucking make liver-flavored dog food. So, scrapple for breakfast? Really? This is the way you want to start your day? I guess scrapple has one thing going for it: no matter what the rest of the day holds for you, there's nowhere to go but up.