Food

Our hurricane-induced junk food binging leads to food hangovers

Aug. 29, 2011 at 2:25 PM ET

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Hurricane Irene has ended her reign of terror, and in addition to massive floods and the destruction of property, she’s left behind one thing: a food hangover from a weekend of doomsday binging.

Many of us were repeatedly told to “stock up” -- but what we chose to hear was “buy all your favorite junk food and eat guilt-free like there’s no tomorrow.”

At first, we were just being pragmatic. We needed food to last us several days in case grocery stores or restaurants stayed closed. Then, we rationalized, we needed a variety of foods to stave off the almost unbearable boredom. As we watched the terrifying predictions of what could happen, we needed  to up our fat, carbs and sugar intake to prevent our bodies from going into shock (hello, there’s a reason it’s called “comfort food”),  and to have Iron Man-energy in case we’d be called on for a moment of heroism.  

But then the storm was over, and the judgmental sun came out,  forcing us to face the empty snack bags, piled up dishes, pizza boxes and other evidence of our dietary carnage.

While we know we are all lucky to have such insignificant problems, TODAY.com staffers came in this morning lamenting their weekend eats, as each person upped the ante with their contribution. Here’s a sampling of what we threw down:

I must have thought I was going to get scurvy, so I bought ten pounds of fruit. No joke. I ate at least two pounds of grapes, some peaches, and an entire package of strawberries. I made a grilled cheddar and salami on cinnamon raisin toast (you make do with what you’ve got), three pieces of pizza, a really unnecessary amount of beer and then, on Sunday once I got free, I made a beeline for the nearest open restaurant and wolfed down a bacon cheeseburger and some fries. Because the whole thing had been so stressful.   -- Amy DiLuna

Boar’s Head bacon, and lots of it. One tub of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (the wife got maybe two spoon-fulls out of it); chocolate chip cookies -- we made our own and consumed an ill-advised quantity of them. A word to the wise: When you’re cooped up in a New York City apartment during dangerously inclement weather, feeding high-sugar foodstuffs to your 7- and 5-year olds is just stupid. They were ricocheting off the walls. – Alex Smith

A breakfast casserole and tatchos (that’s tater tots with nacho toppings, for those of you who don’t know)  -- Jen Brown

Popcorn, popcorn and more popcorn.  I just couldn’t stop poppin’ that stuff!!  (I pop my own kernels on the stovetop, not from a bag in the microwave). I mixed it up, though, with a variety of toppings: salt and butter, soy sauce and nutritional yeast, cinnamon and sugar and dipped in Nutella and/or peanut butter. – Katie Quinn

My group went all out with beer, wine, carrots, hummus, nachos and chili, Frito pie, deviled egg, blueberry pancakes and fruit. –Danielle Brennan

Two packs of Annie’s mac ‘n cheese (hey, its organic!), Newman’s Own chocolate-stuffed Oreos, and a pack of Sour Patch Kids. –Rina Raphael

I never buy white bread, always try to eat organic cheese and use olive oil, but for Hurricane Irene I bought Kraft singles and a loaf of Wonder Bread and used Pam to make the most fabulously unhealthy grilled cheese sandwiches. They were awesome, but along with the entire package of ginger thin cookies, Edy’s coffee ice cream (at least it was the "light" kind) and just general pigging over the weekend out I feel like I need to go on a green juice fast to get all the toxins out of my system! -- Susan Houriet

Oreos and Diet Dr. Pepper. – Kyle Michael Miller

I’m guilty too – I carbo-loaded like I was Michael Phelps: Half a pizza, half a loaf of crusty bread with a round of triple cream cheese, chocolate covered cranberries, several brownies and sweet potato fries.  

We asked some of our followers on Tumblr to tell us what they ate (to make sure it wasn't just us doing the over-eating). Here's a few of our faves:

  • gogowhitegirl: Funfetti Cupcakes… yep, I baked just for Irene.
  • hershapeinthedoorway: SUGAR CEREAL! Lucky Charms, Captain Crunch, Cookie Crisp. Choc. cov. peanuts and overpriced gummies from whole foods. Almost exclusively!
  • luckypaperstars: I ate a sleeve of Town House crackers, a family size box of Crunch and Munch, and S’Mores made by tealight candles.
  • oohyouknow answered: ice cream. you’ve got to eat out the fridge in case you lose power ;)

Tell us, does impending disaster make you binge? Share what you ate during Irene or any other significant weather-related event!

Share the wealth! Try donating some of your eats to a food bank.  

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