By Peter Alexander, TODAY correspondent
Whichever dietary association it is that always preaches three meals a day apparently never got their message across to the staff of the Romney campaign. On the trail, food is as hard to escape as the campaign's anthem, Kid Rock's "Born Free." Born free, but not fat free. Let's be clear: this is not a complaint. But, as one of my colleagues, CNN's Jim Acosta, put it best, "I think they're fattening us up for slaughter."
On a campaign's furiously-paced travel schedule — Los Angeles in the morning, Atlanta for lunch, Miami at night — meals don't just serve as fuel, they offer comfort, too — and depending how much you eat, a better cushion on cross-country flights.
On Romney Air, or Hair Force One — as Reuters' Steve Holland like to call it — Mitt Romney has his own galley in "forward cabin." And, while I've never been invited up front, sources close to the campaign tell me the shelves are stocked with a wide variety of healthy fare. Kashi cereals, hummus, pita as well as organic applesauce. Everything's organic, I'm told, including the ingredients to Romney's favorite, peanut butter and honey sandwiches. By special request, I tried my first PB&H and I now know what all the fuss is about.
On flights, the traveling press has its favorites, too. Campaign embed Emily Friedman of ABC News and Fox News' Nicole Busch may work for competing organizations, but share a favorite on-board meal: sushi. As Friedman adds, "anything that isn't a sandwich."
On a recent morning, breakfast was a catering service's egg-white omelette, followed by shrimp, a couple hours later, as a pre-lunch appetizer. Salads run out quickly, so I often ask for one early and hide it under my seat 'til later. (Don't tell my neighbor, Fox News' Carl Cameron.) They're surely be a spread waiting at the venue as well.
By far, the most memorable meals are on-board surprises from restaurant staples from whichever city we were just in, like In-N-Out Burger in Reno or Jack Stack Barbecue on the flight out of Kansas City.
One thing's for certain, we'll never go hungry. As CNN producer Matt Hoye, just chimed in, "not with seven meals a day... before dessert."
Follow @PeterAlexander on Twitter as he takes you behind the scenes on the trail.