Taste One for the Team: The Worst Food in America

Nov 15, 2010
Exec. Prod. of Franchises & Series. He previously reported for HuffPost, L.A. Daily Journal, and Biloxi Sun-Herald.

Taste One for the Team is TakePart's periodic foray into the world of fast-food stunt meals, chain dining, and gimmick nutrition. We taste these crimes against food so you, our innocent readers, won't have to.

Does this look like 2,700 evil calories? How is that possible? (Photo: TakePart)

This meal has been chosen as the Worst Food in America by the editors of Men's Health magazine. Naturally, TakePart decided that the Bistro Shrimp Pasta from the Cheesecake Factory was ripe for our Taste One for the Team series.

What makes this innocent-looking dish so evil? Well, for starters, it clocks in at a whopping 2,727 calories. That's more calories than the average person is supposed to even eat in an entire day.

Then there's the sodium: This lovely little pasta dish has 1,737 mg of sodium. A teaspoon of table salt has 2,325 mg of sodium; so the Bistro Shrimp Pasta is roughly equivalent to filling your spoon 3/4 of the way with salt, and then shoving it down your throat. Sound yummy?

And, of course, we couldn't forget the saturated fat. This baby has 78 grams of saturated fat. Why's that so bad? Let the fine folks at Slashfood explain:

There is more saturated fat in this dish than you'll find in three packages of Oscar Mayer Center Cut Bacon.

Yup. Three packages of bacon.

Naturally, we at TakePart HQ were completely disgusted by the Bistro Shrimp Pasta's nutritional info. Clearly this heinous concoction is the Worst Food in America.

Then we ate it.

It pains our slow, sustainable, organic, natural, local, heritage-food loving hearts to admit it: The Bistro Shrimp Pasta was delicious. A burst of buttery-garlicky-salty goodness immediately hits your taste buds.

The dish had to be physically ripped away to keep the 12 TakePart staffers from devouring the entire thing. Even the office vegetarian shoved in for a bite.

Thumb&39;s up, as is salt index and calorie count. (Photo: TakePart).

That said, it was generally agreed that no single human being could or should finish an entire dish. Despite the buttery deliciousness, no one thought the Bistro Shrimp was worth the diet- and waistline-busting calorie count.

We feel comfortable with Men's Health's assertion that we have, indeed, eaten the Worst Food in America—if only because one plate of pasta set us back $18.60, which is practically criminal.

If you do want to enjoy this decadent artery-clogger, make sure to share it with (at least) 12 of your closest friends.

A smattering of HQ reactions:

  • Carolyn: "At first, it’s good. It’s rich, creamy and garlicky. Now, three minutes later, I feel kinda queasy and lightheaded. The damn salty goodness tricked me into eating four bites!"
  • Megan: "That was really damn good."
  • Max: [Reaching for another bite] "There is no way anyone could ever eat that entire plate!"
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