Report: Long John Silver’s ‘Big Catch’ Is The Worst Meal in America

Long John Silver’s "Big Catch" is nothing but heart-wrenching trouble, according to a watchdog group

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Center for Science in the Public Interest

If you think eating fish–with its purported brain-boosting benefits–is healthy regardless of how it’s made, think again! Long John Silver’s “Big Catch” has been deemed the most unhealthy meal in America, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a consumer advocacy organization. The meal, which consists of fried “wild-caught whitefish” and a choice of two side-dishes, costs only $4.99–but the cost to your health could make it not worth the savings.

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Researchers at CSPI found that the assortment of fried fish paired with fried onion rings and hushpuppies (balls of fried corn starch) adds up to 19 grams of saturated fat, almost 37 grams of sodium, and a whopping 33 grams of trans fat – which is an ingredient considered so harmful to heart health that New York City banned it in 2006. In comparison, approximately the same amount of raw whitefish has less than a gram of saturated fat, less than a gram of sodium, and no trans fat.

The American Heart Association recommends that people limit trans fat consumption to less than 1 percent of total daily calories. For example, an average 31- to 50-year-old female needs 2,000 calories a day, which would mean her trans-fat intake should be less than 2 grams. After eating an entire “Big Catch” meal, she would have ingested more than two weeks worth of trans fat in one sitting.

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CSPI also claims that the fast food chain exaggerates the amount of actual fish in the meal and understates the quantity of trans fat and sodium in the side-order for the Big Catch meal: after separating the bread from the meat, their researchers found an average of only about four and a half ounces of actual fish and almost three ounces of batter. “It turns out that when Long John Silver’s says 7 to 8 ounces of 100 percent haddock, it’s more like 60 percent haddock, and 40 percent batter and grease,” CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson said in a press release. “Nutrition aside, that’s just plain piracy.” In response, Long John Silver’s said in a press release: “We stand behind our published food data and will review any requests from CSPI that raise questions about our data.”

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21 comments
bigal1966
bigal1966

along with the math, the 4.99 basket is only 1 side, not two.  How trustworthy is this group anyway that they don't get the facts correct.  Also have you ever looked at the grease on burgers, or roast beef sandwiches?  This whole "health food" kick is a joke and just a way to try to sway Americans to spend money differently.  I say we are a free county and eat what we want, spend our money the way we want, and these consumer groups should leave us alone.  GOD controls us and sustains us. It does not matter what we eat, drink or smoke, when its your time, its your time and there is nothing you can do about it.

FranciscoMiguelNunesHenriques
FranciscoMiguelNunesHenriques

Nice read, but i noticed the math is incorrect. Regarding the daily limit of trans-fat consumption, 1% of 2.000 it's 20 and not 2. 

wilscombe
wilscombe

I served in HM Forces, sometimes alongside American comrades.  It always surprised me that US forces had the worst food I have ever come across.  Even in the middle of a vegetable garden,US forces would be eating preserved or dried food.  Have you ever watched MASH?

My last contact was in Vietnam.  Perhaps the situation has improved?

fredmadeit
fredmadeit

Some of the "facts" seem to originate from the comments on the original Eater article, please pull out a scale and measure what 37 grams of sodium looks like, its pretty much amazingly lots and impossible to eat in one dish, no matter how cleverly hidden its is in batter and tartar sauce. It does however illustrate the gluttony for sensationalism and the need for more knowledge of imperial-metric conversion. That said its obviously the black hole of nutrtion, and the facts its 5$ sick!

Joeyallen
Joeyallen

You all people are sad.  Do you really think people are going to fast food restaurants to get healthy meals?  People don't go there for their health they go for the taste or for convenience.  If they choose to die in that manner so be it.  Alcohol is a poison and kills people in some of the most grotesque ways imaginable but there little outcry over banning it.  And for the record twice as many people are killed from drunk drivers than from all gun violence in america.

mrxexon
mrxexon

We vegetarians just shake our head. 

You eat stuff because it taste good. Crap food hyped to the point you'll eat anything. Got to love the success rate of modern multi-media advertising. The medical "industry" loves you. You're going to spend your life savings trying to repair the damage done in your youth. And a good portion of that is going right into their pockets. Pills, potions, lyposuction and all the rest. You didn't need it. But because you didn't question what went into your mouth, they've now got a hook in you.

And you're going to pay them good money to make you feel better. For years.

 It never seems to register with meat eaters that by allowing your tastebuds to rule your life, you're also shortening your life. Depleting your hard earned savings. Spending your golden years sitting in a doctor's office.  Because you're so programmable, you can't think outside their box.

Want to live to see the next century? Start NOW.

 x

JethroClampett
JethroClampett

Here is the case of legions of nit wits that scarf down cup cakes, out of season foods and stuff the closest clot of  toxic calories down their pie holes jumping on a bit of news about corporations that happily poison us for a dollar. Typical pin headed hypocrites.

BorisIII
BorisIII

Corporations will tell any lie they can get away with if it helps their profit margin.  Just like politicians.  Freedom of speech also includes its our constitutional right to tell lies.  

DavidZaneTaylor
DavidZaneTaylor

The worst meal in America?  Really?   Over dramatic just a tad- don't you think? 

mentally_eel
mentally_eel

@bigal1966 I can only hope that when my time comes God will have decided to kill me with something more dignified than an extended diet of deep-fried fish.

MicheleGreene
MicheleGreene

The problem with your thinking is that we all pay for a few people's poor health and lifestyle choices. It is one of the main reasons our healthcare is so expensive. It doesn't matter why people are making these awful choices;; this has to stop, and hopefully greater awareness will help.

I don't know where you got figures from. I did some simple research and found that 4X as many people die from gun violence in the US as dies from drunk drivers.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@mrxexon You do realize, mrxenon, that without the addition of meat to the human diet, and the extra protein it provided, the human race would never have evolved to the point where you can sit there on your high horse and look down your nose at those of us who don't especially like - or thrive on - veggies, right?

SharonOsbourne
SharonOsbourne

@mrxexon  

It's not the "meat" that's unhealthy, it's the breading and the fact that it's deep fried.  The hush puppies and other sides have no meat and they're terrible too.  A vegetarian could easily order 3 sides instead of fish and 2 sides and it would be unhealthy.

 

bellaluna30
bellaluna30

@DavidZaneTaylor I seem to recall them referring to Fettuccini Alfredo as "a heart attack on a plate" some years back.

Shipoopi
Shipoopi

@DavidZaneTaylor Not really. When you consider the fact that fish is a healthy meat low in saturated fat, and compare it with the amount of saturated fat that comes in the "Big Catch" meal, the comparison is stunning. It'd be like taking an apple and coating it in two inches of bacon. What was once a healthy meal has turned into something that can kill you. The ratio of saturated fat to actual food in the "Big Catch" is huge. The corporations however don't mind serving this stuff because we eat it. For those who think of corporations as people, and capitalism as the best thing in the history of human civilization then "it's just business - providing something people want". But human beings have a moral responsibility before God to look out for one another. We are our brother's keeper. Knowingly serving a hungry, overweight, unhealthy person a small meal loaded with one week's worth of artery-clogging grease is irresponsible.

MicheleGreene
MicheleGreene

True then, true now.

At least they're getting people's attention. Maybe some will change and pass up the 1700 calorie high fat meal.

bigal1966
bigal1966

@Shipoopi @DavidZaneTaylor nothing in the bible says we are to look out for one another. Our responsibility is to walk with  Christ, and live a Christ like life. Jesus and his disciple's did not look out for the pagan's of their time, the just taught the truth and let them decide. The same is true here. let people decide for themselves. 

cjh2nd
cjh2nd

@Shipoopi @DavidZaneTaylor  

i think david's point is is this really the "worst" meal in america? no. it might be the worst fast food meal, but i guarantee you there are worse meals out there. i can go by the store on the way home today and make a much unhealthier meal.  calling the the "worst meal in america" is hyperbole and an attention-grabber

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

Shipoopi, don't bother to try to explain to them what they have been told is the "truth" by the people who pass around the plate.  The first victim of faith is rational thought and the ability to think critically.  They take the parts of the message that cater to their hatreds, fears, prejudices and intolerance and ignore the rest and think they're being good with their religion.

After all, how rational is someone who brings their myth into a discussion about fast food?

Shipoopi
Shipoopi

@bigal1966 @Shipoopi @DavidZaneTaylor "Nothing in the Bible says we are to look out for one another." Pardon, but just what Bible are you reading? The idea that we are to love our neighbor, care for one another, help the sick, feed the hungry, care for the homeless, welcome immigrants, etc...etc... is all throughout the Bible. Love your enemies. PRAY FOR those who persecute you. Paul said to do good to all as we have opportunity, and to help widows, and so forth. You seem to have forgotten much of your Bible sir or ma'am.

cjh2nd
cjh2nd

@Shipoopi@DavidZaneTaylor

"But human beings have a moral responsibility before God to look out for one another. We are our brother's keeper. Knowingly serving a hungry, overweight, unhealthy person a small meal loaded with one week's worth of artery-clogging grease is irresponsible."

so people have no personal responsibility? why is it not ok for me to knowingly serve someone what they ordered? who am i to dictate what they can or can't eat? if people want to eat artery-clogging crap, that's their choice and it's not your, my, or anyone else's place to prevent them from being able to order said crap.