In a bizarre interview yesterday morning on Bloomberg Television’s “In The Loop,” Jon Basso, the owner of Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, told an interviewer, “My food is bad for you … it will kill you and … you should stay away from it.”
This is perhaps the first time someone in the corporate food industry is being truly honest about their food. Because, yes, it can kill you. Earlier this year, the restaurant lived up to its name when the unofficial spokesman for his restaurant died from a heart attack after claiming to eat there nearly every day.
Basso told the man, “If you keep eating like this, it’s going to kill ya.” And he was right.
The interview turned even weirder when Basso—who was wearing a white coat, like a doctor, with a stethoscope around his neck—brought out the cremated remains of someone who died from a heart attack at his restaurant.
“I am probably the only restaurateur in the world unapologetically telling you my food is bad for you,” he said.
“If we’re going to start to sell absolute junk and call it health food, let’s just call a spade a spade and label it for what it is,” he said.
So the question is: Does the truth set you free? If Basso really cared about people’s health and “the obesity epidemic” as he calls it, wouldn’t he shut down his restaurant and open a healthier one or move into a new industry, as he says he could do?
He says Americans are responsible for their own choices about eating, which is ultimately true, but does some of the responsibility lie with him for the people who died from eating at his restaurant?
I do know that honesty is much needed in the food industry, so in a sense, Basso’s comments are good because they point out the overwhelming dishonesty that exists everywhere.
He goes as far as saying, “Anything that comes through a drive-thru window is not something you should put in your stomach.”
“The better move,” he said, “is to simply go to restaurants less, not to try to mask what you’re really doing.”
Fries and a burger every now and then—even if it’s a nearly 10,000-calorie Quadruple Bypass Burger—isn’t going to kill you, but tricking yourself into believing anything from a fast food place is “healthier” or worth eating on a regular basis, well, that might.