Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Eat This

Classic questions for our panel about food and drink.

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CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell, and here's your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you so much. So, America's favorite sport is eating. It's the only exercise we ever get.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: We eat in our cars, at our desks, at the movies. Our bellies are enormous. Our arms are weak, but our jaws are so powerful they can crack steel.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: There's only one problem.

KASELL: Eventually, you have to stop, because your tummy hurts.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Sad but true, Carl. Even the greatest American's stomach has a finite capacity. Since your stomach is full, we're going to fill your ears with food. It is our favorite culinary stories of the last few years.

KASELL: We'll start our food-apalooza with some questions we asked our panel about food and drink.

SAGAL: P.J., a new study suggests that doing what can lead to immoral behavior?

P.J. O'ROURKE: Oh, I know all about this.

SAGAL: I know you do, that's why we directed this question to you, sir.

O'ROURKE: Yeah, drink.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Yes, they just figured that out. It's why the people in like the Whole Foods parking lot are so vicious about stealing your parking space.

O'ROURKE: Eating organic food?

SAGAL: Yes, eating organic food can make you immoral.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

O'ROURKE: Eating organic food.

SAGAL: According to a new study.

(LAUGHTER)

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Peter...

O'ROURKE: Get out of here. I'm sorry.

(LAUGHTER)

O'ROURKE: I dislike vegans as much as the next person but...

(LAUGHTER)

O'ROURKE: But they're nothing compared to drunks.

(APPLAUSE)

POUNDSTONE: Wait, Peter, who did this study?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Scientists did it, Paula, and this is what the scientists did. The scientist...

POUNDSTONE: Who made him a scientist? Did he just...

(LAUGHTER)

O'ROURKE: Did he find that badge?

SAGAL: He had a white lab coat. I wasn't going to ask for a diploma.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: If he had a white coat, he might have been an ice cream man.

SAGAL: You never know.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right, well we're going to explain. We're going to explain.

O'ROURKE: All right.

SAGAL: So they took these groups of people. And they didn't even feed them organic food, they showed them pictures of packages of organic food.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Some people were shown organic products. Some people were shown regular junk food or normal food. And then those same people were given quizzes and questioned about various things that were to ascertain their level of sort of moral turpitude.

O'ROURKE: Well if you sat me down and showed me a bunch of pictures of organic food, I'd punch you too.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

O'ROURKE: What a thing to do to somebody.

SAGAL: So what they determined was that there's something about organic food that makes people feel virtuous simply by virtue of experiencing it or having it. So therefore, they feel they can get away with something bad because they've already done something virtuous. You see?

O'ROURKE: Well that's where Democrats come from. I don't see what it has to do with organic food.

(LAUGHTER)

LUKE BURBANK: But, you know the other part of this study, Peter...

SAGAL: Yeah.

BURBANK: ...which was that they - so some of the people were shown foods that were labeled as organic; some people were shown stuff that wasn't organic but it was, you know, like relatively healthy, kind of innocuous stuff. And then some people were shown like brownies and things we'll call comfort food. I think we're burying the lead here because the people who looked at the comfort food were nicer.

SAGAL: Yes.

BURBANK: They were less judgy. They were just in their own shame spiral.

SAGAL: Exactly.

(LAUGHTER)

BURBANK: From like looking at brownies, that they weren't judging anyone else, which you know...

SAGAL: I must make up for my disgrace by looking at this brownie...

BURBANK: Yes.

SAGAL: ...by helping this person in need.

BURBANK: Yes, which I...

SAGAL: Well, the people who had the organic kale were like "let the bastard die. What do I care?"

BURBANK: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Amy, the Obama administration, as represented in this case by Michelle Obama, came up with yet another scheme to try to get Americans to do something they have consistently refused to do. What?

AMY DICKINSON: Well, does it involve eating healthier?

SAGAL: Yes. It is in fact eating healthier.

DICKINSON: OK.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Americans won't do it. First, we had the four food groups, and that failed because that implied the four groups were equally important, and besides, everybody ignored the fruits and vegetables group, to concentrate on the much more popular deep-fried meat group.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Then the USDA, the government tried the food pyramid. That had the good stuff down in the bottom where the pyramid was wide and the bad stuff at the top, less of it. But Americans reacted to that by creating actual food pyramids.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Many feet across, which they devoured. Remember when Applebee's Restaurant came out with the all you can eat Great Pyramid of Cheese?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So the new approach, this just came out this week, Michelle Obama introduced it. It's a picture of a plate with portions marked out. Lots of vegetables, lots of fruits, lots of grains, less protein, even less dairy. Americans looked at that, they looked at the picture and they were a little scared. But then they realized that real plates are three dimensional.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So you could fit a lot into that little space if you just went up.

DICKINSON: Right. Is there a height requirement?

SAGAL: There isn't.

DICKINSON: Yeah. Oh good.

SAGAL: So McDonald's immediately came out with its four-foot high meat tower.

DICKINSON: Tower, right.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It just fits right in the space.

DICKINSON: Right.

POUNDSTONE: You know, my son has a concept of eating that sadly I totally relate to, which is, you know I'll say to him, well you didn't eat your salad, and he'll say I'm full for that.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Oh, like there's a little pocket in the tummy.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, his salad section is full.

SAGAL: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: And yet, his sugar and fat section...

SAGAL: Oh yeah.

POUNDSTONE: ...is still able to load in. I'm full for that, as he's grazing in the freezer. I think he thinks it's science when he says it too.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SAGAL: Mo, foreign relations experts have spent decades trying to quell tensions between India and Pakistan, to no avail. Well finally, someone has a fresh, new idea to improve relations between the two countries. What?

MO ROCCA: I mean, I just think of curry. I don't know.

(LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: I mean I need a clue. Between India and Pakistan?

SAGAL: It's like "Top Chef: Waziristan."

ROCCA: Oh, they're going to have a cooking competition.

SAGAL: They are. They're going to have a TV cooking competition.

ROCCA: OK, great, all right, good.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Very good, you approve? Mo?

(APPLAUSE)

ROCCA: Yeah, sure.

SAGAL: All right. Think of it as a special episode of "Iron Chef," say, where the chef's secret weapon is an actual nuclear weapon.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: The show is called "Foodistan." That's both the name of the show and the kingdom Chris Christie hopes to rule over someday.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Anyway, the show brings together 16 chefs from India and Pakistan to highlight the nations' share passion for food, because the best place to put people from two nations with a history of violent conflict is a room with open flames and a wide selection of knives.

(LAUGHTER)

TOM BODETT: That actually sounds like Thanksgiving with my family.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Roxanne?

ROXANNE ROBERTS: Yes, sir.

SAGAL: The New York Times reported that homemade organic meals are becoming more popular for what segment of our population?

ROBERTS: Pets.

SAGAL: Yes, exactly.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: The Times profiled a woman who makes for her dog a dish made of chicken, red cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, berries, garlic and parsley, all from her own organic farm. Weirdly, this article appeared in the paper's dining and wine section rather than its crazy rich people section.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Of course, because dogs, as we know, care deeply, deeply about what they're eating. When they bark right before eating their own vomit, they're inquiring if it's organic and locally sourced.

(LAUGHTER)

BODETT: What is the point of it? I mean, don't you eat organic food for better health longer life?

SAGAL: Yeah. Well, why shouldn't your dog have better health and a longer life?

BODETT: Well, I know, but, you know, if you only live 12 years, wouldn't you eat Twinkies all the time?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Adam, fans of James Bond are up in arms at news that in the new Bond movie "Skyfall," the super spy will, for the first time, be seen on the screen doing what?

ADAM FELBER: Drinking a beer.

SAGAL: Yes, exactly.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(SOUNDBITE OF BOOING)

SAGAL: According to...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: They were mad. According to Advertising Age Magazine, thanks to a big product placement deal, James Bond will be trading his classic shaken not stirred martini for a Heineken in at least one scene in the next move.

FELBER: Oh.

SAGAL: It's true.

ROY BLOUNT JR.: I don't usually drink beer, but when I do...

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: They'll work it into the plot. You know, Q will help him out. "007, with this special hat, you can hold two beers without the use of your hands and still drink them."

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

FELBER: Fascinating. We've developed this foam cylinder in which you can put a can.

(LAUGHTER)

ROBERTS: Do you think there's a black tie version of a beer hat?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: His tuxedo is just printed on a t-shirt now, you know.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: We're looking forward to seeing him sidle up to the bar in his tuxedo t-shirt. He's going to order a brew. And then, you know, with that sophisticated James Bond air, he's going to smash the can against his head.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And then somebody will ask him his name and he'll burp it.

FELBER: It's also going to be Jimmy Bond now. Bond, Jimmy Bond.

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: What are you looking at?

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: I love how we're all so offended that the Bond movies might turn techy.

SAGAL: Yeah, what happened to the classy days like Octopussy, you know?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Jessi?

JESSI KLEIN: Yes.

SAGAL: The White House has been accused of leaking sensitive information. Well, this week, they went ahead and posted, for anyone to see and copy, what?

KLEIN: I would like a hint.

SAGAL: Well, they say, the White House says it tastes great, but the Republicans insist it's less filling.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, I know.

KLEIN: Oh, oh, oh, I do know this answer. Oh, oh, oh, wasn't it, this is the recipe for the White House beer or what kind of beer they drink?

SAGAL: Yeah, no, what kind of beer they make.

KLEIN: They make, yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Yes, the White House beer recipe. That's the answer, very good.

KLEIN: Yes, they're the White House brewery.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: According to the White House, the President was inspired by the home brewers he met around the country, or maybe he had to drink one too many bottles of PBR on the campaign trail and was like, from now on, I bring my own. The White House Ale recipe includes local ingredients, like honey from the White House Garden and the sweat of the wealthy job creators they keep imprisoned in the basement.

(LAUGHTER)

BODETT: That gives it a nice tang.

SAGAL: It does, it does.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So let's sum it up: the President, we now know this week, salvages furniture from dumpsters, and he brews his own beer. Great: he's not the first black president; he's the first Hipster president.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Next, he's going to ride around town in an armored fixie bicycle.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: They say they have no plans to sell White House Ale. But in case they do, we here at WAIT WAIT have prepared some advertising slogans for the Obama Beer.

BILL KURTIS: Obama Beer: The Audacity of Hops.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Very good.

KLEIN: That's good.

SAGAL: Hold on, hold on. That's a good introductory campaign. For the next line of ads, how about these?

KURTIS: Yes, we can get wasted.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: And?

KURTIS: I'm gonna need to see your Beerth Certificate.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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