Bad news has come in for people who love chips – which we can safely assume is everyone on the planet.
Harvard professor Eric Rimm has called fries "starch bombs" and told the New York Times he recommends just six per serving.
As you can probably imagine, the sheer thought of eating just six measly chips is a horrifying one. When you’re going in on a portion of fries, you want it to be a big bowl of crunchy goodness – not just a few bites.
Across the world, from the UK to the US and to Ireland, there’s a deeply held, almost reverent love of chips. They go with everything – steak, burgers, sandwiches, fish, heartbreak – all of it calls for fries.
Which is why Rimm saying "I think it would be nice if your meal came with a side salad and six French fries" has been met with such outrage on Twitter.
The day I eat only six fries is the day someone serves me only six fries and refuses to give me more https://t.co/MlmjIucSNR— Charlotte Wilder (@TheWilderThings) December 4, 2018
Before outright rejecting the professor’s suggestions, some Twitter users have tried bargaining with him. What does he really mean? What kind of chips might he be talking about?
So many questions. Like, does the same standard apply to waffle fries? Shoestring? Those super curly ones? Chili cheese? WHAT DO NUMBERS EVEN MEAN? I REJECT NUMBERS! https://t.co/wcqeTQw59G— Seyward Darby (@seywarddarby) December 4, 2018
A main point of contention is what constitutes a portion.
I put 6 fries in my mouth a time, if that counts. https://t.co/2ybwrrloMF— Em Clarkson (@EmilyClarkson) December 4, 2018
this means 6 potatoes worth of fries right https://t.co/dDB63mRnLF— Carissa Nicole Winn?? (@Carissa12Nicole) December 4, 2018
Once Twitter users were done with arguing, accusations started flying around.
Did an onion ring write this? https://t.co/ClXEDhUQeO— Kashana (@kashanacauley) December 4, 2018
And then, people went for the jugular and started attacking both Harvard and the Ivy League.
abolish the Ivy League https://t.co/MAarqgj4sH— Dad (@fivefifths) December 4, 2018
The furore got so intense that Rimm stepped in to defend himself, tweeting: "My suggestion to the NYTimes was that perhaps restaurants should offer a smaller portion size as a tantalizing option to satisfy those with a taste for fries but who don’t want the starch bomb."
In another response he tweets:
What kind of MAD MAN would want six french fries? I get it, they are bad for you, but eating SIX sounds like torture. I’d rather not have them at all. But we all know that’s not going to happen. ?? pic.twitter.com/dDT4HYjNUF— ??ηα?αlι? lσ¢?????? (@natlckettwrites) November 29, 2018
Rimm says he was surprised by the outcry, asking Vanity Fair: "Am I really a monster?"
Well, let’s look at the facts. Safe to say most of us are aware that there’s little nutritional value in chips – according to Fitbit, the average portion contains 137 calories and about 6% of sodium. This is for a serving suggestion of 10 chips sized between 5 – 9cm, and as we’ve learned from this Twitterstorm few people are able to stop at this kind of low number, so surely we’d end up consuming far more calories. In fact, a portion of medium McDonald’s fries contains 340 calories.
And yet that doesn’t stop us loving chips – there’s something about the warm, crunchy, saltiness of the side that is unparalleled. We can safely say if you publicly come for French fries a la Rimm, you’ll have a whole lot of negativity firing back at you – so proceed with caution.