Why Does Airport Food SUCK So Much?

Posted by Cindy Poiesz on

Why Does Airport Food SUCK So Much? 
I've been traveling a lot lately, and there's one thing that kills me: Airport food. It doesn't help that I travel from health-conscious LA to cities in the middle of America that are notoriously less health-conscious. Why are there only one or two decently healthy options? Someone needs to make a paleo ready-to-go vending machine for airports with freshly made food. Actually, if anyone wants to, contact me, and we will do it ... seriously! They have vending machines for everything from iPods to makeup everywhere, so why not real, healthy food? 
Well, let's think about it. Why is healthy food so expensive? Or, the more relevant question I recently have been posed, why is processed and unhealthy food so cheap (then marked up by 50% and packed into the airport)? I always say 'you get what you pay for', and that's my answer why - actual costs aside. If we calculated the nutrients per ounce in food, with the price calculated based upon the actual nutrients per bite the food contains, I bet we would get reasonably close to the actual price of the foods we see. Obviously, some foods are outliers, but wouldn't you rather pay for more nutrition (which is why we need to eat in the first place!) to get more, than pay less to get less? That's effectively your typical grocery store. Next time you want to complain about the expensive number the grocery store clerk blurts out before asking you if it's credit or debit, think about it that way. You're paying for what you're getting. Or are you? 
That brings me back to the airport. The average American would probably read this and say 'uh, there are salads, there's trail mix, there are those "healthy" Quest bars, what are you talking about you health food freak?!' I wouldn't call myself a health food freak, I just know what my body does and does not like, and what I can and cannot pronounce. I don't feel comfortable eating something that I can't say out loud or don't actually know what it is. So when I see that famous ingredient labeled 'brown rice syrup', I freak, say 'Ew' like my boy Jimmy Fallon, and throw it back down where I found it. That's almost everything in the airport (and yes I do this multiple times). LAX is probably the best airport I've been to for healthy food, but if I don't stock my carryon with food from the terminal, or I don't send my hotel any Supernola, my body is literally going to go apeshit on me. I'll give up, get that sharing size bag of peanut butter M&M's (peanut butter is protein, right?) then eat them all until my stomach goes numb. I'll leave it at that. 
So what are you actually seeing in terms of the seemingly 'healthy' food selection at the airport? Well, just take a look at the ingredients. It's like when you dine in NYC and the calories are next to every item on the menu - you suddenly lose your appetite, and fast! Try this next time you're in the airport, or even grocery store: read all of the ingredients of what you pick up out loud, then see if you actually know what each of them are. There's always something. Always. And it's so annoying. 
Ugh. I give up! Where's my SUPERNOLA?!?!!! 
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