Why The South Needs Portillo's

Why The South Needs Portillo's

If you're from anywhere besides the Midwest, you're probably thinking, what is Portillo's?

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One reason why I love coming home is that it means I can get Portillo's. Portillo's is just, amazing. I can't tell you how many times I've driven to a Portillo's near me late at night, just to get some comfort food. Some Portillo's has pasta, while others don't. Either way, the food is the bomb.

They have burgers, hot dogs, salads, Italian beef, pasta, and the best part about Portillo's is their chocolate cake. They even do a chocolate cake shake! This shake is like from a whole different universe. You'd think it wouldn't taste good but it is delicious. I have not had anywhere in the South where I can get a variety of food as I can at Portillo's. They're open all day and constantly busy throughout the whole day. My favorite thing to order is a chopped salad, the bread they give you on the side just melts in your mouth. Two items that are very popular to order is a burger or a Chicago style hot dog.

My boyfriend obsesses over their burgers. The South could really benefit having Portillo's all throughout. There's so many in the Midwest and they just started putting some in Florida, California, and Arizona. The majority of where these restaurants are located in the Midwest. I know there are people from the Midwest who go to school in the South and if you're ever feeling homesick, you could just drive on over to a Portillo's. Not only that, I think the South needs Portillo's because it is just so good and I feel like the South could use a place like this!

I think Portillo's would become everyone's go to if this place was everywhere. If you're ever in the Midwest and close to a Portillo's, it is a place you must try!

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The Unspoken Dangers of 'Mukbang' Culture

Ever wondered why you can't stop clicking on these addictive, self-made eating shows?

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Unless you've been living under a rock for the past five years, you've probably heard of the internet trend commonly referred to as a mukbang, or "eating show." These self-produced video clips typically involve one hungry individual, their filming device, and an obscene amount of delicious foods.

Though these broadcasts originated all the way from South Korea (hence the foreign vocabulary), the growing popularity of eating videos has taken the internet by storm. Nowadays as you scroll through YouTube, you'll find an outrageous amount of uploads with titles like "10,000 CALORIE PASTA MUKBANG," "EATING EVERYTHING ON THE MCDONALD'S MENU," or "THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CHALLENGE."

Popular 'mukbangers' such as Peggie Neo, Megan McCullom, and Steven Sushi have made a sizable profit off of their viral eating shows, some collecting tens of thousands of dollars in revenue.

So, what's the big deal you say? You order a large quantity of food, indulge in said food, film yourself completing this menial task, and upload to the internet for money and fame. On the outside, this may seem like a luxurious lifestyle, but behind the camera lens sits an individual battling their own demons and influencing the world of social media to partake in their harmful behaviors.

Mukbanger Livia Adams ("Alwayshungry" on YouTube) has opened up about her unhealthy relationship with food in the past, praising herself for fasting several hours in order to justify her over-indulgence on camera.

Similarly, internet sensation Trisha Paytas claims to diet and starve herself for weeks just to be able to satisfy her subscribers with epic mukbangs, which are essentially binges.

In all actuality, these social media celebrities are negatively impacting (and possibly triggering) vulnerable viewers.

Many fans only see the highlight reel of YouTubers shoveling bowls of cereal or boxes of doughnuts into their mouths, yet remain completely unaware of what truly goes on behind-the-scenes. Messages saying:

"I'm on a diet... watching this is giving me some sort of satisfaction, like as tho I ate, you know?"
"I watch these videos because I know I physically can't afford to eat like this because I gain weight too easily."
"When having an eating disorder, watching Trisha's mukbangs is sorta comforting in a way omg"

flood the comments sections of Paytas' videos. Quite obviously, fans young and old are heavily influenced by this content and continue to support these creators to fulfill a self-destructive need.

Additionally, famous mukbang accounts never seem to include the painful after-effects of their ginormous feasts in videos. Fitness model Stephanie Buttermore flaunts her slim physique just days after consuming over 10,000 calories for a challenge, giving the impression that her previous overindulgence had no repercussions on her health whatsoever. Because Buttermore is a trained, athletic young woman, she was able to quickly bounce back after a series of workouts and low-calorie meals.

On the contrary, if a sedentary woman of about the same age were to attempt this challenge, she would most likely feel sluggish, irritable, bloated, stomach discomfort, and even vomitous post challenge. Eating regularly like this could lead to bigger issues such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer. Unfortunately, because topics like these aren't glamorous and attractive to subscribers, mukbangers often edit them out.

Now don't get me wrong. Though not everyone who uploads a mukbang to the internet has an eating disorder or an evil agenda, they have to realize the kind of audience they're appealing to. This generation is more susceptible than ever to emulate the actions and words of their favorite celebrities. Young boys and girls look up to successful adults, and influencers should be remembered for the change they inspired, not the disease they encouraged.

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Food I Loved As A Kid That I Still Shamelessly Enjoy

(If something has a face or a shape, it somehow tastes 10x better.)

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Being a kid was the best: I was able to order from the simple, yet delicious, kids menu, while also having the capability of eating as much kid-friendly junk as I pleased without worrying about developing Type 2 Diabetes. Nevertheless, even though I'm almost 20, I still will never decline a pack of Scooby Doo fruit snacks or some dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets. It's fair to say that my palate has not changed too much over the past two decades. Even though I do get judged at work for eating my PB & J with the crusts cut off, I'd like to think that there's a bit of "kid" left in all of us. So, here are 26 foods/snacks that I loved as a kid, and definitely still love now.

1. Apple Sauce

Preferably cinnamon flavored.

2. Apples and peanut butter

3. Baby carrots

4. Bean and cheese burritos

I occasionally dare to add rice to my bean + cheese burrito now.

5. Cheese pizza

6. Cheeto Puffs

7. Circus Animal Cookies

8. Dino Nuggets

If you don't like Dino nuggets, I'm convinced you're a robot imposter.

9. Fruit Roll-ups/Fruit By the Foot

10. Fruit Snacks

The blue ones were always the best.

11. Grilled cheese

A classic.

12. Jamba Juice

The acidity and sugar content of the drink may destroy my adult mouth, but I still cannot resist once in awhile.

13. Jell-O

14. Juice boxes

15. Mac 'n Cheese

16. Mini cereal boxes

Pops and Frosted Flakes were my favorites.

17. Mini pizzas 

From the one and only Trader Joe's.

18. Pasta with butter and parmesan (shaped!)

My favorite shapes are wagon wheels, and tennis rackets (had them once in France years ago).

19. PB & J

Preferably with the crust cut off.

20. Peanut butter pretzels

Another Trader Joe's favorite.

21. Peppermint Jojo's

And another one.

22. Pigs in a blanket

23. Pirate's Booty

24. Smiley fries

25. String cheese

26. Tater Tots

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