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Let's find out what our task is this week.
What's the world's weirdest diet?
The Gastronuts uncovering the world's weirdest diets today are:
The weirdest diet I've heard of is eating hamster.
Maple syrup and olive oil.
Cooked badger. I think it might taste like smelly poo.
Ox tongue because it's a tongue and it comes from an animal.
We have tongues and it's bloody. Eugh!
Coming up on today's show.
The Gastronuts get their heads around eating brains.
It just looks wrong.
They discover the glamorous diet of an Arctic explorer.
It's like something you find
on the bottom of your mum's cooking pan.
And they dine on a dinner that is fit for a King.
All that is coming up later.
First, the question today is what is the world's weirdest diet?
I'm not just talking about people trying to lose weight,
but people who eat strange things for some reason.
Anyone know of a strange diet?
I've got a friend who just eats ham and has to have ham with everything.
-I think she just loves it.
-She has to have it.
What happens when she doesn't have ham with the meal?
She gets quite angry.
And demands ham. Bring me ham!
OK. Alex, any ideas about people who eat certain ways?
Vegetarians don't eat meat.
Some people don't like meat or they think eating meat is wrong.
Would you be a vegetarian?
I like meat too much.
Yes, same here. Anyone else, what do you reckon Ellen?
My friend's mum is on a diet to lose weight.
-She's only eating chocolate and milkshakes.
-Would you ever do it?
I like the sound of it.
A life of chocolate. Not a bad idea, I guess, is it? Nathan?
I won't eat anything green.
-You won't eat anything green. Why's that?
-It tastes plain.
I don't like the taste.
You've come up with a new religion. Anti-greenism or something.
Today, we're going to look at why people eat certain foods
that seem a little bit weird to us or maybe a bit disgusting,
but make complete sense for them. OK, are you up for this?
-OK, let's go!
Colin Jackson is a former 110m hurdler who won gold
at the Commonwealth, European and World Championships
and held the world record for an astonishing 13 years,
but what was the diet that fuelled him to victory?
Gastronuts Colin, Colin Gastronuts.
What we want to know is how do you create
a running machine like yourself?
How much does food play a part in it?
Well, food is your fuel. It's the most important thing for any
sports person, to get the energy to go out there and compete and train.
Do you have time to cook for yourself?
You want the right minerals and vitamins, everything that gives you
the right type of energy. It's pretty important that you cook for yourself.
Do you usually eat fast food or do you have it every once in a while?
Does fast food make you fast?
I know of lots of athletes who used to eat a lot of fast food.
But, me, no, I want to eat more pure food which I think was better for me.
Underneath one of these lids is what Colin eats as an athlete.
What will be in it?
-Just healthy food.
-Colin, would you like to show us?
-It looks quite nice.
Chicken is really good for you.
It's really high in protein which helps you build muscles.
The salad will fill you up.
It's also really high in minerals, vitamins and also fibre.
So, this is the sort of food that a power athlete would eat.
Does that mean you would be rubbish at a marathon?
Yeah. That is not the real source
of energy that somebody who runs for a long distance or football players,
people who are active for a long time, would rely on.
-What would they need?
They call it complex carbohydrates,
something that gives you energy, but over a long period of time.
Complex carbohydrates are found
in foods such as bread, pasta, potatoes and rice.
They are good for athletes who need energy for long periods of time.
A sprinter, like Colin, only needs to perform for a few seconds.
-He gets his energy from a rather surprising source.
-Does that surprise you to see chocolate and sweets?
There is always a good reason for it.
After training you really need your energy back quickly.
So, I'd have wine gums. They are full of sugar which gives you a lift.
But there's zero fat in them.
Also, the chocolate was perfect.
It has sugar, it has fat, which slows down your digestive system.
It's also got the carbohydrate to give me an energy boost.
Let's be honest, it tastes good as well, right? Yes?
I'd eat that much the evening before a competition.
200 grams worth of chocolate there.
I'd have to get it down me
to make sure I could perform well the next day.
Because you are obsessed with your food, I wondered if you could
create for us an athlete's salad.
By the way, Colin, I don't think I mentioned... this it's a race, mate.
Whoo-hoo! Well done.
-Well done, guys.
Where were you?
At the back!
Well done, Alex.
We managed to beat a world champion even without eating like he does.
What other weird diets do professional sports people have?
You, Ellen, are a sumo wrestler.
-Big, fat, strong. Swimmer, Nathan?
Alex, you are a footballer.
Footballers need to be able to run around a lot, I guess, don't they?
-And a jockey.
-They can't be too big
or the horse might break their back.
So, let's look at what foods you are eating here.
You are a jockey. This is what you'd have.
Jockeys eat pretty good meals, with a big range of different foods.
Just a relatively small portion.
Would you be happy with that meal?
No. Not enough for you, is it? There we go. That is a jockey's meal.
Nathan, this is a special meal for a swimmer. Why is it special?
It has complex carbohydrates.
This is the breakfast that
Michael Phelps ate before he did the Olympics. He won eight gold medals.
He ate vast amounts of food every day
because he just needs masses and masses of energy.
'Michael Phelps ate the breakfast of a champion.
'Well, actually several champions.
'It consisted of three fried egg sandwiches with cheese, tomatoes,
'lettuce, fried onions and mayonnaise
'followed by three chocolate chip pancakes, a five egg omelette,
three sugar coated slices of French toast, a bowl of porridge
and two cups of coffee.
Could you eat that for breakfast, do you think? You could.
Alex, what do you have here?
-Energy drinks. Pasta.
they need a lot of energy that will release slowly over time.
They need a lot of salt which is why they have lots of fluids to last
them throughout the whole match. Would you like that kind of meal?
-It's pretty good, isn't it?
Big lady, let's look at your meal.
Why do you think a sumo wrestler needs this?
-Because it's got so much.
-There's so much food.
What sort of food you have got?
This is called Chankonabe.
'Sumos skip breakfast. They exercise on an empty stomach and eat
'before they go to bed so they don't burn off any food they have eaten.
'In doing this, their bodies store fat and put on loads of weight.'
Although they look fat, there is a vast amount of muscle underneath it.
They are fighting fit.
Do you think you could eat that whole meal at one sitting?
-It's pretty difficult, isn't it?
Who would plug for the footballer's diet?
Two votes. The swimmer's diet.
OK. So that means none for the jockey's diet
and none for the sumo wrestler's diet.
We are both footballers or swimmers.
So, we've learnt that sports people not only need to eat a good diet,
but by eating specific foods they use the energy released
to enhance their performance. In some cases become world champions.
There are some diets where people
eat specific foods for health reasons. Other diets where people
eat specific foods because it's all that is available for survival.
We will look at one diet that combines survival and health in one.
Gastronuts, let's dine like it's 1944.
That's not working.
Is this the kind of food that you'd eat on a normal day?
-It's good stuff. A bit of meat, sweets, sandwiches.
You like chocolate?
-OK. Well, during the war you didn't have...
-You didn't have that.
-You didn't have that.
-I'm afraid so.
-And you didn't have that.
Do you think you would still survive quite like this for a day?
-Not so bad, is it?
During World War II, and for some years after,
foods such as meat, milk, eggs, sugar and sweets were rationed.
Even foods that weren't rationed were often in short supply.
In the war, all of Europe was occupied.
We couldn't get any of the food that normally gets imported from Europe.
It was difficult for ships to cross the sea bringing
all the foods we normally get from a long way away like fruit, rice.
You would have to make do with foods that were grown
in the UK as far as possible.
And to make sure that you didn't buy more food than you were allowed...
You'd get rationed.
You'd all have one of these.
There we go. Have a flick through. What can you see in there?
-Are these coupons?
-These are coupons.
One for meat, butter and margarine.
You'd have to give in your coupon.
You would only be able to buy this amount of food every week.
People were encouraged to dig up their back gardens and plant food.
We would make use of absolutely everything that you can get
from animals, from vegetables, and people were creative with food.
Would you like to find out?
-OK. Come over here.
-Plants. They are indeed plants.
Don't grab these.
-Exactly. They were really good, they grew everywhere.
You didn't need to plant them.
People would use them in what?
-You're good! Grab a little teaspoon of that.
Be careful. Have you eaten stinging nettles before?
-They do really sting.
-Why are you telling us this?
OK, I'm fibbing.
Stinging nettles don't sting once they've been cooked.
-It's OK. I'd put up with it for my food.
-I'm very impressed.
-Ellen is less keen.
-It doesn't taste nice.
-I wouldn't each much of it.
The stinging nettles didn't taste, it was the soup that tasted.
OK. In wartime it wasn't just trying to get the most out of hedgerows,
people had to make use of every last bit of meat.
Every last bit of an animal. What's this?
Umm, the heart.
Brilliant. In wartime you wouldn't throw these away.
You'd put them in your pot and they would end up looking like this.
Stuffed lamb's heart.
Let's all take a little piece.
-What does it taste like?
Well done. Let's take a look at the next one.
Very nearly. What would you find in the head?
-Brains. What do you think about the idea of eating brains?
-Revolting. It just looks wrong.
-You're going to break the mould.
I'd like to introduce you to brains on toast.
Just don't say it's brains.
-Say it's tuna.
-It looks like tuna.
Brains used to be commonly eaten in Britain. These are sheep's brains.
Traditionally served on toast with parsley sauce.
It literally is food for thought.
-Let's tuck in.
-# Insane in the membrane
# Insane in the brain
# Insane in the membrane... #
-I really don't like that.
-Quite nice. It's really slimy.
If you eat brain, does your brain increase and get cleverer?
It's really good for you but it doesn't mean
your brain will be any better. But it's a really good meat.
Masses of protein. This is what kids in World War II needed.
Now, open up that red cover for me.
This is tripe.
Tripe is the lining of an animal's stomach. Usually a cow's.
It's low in fat, high in protein.
But some people are put off by its unusual smell and texture.
Will the Gastronuts be able to stomach it?
That, my friends, is curried tripe.
-How do you feel about the idea of this?
-Not so good.
It's weird. You're eating stomach and it's going into your stomach.
Sounds good to me. OK, everyone have a taste.
Oh, you put your...
Nathan's gone for it.
What do you reckon, Nathan?
Go on, Ellen, give it a go. How come it's the stomach
-that makes you go funny?
-If you didn't know what it was,
you would probably think it was noodles.
If it was plain, I wouldn't eat it.
The cow guts got a mixed reception.
But there's another even weirder part of the animal
that was eaten during the war.
-Ever seen one of these fellas before?
-It's a cow foot.
It's a cow foot. You chop it up into pieces.
You need a really good saw or a massive knife.
It's really, really thick bone. Then add a few herbs, loads of water,
boil for three or four hours.
You are then left with a sticky substance called gelatine.
Believe it or not, this is the jelly you have in your ice-cream
or that's used in chewy sweets.
The gelatine is diced up and mixed with our old parsley sauce.
Will it make the cow heel any more inviting? OK everyone.
Have a little taste.
-So, what do you think?
-It's got a jelly texture.
-What about the flavour?
-What's bad about jelly?
I don't like jelly.
-It doesn't have flavour to it.
It doesn't have that much flavour. The wartime diet
has less fat, they're getting more vegetables,
eating less meat. It's actually a very, very healthy way to eat.
Bizarrely, although they had
less available to them, a lot of people were really, really healthy.
Why do some cans float and some cans sink? Let me explain.
We have six cans of different drinks.
We're going to put them into some water here.
I want you to watch what happens.
Three of them sink to the bottom,
three stay at the top. Why the difference?
Well, if you look at them, you'll realise that the three that float
are actually the diet ones, while the sugared drinks go down to the bottom.
Why should this be?
Well, the reason is, the volume is exactly the same.
What must be different is the weight.
That means the sugar ones are actually denser.
Now the sweetener you have in diet drinks is so much sweeter than sugar
that you need much less to make it as sweet as the sugared one.
So that means the sugared drinks are much heavier.
It's a bit like the difference
between a cricket ball and a tennis ball.
The cricket ball and the tennis ball are about the same size.
The cricket ball is much denser, heavier, and sinks in water.
While the tennis ball floats.
We're looking into the world's weirdest diets.
So far, the Gastronuts have learnt how you can eat your way to success.
They've stuffed their guts with wartime weirdness.
Later on, they show us some bling when they dine like a king.
You need to put the whole jar
of peanut butter in and the whole jar of jam.
Benedict Allen is an explorer and adventurer who survived the freezing
windswept wilderness of the Arctic and the searing heat of the desert.
What he ate, and how he ate it, kept him alive to tell the tale.
What kind of diet do you survive on?
Imagine you're in the Arctic.
It's minus 40, maybe. That's five times colder than your deep freeze.
You still might find berries. But that's only if you're lucky.
Tell me what you think you'd eat.
-No, penguins are right down there in the South Pole.
The trouble is, Polar bears don't like to be eaten.
They tend to go for you and they eat you. What else do you get up there?
-I've eaten a lot of walruses. They taste disgusting.
It really stinks.
But that's what being an explorer is all about.
I'll show you one thing that you can eat.
What do you reckon that is?
-It smells disgusting.
No, that is reindeer.
There's hardly any fat on it.
The fat is on the outside because it's trying to keep warm.
It's out in minus 40, something like that.
It's got to insulate itself.
-Are you tough enough to be explorers?
-That is reindeer, but cooked.
-OK. Let's all have a little taste.
-It's actually quite nice.
-What does it taste of?
a bit like lamb, but it's a bit chewy as well.
OK, so you'd find reindeer in the North Pole.
What about in the South Pole?
If you're right down at the South Pole, Antarctica,
there's much less to eat.
Explorers made their own food so they could survive.
-I'll show you what people used to take with them.
-What do you reckon that is, guys?
They are from a small cow. Inside you have the marrow, there.
Juicy. Very, very very nutritious.
You mix it with anything that's got a lot of energy in.
The marrow is scooped out of the bones and mixed with lard to make
a high energy food called pemmican.
So why do you have something that's so fatty?
If it's minus 50 degrees, you want energy to try and keep your body
going and try and keep it warm in that terrible temperature.
OK, go for it. Blimey.
What does it taste like?
-It just tastes of lard.
Like something you'd find on the bottom of your mum's
cooking pan when they've used too much oil.
-You must be under extreme hardship to enjoy this stuff.
-It is disgusting.
Besides surviving extreme cold, Benedict's travels have taken him
to places where it's so hot that anything struggles to live.
How does he survive in the dessert?
You're walking, looking around for something to eat.
Not a single tree, just mile after mile of sand.
Can't find any water. What would you eat?
There's nothing much you can eat.
It's a tricky one. What's around in the desert?
-You can't eat sand.
Maybe you could dig and find something.
Maybe start thinking about snakes.
Look for burrows, a lot of animals come out at night.
You might have to eat your own companion.
What do you think this is?
-Have a good feel.
-You are holding camel.
-So it would be that you only eat
your camel if you are really desperate?
It's a last resort. It's also your friend.
You'd think a camel would walk off, cos it doesn't need you.
It has its humps, its big feet, big eyelashes to keep out
the sand in a sandstorm.
It's totally adapted to the desert.
They can even smell water.
You really want to stay with your camel, cos it knows
what it's doing, even if you don't.
It's camel time.
Everyone have a taste, then.
-Chewy. That's the thing about camel, it is chewy, isn't it?
What do you reckon, Alex?
Hard to eat, isn't it?
OK. If there's no camel available, what else would you go for?
-This is what you can find if you're lucky.
We have locusts or grasshopper.
And that is a cricket.
In lots of places around the world, people eat these
because they taste really good.
OK, guys, I think it's time to be brave. Let's try one of these.
MUSIC: "Indiana Jones" Theme
-What do you reckon, Nathan?
Tastes a bit dull.
Insects are commonly eaten by people in the desert because they're a good
source of protein. But sometimes they object to being made a meal of.
Once I had to eat alive a sago grub.
It's like a maggot. The length of your little finger, very, very fat.
I didn't have the chance to cook this sago grub.
I just put it into my mouth.
This sago grub decided it wasn't going to be eaten.
Slowly, it turned itself around.
I was trying to swallow the sago grub.
Eventually, it just climbed up my throat and jumped out.
Do you like the idea of eating an explorer's diet?
Yeah, but not the bugs and the pemmican. The rest is all nice.
Excellent. Benedict, that's fantastic.
Thank you so much for introducing us to the explorer's diet.
I still prefer chocolate.
To survive, you've really got to be prepared to eat anything.
There are exceptions to this rule.
Some people have been known to eat exactly what they want,
when they want it.
One of the strangest diets out there is one not just fit for a king,
but fit for THE King!
Gastronuts, have you ever heard of Elvis Presley?
-Who was Elvis Presley?
-What kind of music?
-Rock and roll!
-Oh, yeah, baby!
He must have been the most famous rock star of all time.
If you were a rock star, what would your life be like?
-Fantastic. You'd have lots of money.
You'd be able to do anything you wanted really, wouldn't you?
-You'd be able to eat absolutely anything you wanted.
-Any fast food.
I'd have a hamburger joint in my house.
What a brilliant idea.
-What would you have, Ellen?
-A chocolate machine and doughnuts.
Nathan, what would you do?
A popcorn machine.
Well, Elvis was a guy who could do anything he wanted.
He had anything at his disposal, oodles of cash.
Let's try Elvis's diet.
Whereabouts did Elvis live?
-In America, in the USA.
In the Deep South. He lived in Tennessee.
So this is soul food. You should all try some.
-What have you got there, Nathan?
-Do you like chocolate brownies?
-Ellen, what have you got there?
Deep fried banana sandwich.
Reme is holding cornbread.
It's a cake made with corn. Is that any good?
-Pretty nice, isn't it?
Now that is grits.
-What does it taste like?
It's really filling, though.
-Alex, you're eating meatloaf, what does it taste like?
I've got southern fried chicken.
-What do you think about this kind of food?.
-It's all deep fried.
-A lot of fat.
Elvis loved this kind of food.
When he died, Elvis weighed more than twice
what he should have done. He indulged himself.
Elvis had one famous dish
that he loved more than anything else in the world.
-I think you'd probably like it. Do you want to try it?
OK. We're going to cook Elvis' Fool's Gold.
Fool's Gold starts with a loaf of bread.
There is a loaf of bread each.
This loaf of bread has been baked with butter.
What we need to do is we need to hollow this out.
Then you add peanut butter and jam.
You need to put the whole jar of peanut butter in and the whole jar
of jam. Go on, wallop it down!
You have to be bold. That's it.
A huge amount of sugar and fat in there, isn't there?
All that sugar from the jam is pure sugar, in a way.
The peanut butter is pretty much pure fat.
-Do you reckon that's healthy?
-Not healthy, but tasty.
However, Elvis wasn't happy yet.
So he added...
A pound of bacon.
Whole load of bacon. Say that again?
That's the weirdest combination ever.
Absolutely. Go for it.
The final ingredient in the sandwich is two whole packs
of fatty streaky bacon.
No wonder it's called Fool's Gold.
You need to perform a bit of a flip.
OK, are you ready? This is one heck of a sandwich, isn't it?
You're really excited! Wow, look at that. Hold that.
# You're the devil in disguise
# Oh, yes, you are... #
A grown adult needs 2,000 to 2,500 calories a day.
Each of these sandwiches packs how many calories, do you reckon?
You reckon 2,000. Anyone else?
-Each of these sandwiches packs 4,000 calories.
He would eat two of these entire loaves,
8,000 calories, in a session.
He was 42 years old when he died.
Could have been something to do...
with Fool's Gold. Chow down!
-What does it taste of?
-Nathan, what do you reckon to that?
I can taste the peanut butter.
I'm feeling like I'm enjoying it,
but I'm slightly disgusted with myself.
It's definitely rock-and-roll style.
This might just look like a whole load of silliness, but what we've
discovered is that when you indulge yourself
and you eat anything you want, you end up having a weird diet.
It's when you're struggling to survive
or when food is scarce, that's when you have a good diet
because you end up thinking about your food.
I never thought an athlete like Colin Jackson had to eat
sweet stuff like that.
I enjoyed eating the bugs.
Normally, you wouldn't eat things like that.
I'll be more careful about eating
less sweets and chocolate because I don't want to die early.
Or less Fool's Gold sandwiches.
I think I eat a bit too much than I'm meant to eat.
Maybe I could ration my food.
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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd - 2010