Why Andrew Zimmern Says American Breakfast Is 'Almost Like Child Abuse'

As a celebrity in the field of food and cooking, Andrew Zimmern is expected to hold strong opinions. Even comparing American breakfasts to child abuse, as he did during a Q&A with Life Hacker, might seem only mildly hyperbolic, considering that food informs the majority of his working life. Still, there should be a general point grounding the hyperbole, lest the rage reads as bluster. Since it is Andrew Zimmern, there is a point.

"The American breakfast is toxic for people," he states while explaining what he eats for breakfast. "It's all that sugar, and carbohydrates. It's French toast and maple syrup, and cereal with sugar ... It's almost like child abuse to feed your kid the 'American Breakfast.'" As the father of a now-teenaged son (per Live Ramp Up), he speaks from a place of experience.

His own preferred breakfast is either a bagel with salmon and cream cheese, or leftovers from the night before. Sometimes he contents himself with fried eggs on toast. In short, Zimmern's ideal breakfast consists of simple, cooked foods, and he despises the highly processed products that the country has been culturally conditioned to feed children.

It's all about efficiency

Zimmern may be tempted to take heart in the fact that in the decade leading up the coronavirus pandemic, the iconic foods of the American breakfast were in decline. As CBS noted in 2018, cereal revenue had dropped by 3.3 percent. While that is a pittance compared to what cereal companies typically make, it does show that there is a shift away from the sugar-filled bowls of cereals that children grew up eating.

However, as the BBC reported in 2014, people have altered their diets for good and for ill. In both cases, though, they did so for the sake of efficiency. Some began to eat more yogurt, which could, depending on the brand you buy, be healthier. Others, though, turned to McDonald's and its Egg McMuffin, as ordering fast food is always simple, always quick, and always an efficient way to fill yourself with food.

His latest series, "Family Dinner," launched July 15, part of the Magnolia Network on Discovery+.