Celebrity Diet Quirks - Other


Humanity has always had an intimate relationship with food. So it should come as no surprise that some of the most notable, influential figures throughout history have often had bizarre notions of how and what to eat.

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Celebrity Diet Quirks

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Humanity has always had an intimate relationship with food. So it should come as no surprise that some of the most notable, influential figures throughout history have often had bizarre notions of how and what to eat.

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1. Henry Ford’s Weeds

Henry Ford was a picky eater who usually had nuts or raisins in his pocket. In his youth, he was largely uninterested in food and mostly moved it around on his plate to give the appearance of eating it. This changed when he started to perceive his body as a machine and his stomach as a boiler that he needed to give the right fuel.

The act of eating was more practical than sensual, and Ford experimented with wild weeds as a source of nutrition. His dietary experiments caused misery to his business associates, although they were better received by his friend George Washington Carver, who was of a like mind on that sort of thing.

Even though Ford received a salary of almost $1 million a year, he preferred a diet of “roadside greens,” which were essentially edible weeds that Ford gathered from his garden or outside. According to biographer Sidney Olson: “There is nothing quite like a dish of stewed burdock, followed by a sandwich of soybean bread filled with milkweeds, to set up a man for an afternoon’s work.”

The weeds that Ford collected were often lightly boiled or stewed and then used in salads or sandwiches. However, the diet seemed to pay off because Henry Ford was rarely sick and lived to the ripe old age of 83.


2. Beethoven’s Soup

Ludwig van Beethoven is known for many things, but few know just how seriously he took his soup. According to the famous composer, only a housekeeper or cook with a pure heart could prepare a pure soup.

One of Beethoven’s favorite dishes was a mushy bread soup, which he consumed every Thursday with 10 large eggs to be stirred into the soup. He inspected the eggs by holding them to the light and then cracking them open with his hand. Woe to the housekeeper if they weren’t all entirely fresh. Beethoven would call her in for a scolding . She only half-listened because she had to be ready to flee, as it was Beethoven’s custom to pelt her with the eggs as a punishment.


According to Ignaz von Seyfried, an opera conductor during Beethoven’s time: “(Beethoven’s housekeeper) held herself in readiness to beat a quick retreat before, as was customary, the cannonade was about to begin, and the decapitated batteries would begin to play upon her back and pour out their yellow-white, sticky intestines over her in veritable lava streams.”


3. Gerald Ford’s Strange Lunch

It is a commonly cited piece of trivia that President Richard Nixon ate a daily lunch of cottage cheese covered in ketchup. After he was elected president, an article in the Washingtonian quipped that elegant White House dinners had been replaced by cottage cheese and ketchup. He even had cottage cheese with pineapple slices for lunch on the day that he announced his resignation from the presidency.


Less commonly known is that President Gerald Ford was also an aficionado of the bizarre but strangely appealing lunch menu item, which he consumed every day while reading or working. An Air Force One staffer revealed in the book Inside the White House:

President Ford had A-1 sauce and ketchup, mostly A-1 sauce, with the cottage cheese. We always had a vegetable garnish with spring onions, celery sticks, radishes. We always served ketchup and A-1 sauce with it. In most cases, he used A-1 sauced mixed in. . . When we were going to land, he used mouthwash because of the onions.

Ford also liked a drink, although he could usually handle his alcohol. He once got drunk on martinis on Air Force One while returning from a meeting with the Soviet premier. That same staffer said, “We put him to bed. In the middle of the flight, he came out in his underwear and said ‘Where is the head?’ Normally, he knew where the head is. He could walk. He was slurring words. It was the one time he overindulged and was tipsy.”


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