Tragic experiment: What Honey Boo Boo's 'sketti' says about healthy, inexpensive food

Published: Monday, Nov. 19 2012 5:30 p.m. MST

Price says if people would simply eat the way the USDA's "My Plate" guidelines recommend, they would be healthier and save money. Those guidelines are, on a daily basis, to make half your "plate" fruits and vegetables, one quarter whole grains and one quarter meat or protein foods like beans or nuts.

Price also said one of the big ways to change would be to get organized and make a plan. "If you map it out in the week and write a menu and a shopping list you are going to waste less," she says.

Taylor's plan was to make sketti and a healthier recipe that didn't require much effort. She named her recipe after her squawkfox blog: "Squawketti."

Taylor's "squawketti" recipe is a little more involved than Honey Boo Boo's, but not by very much. It includes a can of diced tomatoes, basil, garlic and other seasonings and uses whole wheat spaghetti (see full recipe below).

There are obvious taste and nutrition differences between Squawketti and sketti. A serving of the Honey Boo Boo sketti has 807 calories and costs 76 cents. Taylor's recipe has 367 calories and costs only 67 cents a serving. The sketti cost 12 percent more and had nine times the fat of Taylor's recipe.

"This is all stuff you can buy at the grocery store," she says. "There was nothing I grew myself. There was no onerous task that required any Martha Stewart skills. It was a can of tomatoes. That's it. Really simple. I think it was easier than squirting ketchup and scooping margarine."

Taylor made the two recipes to feature on her blog. She leaned over Honey Boo Boo's sketti with her camera to take a picture.

"And it was warm and congealing," she says. "My husband was laughing at me because I had to take breaks so I could run and gag. The smell of it was just the most disgusting thing."

Taylor was afraid the photograph made the recipe look almost palatable.

"I couldn't eat it," Taylor says. "I wouldn't let my husband. He was going to try it, but I would let him either. I said, 'I love you too much to let you eat that.'"

Mattocks has Type 2 diabetes and tries to educate people on the disease. He has a new cookbook coming out with the American Diabetes Association. He worries that Honey Boo Boo and her family may develop diabetes, heart disease or some other physical problem from their bad diet — a diet they could change if they learned how.

"Learn one recipe at a time. You can change your whole life," Mattocks says.

Taylor lives on an organic farm without trash service, so she asked her husband to get rid of the sketti. It couldn't go in the compost because it had margarine in it, she says. So her husband took it out to a field away from the home and buried it.

"It was a tragic, tragic experiment," Taylor says. "I will never make sketti again."

Taylor's healthier "Squawketti" recipe:

  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Small bunch of fresh basil
  • Pinch of sea salt, fresh ground pepper, chili pepper flakes.

Cook whole wheat spaghetti according to package instructions. In a large saucepan on medium heat add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add chopped garlic and chili flakes. Stir. When garlic browns, add basil and canned tomatoes. Turn up heat to high and stir for a minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain the spaghetti and transfer it to the pan with tomato sauce and stir. Serve.

Honey Boo Boo's famous sketti recipe

A clip of how Honey Boo Boo loves her "sketti."

EMAIL: mdegroote@desnews.com

TWITTER: @degroote

FACEBOOK: facebook.com/madegroote

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