Already have an account?
Get back to the

Why Anthony Bourdain Never Eats Airplane Food (And You Shouldn’t Either)

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain will eat almost anything. In fact, he’s built a career out of eating some of the most unbelievable things in the world: a still-beating cobra’s heart in Ho Chi Minh City and seal eyeballs in Quebec. Tasty! But surprisingly, the frequent flyer says he draws the line at airplane food, and now we’re worried.

Speaking to Bon Appétit, Bourdain said, “I don’t eat on planes. I like to arrive hungry.”

“No one has ever felt better after eating plane food. I think people only eat it because they’re bored.”

He may be right on that last point. But what about those little puffs of bread that are sometimes frozen in the middle and the ice cubes of butter that make a long-haul flight somewhat bearable?

No. Bourdain says he prefers cheese and port. “I’d eat some cheese and drink myself stupid.”

While we might be swayed to follow Bourdain’s thinking on that one, the founder of luxury travel firm Indagare, Melissa Biggs Bradley, offers us some more food for thought.

Bradley also champions the “no eating on planes” campaign and gives some insightful reasoning behind her stance. Speaking with flight attendants, she found that many of them didn’t eat in-flight to avoid jet lag when they landed.

“Basically, at super-high altitude, your digestive system shuts down completely,” she explained to Bloomberg.

“Someone said to me it’s like being under anesthesia. So when you get off the plane, everything restarts and [your digestive system] has so much more work to do and so it makes you more tired.”

Like Bourdain, Bradley believes that most people overeat on planes because it’s a diversion and a way to pass the time. Yet, she stresses that even the best plane food is over-salted and preserved so it can be microwaved in the air. So instead of a preservative-packed in-flight dinner, she opts for lots of fluids and a pre-flight meal.

“I have something to eat a couple hours before getting on the plane,” she says.

“But otherwise it’s nothing but lots and lots of water. Really and truly, I live by it, and I feel so much better.”

Bradley makes a great case. Next time you board a flight, try going the long-haul hungry. If it beats the dreaded jet lag, it might just be worth it.

This post was written by Bettina Tyrrell. For more, check out our sister site Now to Love.

More from FIRST

Flight Attendants Can’t Stand It When You Order Diet Coke While Flying

What to Wear on a Long Flight

Want to Avoid Getting Sick on Planes? Stop Turning Off the AC

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.