“I was just suggesting,” 6-French-fry professor tells Vanity Fair

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Twitter blew up yesterday when Eric Rimm, professor in the departments of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health, was quoted in The New York Times as pushing a mere six french fries as the ideal serving size. The article “You Don’t Want Fries With That” featured the following inflammatory quote from Rimm: “There aren’t a lot of people who are sending back three-quarters of an order of French fries… I think it would be nice if your meal came with a side salad and six French fries.”

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Many French-fry lovers took offense, with author and TV host Padma Lakshmi herself responding in a tweet now pinned to her feed, “I don’t have time for this kind of negativity in my life right now.” Faced with the backlash, Rimm next spoke with Vanity Fair, in a new interview titled, “‘Am I Really a Monster?’ The Six-Fry Harvard Professor Speaks.”

Rimm may not be backing down on his six-fry stance, but he’s not the French fry police either (although he does have a tendency to call French fries “starch bombs”). “I was just suggesting restaurants could give much smaller options of fries for those of us who might need a taste but don’t need a whole basket in front of us with a meal,” he states. Rimm may be in that number (and we may not be), but he gets it:

We’ll give this portion-control thing a try, Professor Rimm, but no promises.

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About the author

Gwen Ihnat

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.