Our Only Hope for Preventing Nuclear War Lies in String Cheese and Twizzlers

The US team of leaders doing nuclear negotiations with Iran is plowing through tens of pounds of cheap licorice, marshmallow squares, crappy trail mix, and cheese sticks.

by Hilary Pollack
Jul 7 2015, 9:30pm

Photo via Flickr user americanprogressaction

Say you were tasked with an incredibly important duty: namely, to find a way to prevent the world from engaging in a nuclear war of epic proportions in the coming decades.

You're sent all over the world to engage in and manage negotiations with Iran in regards to their attempts to mitigate the likelihood of Iran building—or worse, eventually deploying—a nuclear weapon that could cause unimaginable destruction to the world's people.

It's snack time. For the nail-biting negotiators, it's always snack time. And what's on the menu?

According to the Boston Globe, cheap licorice, marshmallow squares, crappy trail mix, and individually-wrapped sticks of low-moisture mozzarella. These are the foods that are fueling the quest for world peace.

READ: The Definitive Way to Make the World's Best Comfort Food

The team of leaders and diplomats—led by former presidential candidate and current Secretary of State John Kerry—have spent the last 18 months back and forth between Vienna, the US, and other locations working on a resolution to the potential nuclear threat posed by Iran. But they can't do it without junk food and late-night snacks.

The Globe reports that in the past five weeks alone, Kerry and his team have plowed through a staggering 200 Rice Krispies treats, 30 pounds of "mixed nuts and dried fruit," 20 pounds of string cheese, and 10 pounds of strawberry Twizzlers, in addition to "hundreds" of espresso pods and several liters of gelato.

Like a team of students intent on hatching a scheme for cheating on the final exam, they've been pulling all-nighters, making inappropriate jokes out of sleep deprivation, and—most importantly—eating garbage. "One staffer has documented evidence of almost every person in the delegation falling asleep," the Globe says. "Everyone has been sick, and there have been at least four trips to the hospital."

Occasionally, it gets better. At Vienna's Palais Coburg, there's a decent salad bar, a bar mitzvah-esque buffet of vegetables, fish, and pasta, and an ever-flowing stream of juice and water. (Iranian officials have arranged for their own dining room and eating facilities, "for both privacy and dietary preferences.") And, of course, visits to the local Da Capo Pizzeria for a cheese and carb fix.

Sure, pizza and Rice Krispies treats aren't anything to write home about. But maybe that's the idea: that they taste like home.

After all, American students plow through nearly $300,000 worth of string cheese over the span of three months via the National School Lunch Program. What's another 20-pound drop in the bucket?

World leaders, it seems, are also leading the world in their capacity for stress-eating.

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