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Former Flight Attendant Reveals Gross Airline Food Secrets

The Daily Meal logo The Daily Meal 1/19/2018 Holly Van Hare
airplane food © istockphoto.com airplane food

This flight attendant thinks all flights should be BYOF — bring your own food. Because according to her disturbing account, airline food is much grosser than meets the eye.

Shreyas P., who claims to have worked as a flight attendant for five major airlines, relayed her unfortunate behind-the-scenes discoveries about airplane refreshments in a thread on Quora. She got into the habit of always bringing her own food — a practice she says you’ll probably notice of all smart flight attendants. There are some foods on the plane they just won’t touch.

None of the food served is even close to fresh. “The food on your tray is prepared not in the galley but in the aircraft catering,” Shreyas revealed, “which is often done 12 hours before and even days before the aircraft departure. Now, how many such industries do you know where the hot or cold meal was made days before you consume it?”

Not at any of our preferred restaurants, that’s for sure.

“That cut fruit which is on your tray still looks fresh,” she went on, “and how is that possible when it was cut hours before the departure, have you ever wondered?”

Now we’re wondering. What airline secrets are keeping that “fresh” cut fruit from rotting?

Shreya says overnight fliers should be especially wary of the airlines’ breakfasts. The egg options are usually not made of just real eggs, she says, but infused with “other substitute.”

Even if your meal is subpar in terms of flavor or texture, you might not notice due to a trick of the altitude. The air pressure at such lofty heights has an unsavory effect on your taste buds. So even if you are served something gross on a platter — er, gray tray table — you might not be able to tell.

“Most of us aren’t aware of this,” she began, “but in addition to making your ears pop, it causes our taste buds and sense of smell to go partially numb, compared to on ground.” The numbing effect “has major impact on how food tastes and smells.”

So your brain just perceives all food to be, in the former flight attendant’s words, “super bland.”

She does note that “airline catering in recent years has really pumped up the spices, salts, and fats — all to make your mouth happy.” Though in her opinion, that doesn’t make the meal options any better.

These additions, along with the food choices themselves, make the meal options “very unhealthy,” even if you opt for the raw, vegan, or as she puts it “bland” option.

The food quality isn’t the only thing your flight attendants might be hiding — here are 21 things your flight attendant won’t tell you, but you need to know.

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