Biting criticism and humble pie on mammoth burger

By Angela Thompson
Updated November 6 2012 - 2:40am, first published October 27 2011 - 10:09am
Rapt: East Corrimal fish and chip shop owners Tony and Melissa Neale with their enormous $36 burger.
Rapt: East Corrimal fish and chip shop owners Tony and Melissa Neale with their enormous $36 burger.

Mercury readers have dished up a heap of criticism for the East Corrimal fish and chip shop owner who added a giant 4kg hamburger to his menu.But there are also plenty who can see the affair's lighter side.Fishnets owner Tony Neale has fielded interview requests from interstate radio and The Today Show since unveiling his $36 creation, The Mammoth.He has sold more than 30 of the oversized burgers, although not everyone is impressed by his creation.University of Wollongong dietician Anne McMahon believes the burger - containing four oversized beef patties and eight rashers of bacon - sends the wrong message."I can see the fun side of it but having more than half the population overweight and obese, having a quarter of the kids in our society overweight and obese is not funny."You don't want to glorify eating like that. I would not like to see [Australia] go the way America has in the past, where it's a big hero thing to have a lot of massive meals and egg each other on to overeat."Some readers of the Mercury's website suggested the burger was irresponsible given world hunger and would promote obesity."In an age of obesity and obesity-related ills, food outlets should be helping people rather than killing them," wrote Fattyboombuster.But others saw the light side of the meal, designed to give the shop an edge in the chain-dominated fast food trade."Obviously this is just a little fun by the shop owner and there (sic) getting well-deserved publicity for it," was a typical comment online.Mr Neale said he had been encouraged by the "rapt" reaction of his customers and the continuing strong sales of the burger."It's people's choice whether they want to [eat it] or not," he said."If I could solve those problems [of world hunger] by somehow sending [leftover burgers] overseas I would do it."The shop's Facebook page - which promises a free T-shirt and a full refund to anyone who can finish the burger - was partly given over to its defence."This is a challenge burger, not an eat everyday burger," it said.

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