Healthy food and the Calgary Stampede are not two things that tend to go hand-in-hand with each other. The midway has been called Heart Attack Alley and for good reason — it’s a deep-fried haven. You’ll find traditional fare like corn dogs, mini-doughnuts and cotton candy, but calorie-laden (and sometimes strange) foods such as deep-fried kool aid, bacon and maple syrup funnel cake, taco pizza, deep-fried cheese, poutine and pulled pork parfaits, are also on the menu.
Although most people don’t tend to go to the Stampede expecting to find salad and fruit trays, the lack of healthy options in a bit concerning. The Stampede’s midway manager, James Radke recently said they are offering alternatives to people who lactose or gluten-free, adding, “Don’t get me wrong. Salads don’t do well here.”
So what are the “healthy” alternatives? You could opt for a stir-fry at the Salt Spring Noddle Bar, sugar-free lemonade or gluten-free corn dogs, bison burgers or ribs. While the “healthy” alternatives have already been criticized by a local food blogger and dietician, who doesn’t think a gluten-free label equates health, we think if you’re going to the Stampede definitely don’t go there thinking you’re going to be eating health food. Any food can be incorporated into a healthy diet, as long as you don’t go overboard and if you’re indulging once a year at the Stampede, you’ll probably be fine.
[Photo courtesy Calgary Stampede]
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