Don Gorske , a 57 year old man from Wisconsin , was in the news recently for having eaten his 25, 000 th Big Mac. ( yep , that’s right : twenty-five thousandth Big Mac). The retired prison guard has been wolfing them down at the rate of about two a day for the past 39 years .Gorske , 6′-2″ and a trim 180 lbs , was honored at a ceremony at his hometown McDonald’s in Fond du Lac , WI. on May 17th .
I’d never heard of Gorske before but his obsession with Big Macs has gotten him in the news for some time . He appears in the documentaries Supersize Me ( 2004) and Don Gorske , MacDaddy ( 2005) . He has also written a book 22, 477 Big Macs ( 2008) and was included in the Guinness Book of Records back in 2008 when he passed the 23,000 mark . Along the way , there have been TV appearances on , I’ve Got a Secret , The Rachel Ray Show , the Kyle and Jackie O Show and Lopez Tonight .
When I first read about Gorske and his fondness for Big Macs I was intrigued for several different reasons . Chiefly , I wondered how he was able to stay healthy with such a diet . How did he manage to indulge his habit and still remain married ? And did his children eat the same food as he did ? He must be single , I thought , since I couldn’t imagine a whole family with the same love of Big Macs . And finally , how did he prove that he had eaten all those Big Macs ? I couldn’t imagine people just taking his word for it …
It turns out that Gorske is apparently quite healthy in spite of his penchant for Big Macs.At 6′-2″ and 180 lbs. he is trimmer than most of us and he claims an enviable cholesterol level . At his last check up , he says that it was measured at 156 , far below the national average of 208. Though 90% of his daily caloric intake comes from Big Macs and Coke, he has no health problems .This is quite amazing considering that a regimen of Big Macs & Coke is heavy in saturated fat ,calories , cholesterol , gluten and carbohydrates and low on health-giving Omega -3 and Omega -6 oils. He attributes this anomaly to the fact that he almost never eats french fries, the usual accompaniment to hamburger meals.He also walks a lot every day and probably has good genes.
Gorske is married and , in fact met his wife at a McDonalds- where else – in 1973 . She seems to eat a normal diet though I can’t imagine what mealtimes at the Gorske household are like . I was unable to track down any information about Gorske ‘s children , if any , and what they ate . Gorske is in the habit of buying several Big Macs at a time and freezing them so that he is never without his favorite food .On some days , he has eaten eight or nine Big Macs though he usually averages two a day. He has saved receipts of every Big Mac that he has ever bought and consumed ( that’s how he is able to document his claims)and even has the boxes and wrappings of ” milestone ” Big Macs.
There is little doubt that Gorske’s Big Mac saga is fueled by a desire to set records . Who else would think to save all those receipts for close on four decades ? As to whether he actually likes Big Macs is open to question . In some articles , he claims to love them but, in one interview , said that he sometimes cannot taste the food he eats . He says that his taste buds sometimes do not function , probably having been affected by the time he spent working inside tanks. Elsewhere , he characterizes himself as an obsessive -compulsive with a fascination for numbers . That , no doubt , helped keep him on track as he devoured all those hamburgers .
So has it all been worth it ? Gorske , I’m sure , thinks it is . His hamburger fixation has got him into the Guinness Book , made him “famous”, and probably made him a good bit of money from McDonalds . But it also means having to eat all those hamburgers to the exclusion of everything else. I get tired of eating turkey , two days at the most after Thanksgiving . Eating the same food day in and day out is ,for me, unthinkable .
Not so for Don Gorske , more power to him .
P.S. His wife , Mary , has a sense of humor . She jokes about ending his streak saying that it will be over if she has to put them in a blender, it’s over !