The graph above shows the roughly quarter-century trend in America’s per-capita fat consumption. To our great non-surprise, we’ve became rather fond of gorging on foodstuffs that we know to be deleterious to our waistlines, though we’re heartened to see that we’ve recently pulled back somewhat from the Popeyes-related brink.
Perhaps this trend has less to do with willpower, though, than the fact that science has darn nigh perfected the art of deep frying in recent years. Think it’s easy to pack both maximum taste and calories into a disc of pressed-together poultry parts? This passage from the not-to-be-missed Breaded Fried Foods should convince you otherwise:
A conceptual schematic of heat and mass transfer in the chicken nuggets is shown in Figure 2.3. A quarter symmetric sample model was partitioned into 330 triangle elements with 187 nodes using the automatic mesh generation of the FEMLAB software with the maximum element size of 1/15 of the maximum axis parallel distance in the sample geometry and the element growth rate as 1.3 (the maximum rate at which the element size can grow 30% from a region with small elements to a region with larger elements).
If similar scientific ingenuity were diverted from chicken-nugget production to space travel, would we have a colony on Mars within the next three years? We reckon so.