6 Foods That Are Too Much Work to Eat

Ryan Fan


Some people like the work of eating some very challenging, high-effort foods. If you like your eating experience to be a challenge, then these foods are for you. If you don’t, like me, you might get a good laugh out of this piece. Here are 10 foods that are way too much work:

1. Crab

Can anyone dispute how much work crab are to eat? You have to crack a shell, arms and legs, all to just get a little bit of meat. Not only that, but you have to sift through a bunch of yellow stuff, which I just learned is called the hepatopancreas or crab fat. The meat is good, but there just isn’t that much of it.

I live in Maryland where crab is king. People always just talk about where they want to go to get crabs. It has become a topic of small talk and substantive debate, but I don’t understand it. Crabs are just crabs, and they’re way too much work for such a low quantity of food. I hope I don’t incite the crab mob, but the quality to work ratio is also pretty low — crab is good, but just not good enough to justify all the work of cracking, sifting, navigating eating crab, not to mention cleaning up all the mess.

2. Lobster


Lobster is not that different from crab, although for less work and more rich seafood. I like lobster better than crab, but that doesn’t deny that it’s also too much work to break lobster shells. I used to use my teeth to break lobster and crab shells both but it took me a while to realize that was a pretty horrible idea for my teeth.

Anything you have to take out of a shell is just a lot of work in general, but I was conflicted about including lobster on this list because there’s a higher quality to work ratio than crab. But it’s still a lot of work.

3. Shrimp


I really like shrimp, I’m not going to lie, but I like it most when it’s already peeled as opposed to when I have to do it myself. Peeling shrimp is a whole lot of work, undeniably. Sure, it doesn’t take that long for a lot of people but it tends to be a pretty rigorous effort.

Something that has always wowed me are people who can eat shrimp without peeling it, and peel it in their mouths and with their teeth. I have never been able to do that myself, and in my attempts to peel shrimp in my mouth, I have had to just spit it out and try again. Shrimp’s quality to work needed ratio is as high as lobsters, though, and I do love shrimp more than most on the list.

4. Pomegranate


Well, we have verged into the territory of fruit, but ripping apart pomegranate, having to spit out seeds, and just the overall act of eating pomegranate and disposing of its seeds is way too much work. I’m sorry to all the pomegranate fans out there, but the actual substance of the fruit is, dare I say, not that good to begin with.

I’ll go as far as to say that the quality to work ratio of pomegranate is low — even lower than crab and lobster. I’m sorry — the reward just does not outweigh the amount of work that comes with cutting the pomegranate open, and ripping it apart to expose the food.

5. Chestnuts


My girlfriend noted that chestnuts are also too much work because you have to crack open a chestnut with a knife and then sift through all the fibers of the chestnut. There is simply not enough nut to actually warrant all the heavy dirtywork that comes with eating chestnuts.

They are so hard to crack open in the first place and the fact that chestnuts go bad so quickly makes it just a very high pressure food as well. They even have knives specifically designated for chestnuts, and apparently you’re supposed to soak them! The quality to work ratio is just so low that I’d rather go for peanuts any day of the week.

6. Sunflower seeds


I’ll be honest: I crack the sunflower seeds open before I eat them. I have seen people eat sunflower seeds in a plethora of ways, most of which just includes putting the whole shell into your mouth. When I was younger, I thought that these people were just swallowing the whole?

Maybe I was just never taught good sunflower seed technique, and when I was younger, I choked on one too many sunflower seeds. Some people like them, and when I played baseball, players ate them up and then spat out the shells without even thinking about it. Their baseball aptitude didn’t wow me, but their ability to eat sunflower seeds certainly did! The quality to work needed ratio of sunflower seeds was just way too low for me to justify eating them — so now I avoid sunflower seeds.

These are foods you might enjoy eating as a challenge, but I don’t like work when I’m trying to eat. I like eating to be an experience that’s quick and simple because I have so many other things to do all the time! You put the food in your mouth, chew, and swallow. I don’t enjoy dealing with bones or shells in most of what I consume, so these are foods that I try to avoid unless I have no other choice.

Originally published on October 3, 2020 on The Partnered Pen.

Photo by Marie-France Latour on Unsplash

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Believer, Baltimore City special ed teacher, and 2:40 marathon runner. Diehard fan of "The Wire," God's gift to the Earth. Support me: https://ko-fi.com/ryanfan

Baltimore, MD

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