- Rick Wilking/Reuters
Last week, I went a little bit crazy and decided to eat like Warren Buffett, the Berkshire Hathaway CEO, legendary investor, and folk hero (to some).
It was awful.
If you’d like to read more about that experience, be my guest. This post, on the other hand, is about a conspiracy theory regarding the diet. In fact, so many people have posited the theory to me that I’m starting to think it’s true.
Buffett’s diet consists heavily of junk food – he has even acknowledged he eats like a 6-year-old. Buffett downs Coca-Cola products and food from McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, and See’s Candies.
Interestingly enough, Buffett not only indulges in these foods – he invests in their makers. Buffett and Berkshire own See’s Candies and Dairy Queen, and Coca-Cola is his third-largest investment by shares held.
This is where the conspiracy theory comes in: What if Buffett doesn’t actually eat any of this junk – or at least not as much as he claims – but only says he does because he wants suckers like me to buy products from companies he has a financial stake in?
The thought struck me sometime during my second DQ chili-cheese dog of the week. Am I being a useful idiot in Buffett’s quest to get everyone to gobble his companies’ food?
This idea, in fact, was one of the most common responses to my story.
This reporting makes me think Buffett is not entirely honest about his diet https://t.co/tPIaRAvB0Y
— Matthew C. Klein (@M_C_Klein) October 4, 2017
Warren Buffett's claimed diet is unsustainable. If he really followed this he would collapse https://t.co/XdZnPUw39N
— Joseph Lawler (@josephlawler) October 4, 2017
I got plenty of emails that posited that Buffett may be crafting a bit of a tale. One reader took the theory to a dark place.
“Has it ever occurred to you that buffett is a psy-op, a creation of fiction, a caricature, spokesperson for elites in the guise of a folksy neighbor?” a reader named Shawn Foster said in an email. “He doesn’t really eat that stuff, he simply promotes it to the simpletons so they die faster.”
People I know brought up the idea. One person I know texted me: “There’s literally no way he eats like that.”
Another person I know said they knew someone who knew Buffett, and that person told my friend that Buffett actually ate incredibly healthy.
A friend of a friend with inside information about a lying billionaire? Classic conspiracy-theory stuff.
Even one of my meals seemed to bring up this question. Buffett is a noted hater of vegetables, yet when I dined at his favorite restaurant in New York City and asked for what Buffett – who visited just a month before I went – ate, I was given creamed spinach. (Then again, the meal also included a two-pound steak.)
I can’t definitively say whether the theory is true. But based on how I felt after eating like Buffett, I sure hope it is.
If you have a theory or tip about Buffett’s diet, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. No idea is too outlandish, so send ’em on.