By Jelisa Castrodale | FoodAndWine.Com
Troy Warren for CNT #Foodie
Whether her post-church McDonald’s trips are the secret to her longevity is up for debate.
We’re still early enough in this New Year that we’re all making adjustments to our daily routines in that vague annual attempt to “better ourselves.” But according to one South Philadelphia centenarian, the secret to a long and healthy life could be… having a regular Big Mac.
Dorothy Nedd celebrated her 106th birthday on Friday, which means she was born the same year as children’s author Roald Dahl, iconic newscaster Walter Cronkite, and molecular biologist Francis Crick. The difference, of course, is that Nedd is still with us — and she credits both her religious faith and her frequent stops at McDonald’s for that.
“Grandma always used to take me to church,” her granddaughter Zulema Nedd told FOX 29. “And then after church, we would sometimes go to the McDonald’s and my grandma got a Big Mac. She was getting Big Macs for a long time.”
On her birthday, Nedd told the outlet that she was “feeling good,” although Zulema said that her grandmother has missed seeing her family every week; before the pandemic, they would drop in every weekend, but those visits have had to become FaceTime calls instead.
Nedd isn’t the first of the over-100 set to have a “secret” that sounds too good to be true. Although 105-year-old Lucia DeClerck credited prayer and not eating “junk food” with her long life, her granddaughter said that maybe her lengthy lifespan had something to do with the nine gin-soaked raisins that she ate every day too. “[DeClerck] said it kept her free of disease,” Shawn Laws O’Neil said last February. “She’s never had cancer. She has all her own teeth.”
DeClerck also had a near-daily serving of a mysterious drink that she kept in the fridge, a combination of aloe vera juice, apple cider vinegar, ginger, and “a little bit of gin.” (DeClerck is just a couple of weeks away from her own 106th birthday celebration.)
Over the years, we’ve also heard from a 105-year-old Englishman who had whisky in his tea every morning, and two shots of The Famous Grouse Scotch in a glass of lemonade every night; from a 108-year-old who was fond of a daily glass of champagne; a 117-year-old French nun whose “secret” is red wine; and a 100-year-old San Francisco woman who was fond of a non-traditional bedtime snack of one beer and three potato chips. “I have no pain and do my exercises every day,” she said in 2018. “And have my beer. Eat my potato chips. That’s about all.”
Back in Philadelphia, Nedd told FOX 29 that all she wanted for her birthday was “sweet living,” but we kind of hope somebody ordered a Big Mac for her special day, too.