Dan Janssen is a 38-year-old man who has eaten nothing but pizza since he was a teenager. Seriously. That's it. Janssen has diabetes and has blacked out while driving his car one time. But, otherwise, he's a normal, healthy, reasonably thin adult human being who survives on a strict diet of pizza.
Because there wasn't a festival lineup announcement for Vice to skewer on Tuesday (what the hell is a Valerie June, right?), they were all over it. Justin Levy, one of Janssen's friends, asked him all about his traumatic childhood experiences with stew and poisonous mushrooms.
Does your current diet affect your diabetes?
When I first got diabetes, my endocrinologist said, "You should go to a nutritionist. You eat horribly." So I went to a nutritionist and it was a waste of time. They just basically give you a list of things to try, saying, "Oh you're a vegetarian, you should try this, this, and this." And of course I'm not going to try any of those. I like pizza. I've never gotten a negative reaction except from my first endocrinologist. But all the other doctors have said, "Your cholesterol is fine. You seem healthy. Keep doing what you're doing." I haven't had anyone truly concerned about it, except for my fiancée, and she's not overly concerned. With her advice and support, I've been seeing a therapist about my food aversion and we've been exploring why I have such a limited diet. I must say, even though I sound like a horribly unhealthy and fat person, I'm not. I'm thin. I have tons of energy, and I feel great every day, so there might be something to the exclusive pizza diet.
Can I ask what you have been talking about with your therapist?
They’ve helped me uncover some things that I always knew but never realized the significance of, like when I was four or five, we lived in the backwoods of North Carolina, where I went to daycare in Ms. Stanfill’s home. She would try to feed all of us Brunswick Stew every day, which is not something you would ever feed a five-year-old. It's either chicken, pork, or rabbit with beef and okra, lima beans, corn, potatoes, and tomatoes. I would protest and try to run away but she would grab me. I can't remember whether she would beat me or spank me, but I know that she would throw me in a closet as my punishment for not eating the stew. I would sit in there crying and screaming for a couple hours until my mom came to pick me up.
OK, maybe we understand the pizza obsession, too. [VICE]