We've all made that late-night run to the deli down the street to grab cookies, ice cream, and/or a bag of chips. It happens. Weirdly enough, it seems white storks — yes, the birds known for their baby-delivery skills — might understand the power of junk food cravings, too.
In a March 2016 study, researchers at the University of East Anglia in England found white storks are so addicted to junk food — like, literal junk food — that some of them have actually stopped following their normal migration patterns and are instead taking up year-round residence near landfills. They used to fly from Europe to Africa in the winter, but now they're setting up more permanent nests so they can snack on garbage all year long. But they don't stop moving altogether: They will travel, roundtrip, more than 60 miles to a landfill to get their junk food fix. Have trash, will travel?
It makes sense when you think about it — if you had to choose between a frozen dinner from the supermarket on the corner and a freshly made salad from a shop across town, which would you pick? If you'd choose the long journey for the fresh salad, kudos! You have an impressive amount of willpower and/or free time. We do not. And neither do white storks, apparently.
These birds' behavior is a great reminder about our own: Food availability (or lack thereof) has a huge effect on what, how, and when we eat. We love it when things are easy — meals and snacks included. We're more likely to eat bad food that's nearby than go the distance to pick up what we really should be nourishing our bodies with. So the next time you feel the urge to order pizza for delivery, think of the cranes eating trash, then consider migrating to the store to pick up something better for your body instead.