STONY BROOK, NY—In a dramatic reversal of decades-old medical wisdom, the late Dr. Albert Rossum, director of the O'Bannon Institute For Postmortem Nutritional Studies, recommended an all-brain diet for zombies Tuesday.
"Our research indicates that live human brains are not merely the cornerstone of a healthy diet; they are, in fact, the only food an active adult zombie should consume at all," Rossum said during a press conference at the institute, located at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. "A daily three-pound serving of brains supplies all the vital sugars, neurons, and ganglia essential to promoting zombie fitness and slowing the decomposition process."
The Rossum Plan challenges the traditional zombie food pyramid, which consists of five to seven daily servings of human hearts, three to four servings of livers or eyeballs, and two servings of brains. Instead, Rossum advocates a four-level pyramid, with all four levels consisting of as many servings of brains as possible.
"Ideally, the brains should be consumed fresh from the head of the victim," said Rossum, widely considered the nation's leading expert in the field of undead nutrition. "However, precious scraps of brain may also be pried from the fingers of other brain-crazed zombies. Failing that, dropped brains may be slurped from the ground by a third party to such a scuffle."
Added Rossum: "Braaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnns!"
Nutritionists at the Romero Foundation For Zombie Health, the nation's oldest zombie-health organization, were dismissive of Rossum's announcement.
"The O'Bannon Institute's plan is a reckless fad diet," the late Dr. Vincent Peters said. "Five servings each day from the neurosensory group, made up of the brain, spinal column, and nervous system, as well as from the vascular, digestive, and pulmonary groups, are the best way to maintain robust zombie health. It is an established fact."
Told of Peters' remarks, Rossum strenuously disagreed, citing recent tests conducted by his institute.
"Studies have shown that zombies who follow the Romero school of nutrition can be stopped with a single bullet to the brainstem," Rossum said. "On the other hand, our exhaustive studies conclusively show that the newer, fitter breed of zombies who adhere to an all-brain diet cannot be subdued by anything short of total incineration."
Rossum's detractors are quick to point out that a high percentage of zombies in his studies are young accidental-death victims, many still in their teens, recruited from the punk-rock-fan community. Such individuals, critics charge, are too healthy and recently deceased to be reliable subjects in long-term dietary studies.
Critics also charge that a diet consisting entirely of brains would not be likely to attract many followers due to its monotonous nature. Rossum again disagreed.
"There is still ample room for dietary variety in this plan," Rossum said. "One day, you might make a spicy South Of The Border treat of a Mexican person's brains. The next, you could enjoy the Far East taste sensation of an Asian. There are so many different kinds of heads to tear open, there's no reason ever to get bored."
Rossum then stepped down from the podium and descended upon New York Times photographer Dennis Levitan, cracking his skull open and devouring his brains.