Doctor’s Viral Hack For Bringing Coconuts & Burgers on Planes To Beat High Airport Prices Is 100% Unhinged

A doctor shares his travel hacks to bring liquid and meals past TSA security at airports, so he doesn’t have to buy water and gets to eat what he wants. The government won’t let you bring a bottle of water into the airport (unless you freeze it first). He brings a whole bag of coconuts so that he can drink coconut water on the plane. And he brings burgers.

This seems crazy to me. First, cold leftover burgers in a tupperware with no bread, no condiments, no cheese, that just seems kind of disgusting rather than being better than what you’ll find in the airport. Maybe try Tortas Frontera instead?

Or a burger from Bobby Van’s at the American Airlines New York JFK terminal 8?

The good doctor never even shares how he opens the coconuts on a plane. You can’t just stick a straw in it. You’ve got to,

  • Find the three indentations at one end of the coconut, which resemble a bowling ball’s finger holes.

  • Then puncture the softest one. Usually you’ll use a screwdriver, corkscrew, or other pointed tool to pierce through it. Then you can wiggle the tool to widen the hole.

  • Corkscrews without blades, and screwdrivers under seven inches can be taken through security. He doesn’t tell viewers to bring one, though!

  • Then you’ll drain the coconut water. If you want to eat the coconut’s flesh after drinking the juice, you’re going to want to bake it 10-20 minutes at 400 degrees, or until it cracks. However most domestic aircraft are no longer being provisioned with ovens in coach. So even if you find a helpful crewmember, you may have a difficult time with this. Seems wasteful!

  • Otherwise you can wrap the coconut in a towel, then use a and using a hammer (again, must be no longer than 7 inches to go through TSA checkpoints) then tap until the coconut cracks open.

It just seems like a lot of hassle to bring a bag of coconuts and cold burger patties through TSA. But go ahead and eat cold leftover burger patties if you want, I guess?

I’d never heard of Dr. Paul Saladino. His ideas seemed odd. It turns out he’s an anti-vegan activist who claimed in 2020 that he eats half a lamb testicle each day. He says that cauliflower and kale are silent killers. He hosts a podcast and calls toothpaste bullshit because it contains fluoride.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Not what I would bring. The coconuts should be able to be tapped with a key and keys are allowed through security (even though my keyrings were hand inspected by security at ICN a few days ago.) As for solid foods, there are many choices. I have taken sandwiches of different varieties. I have taken apples. I have taken cheddar cheese (usually gets hand inspected.) Cookies are good. You could wrap up pizza and take it. You can take pie. You can take tamales. You can take tacos. You can take burritos. The water substitute is good. I never thought about it but you could take oranges and either juice them in the skin or just eat them for hydration.

  2. Far easier to bring an empty, refillable bottle through TSA. Even the smallest airports have water fountains. If the taste is a problem, pack some Crystal Light or similar.

    Packing salted peanuts or sunflower seeds makes for lighter and better protein, without a need for condiments, bread, or an oven.

  3. Seems like a lot of hassle (and extra weight, 10 coconuts or so) to get some water. Does the doctor know he can actually BUY a bottle of water once he’s past the TSA check point? I know it’s overpriced, but it’s a lot easier than dragging bag of nuts and tools to open them.

  4. Seems like I should put him in the category of one of those nutty doctors who said to only eat high animal fat diets. But in this case he’s also fruity, since the coconut is a fruit.

  5. Typical of the liquid issue. I know they are worried about hydrogen peroxide and the like, but how is one person being stopped from bringing 1 liter of a liquid any different than 10 people traveling together each bringing 1/10th of a liter? Would tomatoes be okay? Peaches? Those have liquid in them. And if they are so concerned what in the world is the point of allowing solidly frozen liquid? There is something called “melting” that they must not have heard about. Bottom line: This is stupid theater.

  6. Roll the coconuts down the aisle upon take-off . Then someone will step on a rolling coconut and go flying . They can also be given to children to throw .

  7. I like taking Indian samosas to snack on flight, travels well at room temperature and filling

  8. “I do not drink from plastic bottles so this is how I hydrate while traveling…”

    You can easily bring in an empty thermos and fill it from the fountain after security.

    Also, bagels is the way to go when bringing food for the plane.
    Filling, nutritious, stays fresh, doesn’t need to be warmed up, and tasty!
    Put on any spread/filler that doesn’t go bad quickly.

  9. He’s a recently graduated Psychiatrist.

    Everyone knows that psychiatrists are often a little…. Uh …. Different.

    But just goes to show that relatively smart people can make questionable decisions

  10. Wouldn’t the high fat / protein diet lower his testosterone and melatonin levels?

  11. I’m a hard no on the coconut water, but I think a leftover burger, if it was cooked right in the first place, is quite tasty, as is, no bread no condiments necessary.

  12. Dr Saladino lives in Costa Rica; over there, they sell the coconuts already peeled, it is easy to stick a recyclable straw through them. Now for the meat inside, I don’t know, maybe he smacks them against the floor before boarding.

  13. You dont have to cook the coconut meat. you can eat the coconut meat raw. young coconut meat is soft and sometimes jelly like so all you need is a spoon

  14. Once in an airline security training course, our instructor took us into the parking lot, took out a quart size ziploc filled with hotel toiletry bottles. She then used the contents of said small bottles (which obviously weren’t really shampoo and body wash) to ignite the contents of a lavatory waste can that she also had filled with general cabin trash.

    This doctor (what is he a doctor of? cloud topography?) doesn’t seem like one I’d want to be near on an airplane. Someone should tell him for a neat trick, strap that brick of cheddar cheese to his leg under his pants and go through security.

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