duminică, 17 februarie 2013

A Bunch of Stuff You’ll Wish You’d Never Known

Competitive Eating: A Bunch of Stuff You’ll Wish You’d Never Known

Competitive eating involves consuming as much of a declared food as possible in an impossibly short amount of time. Speed eating contests tend to be under 15 minutes total. The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest boosted competitive eating popularity by televising the gluttonous sausage free-for-all every 4th of July. What could be more patriotic than enjoying a hot dog while watching professionals eat an ungodly amount of the same substance?
The Preparation
Professional speed eaters train rigorously to secure financial earnings and sponsorships. The pros generally consider the stomach the essential component. Competitive eaters train by drinking excessive amounts of water, stretching the stomach until it’s ready for a caloric onslaught. Eaters may consume low-calorie foods like veggies in bulk to further boost the stomach’s potential, or chew gum to fortify the muscles of the jaw. For major national eating contests, competitors may train locally months in advance using the designated food.
Professional competitive eating organizations aggressively discourage any amateur eater from training for a food event. So stop daydreaming.
The Disgusting Techniques
  Competitive food eating photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Competitive food eating
photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Competitive eaters call themselves ‘gurgitators:’ their goal is to cram the unnecessary foods in without spewing them back out.
Chipmunking is an eater’s attempt to cram as much food as possible into their cheeks in the last few seconds of a professional event. Some contests ban the practice – others allow the competitors two minutes or less to swallow the menacing mouthfuls before judging begins.
Dunking is the process of submerging foods in water or other liquids. By cramming, say, a hot dog in a glass of water, competitors soften the substance to make chewing and swallowing faster and easier. Professionals claim buns and doughy breads respond best to water-boarding.
Regurgitating food is grounds for immediate disqualification. It’s up to the judges to spot and penalize contest-induced vomiting, politely euphemized as ‘reversal.’
The “Glory”
Does competitive eating really leave contestants with anything more than unsightly bloating and a stomach full of career regrets? Title-holders get a degree of recognition and acclaim for their efforts, and may garner prize money totaling over $10,000 for the most coveted speed-eating records.
Whatever their motivation, here are a few disgusting, excessive, and potentially vomit-inducing records held by top speed-eating specialists.

Pizza: Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti. He scarfed down 47 slices of pizza in 10 minutes.
Butter: Don Lerman. For reasons incomprehensible to mortal men, Lerman ate 7 entire sticks of butter in 5 minutes.
Tongue: Dominic Cardo. Cardo enjoyed over 3 pounds of whole pickled beef tongue in 12 minutes.
Brains: Japanese eating legend Takeru Kobayashi indulged in 17.7 pounds of cow brains in 15 minutes.
Haggis: Eric Livingston. If you’ve never heard of haggis, now is a good time to make a run for it. Haggis is a savory blend of internal organs wrapped appealingly in a tidy animal stomach. Livingston consumed an unthinkable 3 pounds of sheep heart, liver, and lungs in 8 minutes.

Take a hint from the professional leaguers – this sport isn’t for the timid, the picky, or the health-conscious. This July 4th, watch speed-eaters scarfing down Nathan’s hot dogs with a renewed sense of respect (disgust?) for what they accomplish.

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