Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The science behind eating contests. Is this discussion really necessary?

An article in today's Post highlights "competitive eating." And it's a good article. Some people may recoil, but I say, if driving cars is a sport, why not eating? It takes more physical effort, I believe. And what's more American than making a contest (or a job) out of eating like a pig?

This article is funny, though, because it interviews doctors and experts and so forth to try and uncover the "science" that breeds success in competitive eating. It's interesting, but do we really want to go down this road? Is it necessary? Isn't it just a bunch of crazy people with big appetites? The article might inadvertently (or maybe advertently) prove this point. Because despite all the ruminations on stomach capacities and espogeal contractions and the satiety signal premise, what's the story's lead interview and most prominent photo? A 22-year-old Ashton Kutcher lookalike and fledgling competitive eater housing Papa John's pizzas and proclaiming "I just want to eat food, impress my friends, and win money." Duuuuuuuuude. Other not-too-brilliant highlights from the article include the chairman of the
Association of Independent Competitive Eaters offering his sage advice to all would-be combatants: vomiting is a good thing, and, uhhh, don't do this in a bar.

Our bodies are scientifically tuned machines, dude.

(On a side note, D.C. might be a burgeoning hotbed for this. Check out Alexandria's own
Sonya Thomas! She is apparently America's top competitive eater, and she weighs 105 pounds! And she's cute! Her nickname is The Black Widow! And she once ate 35 Johnsonville brats in 10 minutes! I'm getting sick just thinking about that! Ending sentences with exclamation points!)

They start 'em young sometimes. Don't you hate those overbearing eating contest moms?

By the way, AICE (or "The Ace," as I like to call it) is one of two eating contest organizing bodies (the other one seems to be the
International Federation Of Competitive Eating). What is this, boxing? And check out the guy currently on the IFOCE home page - the guy holding the turkey carcass. If that is not an athlete, then I don't know what is. You can have your cross-training and your Winsor pilates and your Gatorade Science Center. I'll take the guy holding the turkey carcass.

But I'm off the point now. The point is, why get too caught up in the medical reasoning or training methods here? It's just people with huge appetites who are willing to be gross for a living. No one ever stopped to analyze the science of why the kid who ate paste in third grade ate the paste. Aren't some stones better left unturned?

Now if you'll excuse me, I have ten minutes to eat four pounds of cow brains. Go!

No comments: