Blog: Competitive eating
Catherine Sleep | 11 July 2006
It’s been a weekend of great sporting triumph – Mauresmo, Federer, heck, even Zidane, showed why they are considered to be at the very pinnacle of their chosen sport. So with sporting prowess very much on my mind, it was just delightful to pick up the paper yesterday and learn that we in the food industry also have a race to run.
It’s called competitive eating, and it’s not for wimps.
The financial stakes may not be as high as those offered by, say, the Wimbledon tennis tournament, but the winner of the World Grilled Cheese Eating Championship, for example, gets US$3,500 for their (gastric) pains. Under the banner of the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE), speed-eaters chow their way though any number of designated categories such as meatballs, tacos, chicken nuggets and chilli.
Predictably, it’s not a pretty sight as competitors cram food into their bulging cheeks and swill it down with water in a bid to eat the most in the allotted time, but the real damage has to be happening on the inside. The really interesting aspect is that this particular event is sponsored by GoldenPalace.com, an online gambling site. That’s appropriate, since competitive eaters are surely gambling with their health. I bet no food manufacturer would touch it with a barge pole these days – even those that make indulgent foods are keen to stress that their products should just be a small part of a balanced diet.
They may be out of step with the bulk of society (pun intended), but for competitive eaters, excess is a right to be celebrated and exploited to the max.
UK consumers are being urged to think of other ways to use their jack-o-lanterns and cut the millions of tonnes of pumpkin that is wasted at this time of year....
A new report by the Soil Association has highlighted a lack of healthy lunch options at the cafes of some of the UK's most prestigious visitor attractions....
The BBC turned to just-food today for insight on the price dispute between Tesco and Unilever....
Just weeks after buying UK turkey processor Bernard Matthews from administration, food tycoon Ranjit Boparan has struck a similar deal....
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