>This evening I heard a startling bit of “news” on the radio. Someone broke a new record by eating 47 burritos in 10 minutes. Yes, my friends, I’m talking about the “sport” of competitive eating. After I overcame my nausea at the thought of such a feat, I started to wonder about this type of contest and decided to do a little research…
Sure enough there is an organization that “oversees all professional eating contests. The organization, which developed competitive eating and includes the sport’s governing body, the International Federation of Competitive Eating, helps sponsors to develop, publicize and execute world-class eating events in all variety of food disciplines”. This organization is called “Major League Eating” and the logo has a bit of a likeness to Major League Baseball, as you might imagine. As I looked around this website, http://www.ifoce.com/about.php, I became more and more astounded that this was an actual thing and not a spoof on SNL. Was I being punked? No, Ashton Kutcher did not appear…this, apparently was a real thing!
I looked further. The contests promoted on the site ranged from pickle eating, burrito eating, cannoli eating…to the more predictable pizza eating, buffalo wings and this was my favorite – bratworst eating – sponsored by Pepto Bismol. How appropo. There are stats, rankings, pics – all similar elements you might find on a real competitive sports site…even down to an MLE store so you can buy all your gear and accessories (aprons, bibs??). The other interesting thing I noticed was the page of “safety regulations”. They are very firm about not letting anyone under the age of 18 participate. Oh, that’s good. We only let the age-appropriate people strap on the food troughs.
Now, where do I begin to attempt to describe how wrong this whole thing is on so many levels. First, of all I find it disturbing that in a country with such a dichotomy of very overweight people on the one hand to those men, women and children who are hungry, on the other, we are treating food as a sport. Terrible. I mean, leave it to Americans to turn what is supposed to be nutrition and energy to fuel and nourish our bodies, into excess, gluttony, and waste – and then treat it as a “sport”. How contemptible! I mean, how is this positive in any way?! Seriously! Encouraging people to gorge and then rewarding them for it??!! Uggh…Major League Eating? I call it Major League Disturbing!!!