“By Toutatis, these Americans are crazy”

by awindram


As it’s July 4th, Independence Day, the one day of the year that the normally retiring and modest citizens of the USA get to indulge in some common-or-garden patriotism, ESPN broadcast a competitive eating contest / did an hour long advert for Nathan’s hot dogs masquerading as a sporting contest. As it fell between today’s two World Cup games I found myself watching it.

Before an overexcited crowd chanting “U-S-A, U-S-A,” a dozen of the nation’s finest competitive eaters gathered (among them the macaroni and cheese eating world champion, the cannoli eating world champion, the crayfish eating world champion, and the ramen noodle eating world champion) to stuff as many hot dogs into their faces as possible in ten minutes. By the time they have finished a competitors’s stomach may contain up to four liters of food in it; for a normal person one liter of food is about the limit your stomach can take before you feel extremely nauseous. 

If you were to carve up one of these professional gluttons you could probably get a fabulous foie gras from their livers. Probably preferable to a Nathan’s hot dog.

The winner managed to consume 61 hot dogs in the time allotted. “U-S-A, U-S-A,” they sang to him. Jefferson would have been proud.

In other news, 49 million Americans are food insecure.