Two Food Writers Named Josh Talk Competitive Eating

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After Joey Chestnut took down 72 hot dogs at the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4, I was once again reminded of the extreme gluttony of professional eating competitions. That day, ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell broke down the 10-time champ’s eye-popping intake, which included 20,160 calories and 1,296 fat grams. I took to Twitter to share my disbelief, and fellow L.A. food writer Josh Scherer‏ @CulinaryBroDown had some interesting responses. I enjoyed the back and forth, and hopefully you do. Read our Twitter discussion, and let me know where you stand on eating competitions in Comments.

Josh Lurie-Food GPS‏ @foodgps
Competitive eating is something I don’t understand, appreciate, or support. These “athletes” take years off their lives. For what?

Josh Scherer‏ @CulinaryBroDown
They probably enjoy doing it a whole bunch.

Josh Lurie-Food GPS‏ @foodgps
Probably, but to quote the James Cagney movie, “What Price Glory?”

Josh Scherer‏ @CulinaryBroDown
I think its more self fulfillment than glory in the traditional sense. Enjoyment not from holding a trophy but challenging yourself everyday

Josh Scherer‏ @CulinaryBroDown
Same could be said for football players, boxers, journos working 16 hour days. All take years off, everyone does it from some sense of love

Josh Lurie-Food GPS‏ @foodgps
You’re right, we’ve learned football and boxing are also self-destructive. That byproduct may ultimately tear down those sports.

Josh Scherer‏ @CulinaryBroDown
Like I don’t think boxing should exist but I totally understand and respect the commitment of boxers.

Josh Lurie-Food GPS‏ @foodgps
Sadly, many people who commit to sports like boxing and football participate to escape oppressive socioeconomic conditions. Not comp. eating

Josh Scherer‏ @CulinaryBroDown
I’d actually be curious to see that data on comp eaters’ socioeconomic backgrounds. I honestly have no guesses.

Josh Lurie-Food GPS‏ @foodgps
Potential rewards for even most famous competitive eaters are infinitesimal compared to potential rewards for boxers and football players.

Josh Scherer‏ @CulinaryBroDown
For sure. But if you can eat real fast and you can’t run or punch good, you could see that as an opportunity. Money does play a role here.

Josh Lurie-Food GPS‏ @foodgps
True. I appreciate your alternative perspectives, and you made me think about competitive eating in new ways, but I’m still not on board.

Josh Scherer‏ @CulinaryBroDown
Haha likewise man, good chatting. I have no intentions of A Clockwork Orangeing your eyes open to watch the gyoza eating championship.

Josh Lurie-Food GPS‏ @foodgps
If that’s the most horrific thing I have to witness, I’ll take the gyoza eating championship any day.

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Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

Competitive eating truly is in a class of its own, but then again, our society seems to thrive on the bizarre. That being said, after putting down a few hot dogs ourselves for the 4th the thought of taking down 72 in rapid fire style is… intense to say the least. We’d love to see how a gyoza competition would go down. Consider us staying tuned…

Take My Shift Team, As much as I love gyoza (or any dumpling), the idea of eating them to the point of nausea doesn’t sound so appealing.

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