Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I'll confess here and now that MAN VS. FOOD, starring Adam Richman (pictured above) is one of my favorite television shows. This Travel Channel series finds the likable Richman traveling these United States in search of food eating challenges at various restaurants, cafes, diners and "joints." Sometimes man wins, sometimes food wins, but the contests are always fun to watch. There's always a crowd cheering him on and he provides a running commentary while he eats.
Richman often has to consume several pounds of food in one sitting. Sometimes there's a time limit, sometimes there's not. He's tackled everything from giant pizzas, hamburgers, burritos, piles of steak, barbecue, oysters, frittatas, breakfast tacos (in Austin) and more. There are the occasional challenges that feature center-of-the-sun hot and spicy foods (there's less to eat but more to burn). Just breathing some of these concoctions (which include habaneros, jalapenos, scotch bonnet, red and green chile's and other demonic peppers) makes Richman sweat. If I came anywhere near these things I'd die, given my extremely low tolerance for spicy foods of any kind. I can sweat eating food that was just shown a picture of a pepper.
Richman travels to lots of American cities, visiting interesting local establishments and sampling the wares that are unique and make the places famous. He eats tons of delicious looking (and tasting, I'm sure) food. Judy and I often make notes that if we ever travel to any of these cities, we'll definitely check out some of the places featured on the show.
I honestly don't know how Richman manages to do what he does. I'm assuming he tackles the challenges on an empty stomach and I'm sure that he's probably tossed up what he's eaten more than once after the cameras have stopped rolling. He probably doesn't eat again for at least a day after one of these challenges. 
While I do enjoy the show, I must admit that there are two things about it that strike a negative chord. One is that with all of these giant-sized, almost impossible to eat servings of food out there, is it any wonder that we have an obesity epidemic in this country? How many overweight people have taken these challenges? How many people have become obese because they've eaten some of these food behemoths? 
Secondly, with so many people, especially children, going hungry, it seems incredibly wasteful (if not downright sinful) to prepare so much food that the average person simply cannot consume in one sitting. That's an awful lot of leftovers and food that goes directly into the garbage disposal and that's just not right.
MAN VS. FOOD subtly encourages people to try and eat more food than is healthy for any normal person. And that's not a good thing.
But it sure is fun to watch.

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