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Traditionally, eating contests occurred at county fairs and involved pies. However, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is now the most famous in the country. The Coney Island contest has happened every year since the ‘70s on July 4 and the current record was set by a Japanese competitive eater who downed 59 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Because the event receives extraordinary media exposure, including ESPN, it has contributed to the popularity of competitive consumption.
All Pro Eating (APE) has brought more competitive eating to spectators. The APE is the only independent competitive eating organization in the world and offers sanctioned eating competitions. Last year, OnMilwaukee.com interviewed Molly Schuyler, a recognized All Pro Eater who holds numerous world records, including the record for consuming the most bacon – five pounds in five minutes and 21 seconds. She also broke records after eating 440 chicken wings in 26 minutes and three 72-ounce steak dinners in 20 minutes.
Although competitive eating has been widely criticized for its message of gluttony, possible contribution to obesity and disrespect for world hunger, it continues to increase in popularity. Reality television programs like Travel Channel’s "Man V. Food" fed the public's fascination with the phenomenon for three seasons.
Every year, The Wisconsin State Fair offers contests to determine who can eat the most (or the fastest) jalapeños, cereal, baked potatoes and, of course, cream puffs. Possibly more interesting than a competitive eating contest is the number of people who show up to watch a competitive eating contest.
I have competed in the celebrity potato eating contest – or "celebrity" potato eating contest a…Read more...