I always thought eating contests were localised random events. But I found out today that many of them, including the recent satay eating competition at Robertson Walk, are organised by professional bodies. The most established of these bodies is the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE).

IFOCE organises 'Major League Eating' events. Did you know that competitive eating was established as a sport in 1990s? And since those hotdog eaters are professionals, they have a job title. That is:


Contrary to what they are called, competitive eaters rarely regurgitate. Tactics include stuffing the mouth with chunks of food, chewing very fast and swallowing with lots of water. There is strategising too. Take the recent satay showdown between Joey Chestnut and Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi.

Knowing that Joey has strong jaws, Kobayashi outwitted him by skipping the chewing step entirely. Instead he shovelled handfuls of satay in his mouth and washed them down with plenty of water. I can't imagine how one can swallow such big pieces of meat whole. But Tobayashi's strategy paid off because he is king again.
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