If you have never watched the show “Man vs. Food” don’t be surprised, and don’t be upset. I just stumbled upon it on the Travel Channel. I have to admit the first few minutes I was absolutely appalled. The premise is that this dude (and he is a dude) named Adam Richman goes all over the country doing food challenges. No, not challenges to cook, challenges to EAT. A lot. After the first fifteen minutes of being totally grossed out, I was unable to take my eyes away from the show I thought I hated. As I wrote my fellow foodie friend Paula, it’s enough to make you want to be a minimalist calorie counter.
The first thing that I saw was a spicy sushi challenge, escalating in heat and spice from one to ten, that seemed doable and innocent enough. It was just the amount of spice he could handle (I would still be on one). He was awarded a Master. Okay, I thought, not bad. Then came the: next challenge: and I kid you not, he had to eat (ok, he didn’t HAVE to), the 4 – 5 lb grilled cheese sandwich consisting of: 3 thick slices of bread, fried, 14 kinds of cheese., hand cut french fries, coleslaw and pickles. In one sitting. In case you were worried, there was no time limit, however he was trying to eat all of this under twenty minutes because then it would have been free! ( I could be mixing this up with the 12 burger patty challenge, sorry!) He looked like he was about to gag and I kind of wish he had thrown up but he didn’t. It wouldn’t be good for ratings or for the show. Darn.
There is always a crowd that cheers him on to overeat, (I mean reach his goal) “Go Adam, Go Adam, Come on Adam, do it,” they chant. It’s like one big frat party with food instead of kegs. The man is both a walking heart attack about to happen and stroke victim to be. Serious appetite he says? I say he should be the poster child for potential obesity and clogged arteries in America. It’s a sickening show yet I admit, I kept watching. It’s like the car crash mentality where you don’t want to see what happened but between your fingers, you are definitely looking.
Hysterically enough the show is sponsored by Cheerios, ” a smart way to lower cholesterol” and Zantac, an ad for antacid. Could this get funnier? (or sicker?) Now, Adam is attempting to eat something called a” Polish boy” and just watching it gave me an acid stomach and I reached for Tums. I couldn’t keep up with all the minute details but basically it was a boiled and then fried jumbo hot dog (on location in Cleveland), with french fries, spicy sauce, pork shoulder, more sauce, all on top of one another. Wait, I think i am forgetting something….right, there’s coleslaw too. “Do it for Cleveland baby, do it for Cleveland” people roared. “One more bite, one more bite” the audience chants and than applauds wildly when he has achieved his, um, goal, success (?) Once again, Adam is declared a champion. Go Adam!
Now Adam has 12 burgers one on top of another. He’s got himself a show where he travels around the country to challenge other people’s eating records. Really? He calls it ” the worlds greatest pig out spots”. My first question: Why? It’s gluttony, it is over the top, it’s somewhat entertaining in a sick way and it’s appalling.What kind of (mixed) message are we sending to the country? They say “victory is sweet”, but after watching this show, moderation is better.
I hope First Lady Michele Obama doesn’t see this show, actually, I kind of hope she does. Hello, Madam President? Please watch this show once (and once is enough) and tell us what you think. I’m dying to know. Finally, the show ended and it wasn’t a moment too soon. I found myself feeling greasy after watching all those fat food frames. I was annoyed with myself for watching the entire episode and again, I was a little happy to have seen it. What is wrong with me?
When the show was over, I needed a snack, a refreshing snack, “clean food”. I decided on a small, clear glass bowl of cold mandarin oranges in light syrup; it’s all I could eat and it tasted like heaven.