Food-The World’s Nutritious Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

“Food–any nutritious substance that people eat or drink in order to maintain life and growth.” Pretty simple and today, about as outdated as milk purchased last May and poured into this morning’s coffee.
Food has gone from being a nourishing plant, meat or fish-based commodity to a weapon of war, a killer of pets, the cause of eating disorders, the obsession of foodies, the grenades of recreational food battles, the demise of crickets, a motivator for murder, the delivery system for marijuana, the birth of a thousand terrible TV shows, an endorsement of gluttony and the fodder for really bad jokes. (Food is also a popular product of barter. I’m sure there’s no connection but shortly after I wrote about the woman in Bradenton, Florida who offered an undercover cop sex in exchange for chicken nuggets, the local KFC in Port Colborne closed down. Honest!)
Let’s start with food as stand-up comedy material for the Canadian National Exhibition. If not for the fact it brings with it the end of summer then the CNE should definitely be shut down because of “Apple Cheesecake Poutine Granny Smith Fries.” Never mind the “Charcoal Ice Cream With Tabasco And Chili Peppers” or the “Mexican Scorpion Burrito.” First Granny Smith would have horked the poutine cheesecake all over her ortho hush puppies and then swallowed a live scorpion in order to end it all. The CNE food menu is what you get if you fire a caterer like say Gordon Ramsey and replace him with the Nutty Professor.
The world has forgotten that food is simply the fuel that keeps the human machine operating. Have you seen what so-called ‘‘Internet foodies” have become? Purveyors of pornographic gorging. That is, Mukbang! For the last decade people in South Korea have been paying to watch other people eat food online.
The Number One Mukbang celebrity is a guy named Banzz who can wolf down ten hamburgers at a single sitting and has a following of 3,080,000 YouTube subscribers hanging on his every belch. Number Three is Shugi whose trademark is gobbling up four spicy rice cakes in one mouthful without making her producer puke and DKD, a team of two brothers who have attracted a following of 2.89 million paid viewers by eating with “real sound.” Real sound? Remember when you were six and your mother cuffed you for talking with a mouthful of mashed potatoes most of which was dripping down the side of your face and everybody else at the table started to gag in unison. In South Korea this is known as a “unique skill set”.
Yuka, aka “Oogui” or “Big Eater” is famous for eating huge portions of spicy Korean food and then swallowing the webcam to end the show. Okay, that last bit I made up but still, this is binge eating’s Game Of Thrones.
Shougi is a shoveler and could only improve her performance by replacing her chopsticks with a garden spade. Nickado Avocado sometimes cries over his food with a parrot on each shoulder while Erik The Electric rams 10,000 calories of Taco Bell fare down his gullet and then polishes if off with a Diet Coke.
Given the Global Hunger Fact that 82 million people do not have the food they need to live an active, healthy life–what the hell’s wrong with South Korea?
I’m not saying Kim Jung-Un should nuke his neighbour to the south as he has threatened to do in the past but certainly sending in tens of thousands of Psychiatrists Without Borders is certainly not out of the question.
My biggest fear is that some enterprising foodie will look at the astounding number of people who are willing to pay to watch food being Hoovered down the entrance of the human digestive tract and wonder… how many people would sign up to watch it exit.
Yes, I know, a very disgusting thought indeed except in today’s world of bored, dumb-downed and self-absorbed people, that concept could earn a guy named “Yu-Jun The Throne King” the title of “South Korea’s Entrepreneur Of The Year.” As well as a salary of $10,000 a month earned with a parrot sitting uncomfortably on each of his shoulders.
If this debauchery of dumplings and all things noodles was limited to a dozen or so gorging contortionists–well, that would only be bizarre. But there are no less than 3500 Mukbangers operating in South Korea and most of them are household names!
Don’t get me wrong, I had a guy who enjoyed watching me eat for twelve straight years. But that was different. He was a dog named Jake who sat there, patiently praying that I would miss my mouth.
At least 15 people have died after participating in competitive eating contest since Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition began in 1979. So common has this tragedy become, last week a guy died at a taco eating contest at a minor league baseball game in Fresno, California and…they didn’t even cancel the game.
And finally, let’s not overlook the demand of foodies for prompt service. Last month a customer at the O”Cheese Naan Pizzeria in Paris shot and killed the waiter for taking so long to bring him his sandwich. And isn’t that the most outrageous thing you’ve ever heard…a guy ordering a sandwich in a pizzeria?!?
According to Plato, knowledge was supposed to be the food of the soul. He could not have foreseen an age in which we have knowingly sold our souls for food.
And for comments, ideas and copies of The Legend of Zippy Chippy go to www.williamthomas.ca

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