Fast Food, Slo-Mo & The Infinite Feast
‘Chew Your Milk’, the Yogis say
Now did your beloved mother and father use psychological warfare on you, dear reader, when you were a stubborn and rebellious child? When you were really really hungry after a little shoplifting from the supermarket and a five-kilometer sprint to outrun their security guards – what an appetite you had!
You sat down to your mother’s plain but boring fare of leathery meat and ruthlessly-boiled potatoes, and then she would say ‘Don’t forget to chew each mouthful of food eighty-four times, Sonny – you don’t have any teeth in your stomach!’
Ugh. Upon hearing that, your eager little-kid appetite would disappear – what a disgusting picture was now in your mind: teeth in your stomach, snapping away. How cruel, how ugly. ‘No thanks Ma. I’m not hungry any more. Besides the police are at the front door asking for me. I gotta run now.’
But mama was just trying to warn you, in her clumsy way, of the danger of gobbling your food. And you remember how important it was to get back to riding your bicycle and beating up that obnoxious rich kid in the park (and stealing his girlfriend).
And let us not neglect to pay homage to the amazing anteater, who apparently does have teeth in its stomach. So there, Mom! (Of course one of its echidna brethren species is reported to have four penises and you can imagine the trouble that will get you into.)
Idiot Citizens Win Prizes for Destroying their Gastrointestinal Tracts?
Welcome to the world of competitive eating, where the dope who can stuff his or her carcass with the most food down their gullet within a fixed time limit wins something… like more food. Repellant? Yep. Dangerous? Oh sure. Painful? You bet.
But you can win valuable prizes! IF, that is, you survive:
‘In October 2012, a 32-year-old man died while competitively eating live roaches and worms in a contest to win a ball python. An autopsy revealed he choked to death. On July 4, 2014, a 47-year-old competitive eater similarly choked to death during a hot dog eating contest. At a Sacred Heart University event on April 2, 2017, a 20-year-old female student died as a result of a pancake-eating contest.’
‘Now where’s my fucking prize? Could you please call an ambulance, Wolfgang.’
At least they died doing what they loved (eating roaches, worms, hot dogs and pancakes).
There is death and then there is wishing you were dead because you gobbled your food down before chewing it and boy are you sorry, sucker I mean successful executive.
Ever wonder why there are all those tons and tons of commercials on TV and ads in the paper for stomach medicine? Who needs stomach medicine? Stomach abusers…
Now in Asia there is a tradition of wolfing your food like a wolf wolfing down a fresh carcass (growling and tearing flesh before her fellow wolves carry off chunks of steaming meat). There has to be a reason why China, Korea Japan and Southeast Asia have become so wealthy from business and industry in recent years, don’t you think? It’s because they got their eye on the ball: hurry hurry hurry and don’t waste time. The denizens of Osaka, known as the most money-grubbing center of Japan (a money-grubbing country) put it best of all:
…so you can get back to what’s really important: making money. This explains the businessman’s adoration of noodles and fried foods and soft white rice and other puffy, gooey eats that you don’t have to waste time chewing: you just gulp them down. They make you feel full. They slide through your stomach and guts without even slowing down. You poop them out while reading your ticker tape from the stock exchange. You have gained little nutrition and made your body work extra-hard to process all that slime…
[Subsequent Sad Scene]: You haven’t been feeling well lately so you find time to drop in to a local hospital for a quick checkup. Results come in and you are shown into a cold white consulting room.
You sit down. A clock ticks sharply. You feel a bit uneasy. Where’s the doctor?
A medical professional walks into the room, does not introduce himself, simply sits down and, unsmiling, glances at his clipboard, then looks up and stares you in the eyes. ‘You have inoperable bowel cancer.’
You are in shock. You had no idea. ‘That’s horrible news, doctor. I – I don’t know what to tell my family. How much time do I have left?’
The doctor sighs and says ‘Ten’.
You feel terrible. You suddenly regret all that bad eating and junk food. ‘Ten WHAT, Doctor? Ten years? Ten months?
Still staring at you, he growls ‘Nine… eight… seven… six…’
Now on the other hand,
there is a world of elegance
in leisurely eating…
Infanta Isabel Clara-Eugenia on the left (hyphenated name means she was hot shit on somebody’s throne), apparently bored and mean-tempered, Albert VII, Archduke of Austria, looking like he could do with a hot bath and long scrubbing (‘But I took a bath last year!’ he protests). Anna of Austria in the middle, old and faded before her time (‘Get that painting done, quickly now – the food’s been cold an hour’), behind her some bearded asshole with a frilly cock-ring around his neck, looking grouchily at the painter. Next, all dolled up in fashionable black, with a goofy hat perched on his noggin, is Philip II, waving his sinister elongated thin fingers (you think maybe he is an alien disguised as a royal?), beside Isabella of Portugal, who is such an inbred idiot she can’t make up her mind whether she wants to burp or fart, and to the right, getting chummy with his bum-boy, is Charles V. None of these royal parasites look like they are having a rip-roaring, knock-down and drag-out celebration but on the other hand none of them has their fucking nose stuck in a tiny glowing screen or is fiddling impolitely with his or her cell phone.
But wait! The dope with the van Dyke beard on the far left – is that an ancient tablet he is getting ready to reboot for the ladies, having installed a round of applications? He’s wearing an iron plate necklace, like an ancient anti-biting collar on a dog.
The point is that this concatenation of useless aristocrats is enjoying a leisurely evening’s feast, one dish served politely and elegantly after another. They are communicating and interacting, on a grandly slow scale, without being poked in the ass by the hands of a clock telling them GO GO GO GO, meeting, business report, convenience store, pick up the brat from the baby-sitter yadda yadda.
They are enjoying slow food. And do you not envy them? They are their own masters of the evening, and not slaves of time or task.
That’s classy. And class.
Or in a more contemporary setting, the enjoyment of each other’s company (and then the food fight, when the pace dulls…)
Stateliness is Elegance. Enjoy your Food while Alive, Friends.
Because tomorrow you could find yourself in a Mad-Max scenario, scrabbling to survive, eating roots and bugs and snakes and seaweed, with greasy-smelling fast food joints a distant memory.
A certain Doctor Mercola summarizes the results of studies, how restaurants get you in, stuff you quickly and do their best to get you out so the next paying customer can be seated.
‘If you’re in the mood to linger over appetizers and savor each bite of your main course, all while enjoying conversation with your dining companions, your local, trendy restaurant may not be the best choice.
‘There are actually many reasons why dining out may not be your best option – not the least of which is food quality or lack thereof – but there’s also the issue of atmosphere.
Clearly there are many exceptions to this rule, but most restaurants primary mission is to generate a profit, and the more diners they can seat in any given night, the fatter their profits will be. Knowing this, those in the industry have carefully crafted tricks of the trade designed to subtly get you in, stuffed and out in the shortest amount of time possible.
Have you ever heard of ‘decoy design’?
Other tactics include:
- Playing loud music, which makes people eat faster and drink more (in a shorter amount of time)
- Seating patrons in the middle of restaurant, surrounded by chaos
- Using uncomfortable chairs
- Displaying elaborate dessert trays, cheese carts and other visual enticements
- Decorating in warm colors like red, orange and yellow, which stimulates your desire to eat
These strategies strongly encourage you to rush through your meal, a practice that’s not only unpleasant but bad for your digestion and waistline as well.
Why Eating Fast is Not Recommended
When you visit most restaurants, taking your time to eat and chew your food thoroughly will likely go right out the window. There are certainly select upscale dining establishments that will march to a different drummer, and pride themselves on allowing patrons to linger and really taste each course of their meal … but these are the exception rather than the norm.
For the most part, you can expect that eating out will encourage you to shovel in more food, faster, than you likely would at home. Why is this not a good idea?
It will make you eat more, for starters.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism last year found that subjects given identical servings of ice cream on different occasions released more hunger-regulating hormones when they ate it in 30 minutes instead of five. So although the serving size remained the same, they felt fuller after savoring the ice cream compared to when they wolfed it down.
In another study from 2008, subjects also reported feeling fuller when they ate slowly. Interestingly, they also ended up consuming about 10 percent fewer calories when they ate at a slow pace as opposed to when they were rushing.
A third study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that eating quickly, and eating until feeling full, tripled subjects’ risk of being overweight. The authors concluded:
“Eating until full and eating quickly are associated with being overweight in Japanese men and women, and these eating behaviors combined may have a substantial impact on being overweight.”
Eating your food slowly, chewing up to twice as long as you normally would, will also instantly help you control your portion sizes, which naturally decreases calorie consumption.
Another benefit of chewing longer is that your food is digested better. The majority of your digestive enzymes are actually in your mouth, not in your stomach. Therefore, chewing your food longer allows it to be broken down better.
You’re also likely to find that you actually enjoy the taste of the food more.
We do not hurry our patrons at Ya Udah Bistro ~ we expect you to enjoy the food, the atmosphere and each other’s company in a leisurely open-air environment…