In today's repulsive and horrifying news, a man from Florida is dead after "winning" a live cockroach and worm eating contest in which the prize was a python. Edward Archbold collapsed outside the reptile store and died soon after he ate what looks like hundreds of the creepy-crawlies.
The eating contest was sponsored by a pet store and entomologists assure us that cockroaches aren't "unsafe to eat." So they may have been contaminated with bacteria or other pathogens. It's also possible he was allergic. Whatever the reason, that is a truly, truly awful way to go and obviously it's very sad.
Of course, he also did all this voluntarily. Maybe he didn't know he has an allergy or maybe he didn't know the roaches were infested with sickness. But still. It's horrifying. See below:
The fact is, eating contests are generally really disgusting and often dangerous. At best, you might vomit after stuffing your face with bugs (or pie or sausage or whatever). At worst, you might die. The body isn't made to ingest food (or bugs) like that. It's not healthy.
Now maybe his death is completely coincidental. It's possible, right? This doesn't mean that eating contests are any healthier. They aren't.
I always said I could do anything on that show Fear Factor, but I couldn't do the eating part. Not for a million dollars. Truthfully.
There is something about forcing the body to ingest way too much of something just for glory (or a python) or some other prize that is so American, so gluttonous, and so disgusting.
It's really sad that this man died, but maybe it will shed some light on competitive eating. This man is not the first person to die of competitive eating. Not by a long shot. In 2008, a Taiwanese student vying to become the "Big Stomach King" died after eating more than two rice- and cheese-filled steamed buns. Others have died from drinking too much water.
It's a dangerous thing to do. Period. Anything can be toxic if you take too much of it.
My heart goes out to this man's family, but if it gets enough publicity, maybe it will end contests like these once and for all.
Have you ever done competitive eating?
Image via kickasshtv/YouTube