We all have some gross food-related stories that we can share. Maybe it was a hair in your quinoa, a needle in your strawberry, or a human tooth in your Milky Way bar — we have all found something super unappetizing and sometimes even inedible in our food. We have put together a list of the grossest and, to some extent, horrifying food processing facts out there that will definitely make you rethink some of your life choices!
If you’re a seafood lover, then you’ll need to prepare yourself for this fact — because it’s fairly shocking! Uni is the only edible part of a sea urchin.
It turns out, though, that this so-called edible part is actually the animal’s gonads. For some, this may not be an issue. For us, well, that’s where we draw the line! And if you decide to as well, we completely understand!
Figs are another example of a tasty and colorful fruit — that are now about to be destroyed by facts. Their dark purple-ish color can make any dish look vibrant, whether it be a fruit salad or a tasty pastry of sorts. However, with all these happy colors and vibes, they have one thing that will truly depress and gross you out.
There are certain types of wasps that spend their larval stage inside figs. If the fig is a male, a female wasp will climb inside and lay her eggs there. These hatch into larvae that burrow out, turn into wasps, and fly off. If the fig is a female, however, a female wasp can climb into and even pollinate the fig, but she will not be able to lay her eggs there and instead, dies alone. This fact seriously sent shivers down our spine!
Berries are such amazing fruits. They add so much flavor and color to anything you pair them with — especially if you’re making a fruit cake, or just topping a chocolate cake.
However, the berries have their share of insect problems. They contain about four larvae in every 100 grams. These larvae can secrete in the fruits. So, with that, make sure to thoroughly wash your berries.
Canned pineapples have their advantages and — according to this article – disadvantages. Compared to raw pineapple, the canned one contains only about 60% bromelain. The canned pineapples destroy the bromelain, which is the most beneficial ingredient.
The canned pineapple has a much higher level of sugar and calories. The grossest part is that the canned pineapple packs up to 20% of moldy fruit. The moldy fruit packed in the can is not a pretty scenario.
Oftentimes, the ice machines in different restaurants and ice cream parlors aren’t cleaned. In fact, they can remain like that for weeks, months, and years. The state of cleanliness for these machines all depends on the type of equipment the employees use to scoop the ice — are they using a scooper or their own hand?
If someone with dirty hands is scooping the ice, well then you know what your ice contains. The dirt can accumulate if you factor in the number of times the ice is scooped out throughout the day.
We all love a plate of momos, especially when they’re found in the street-side stalls and food trucks. However, these street-side momos aren’t exactly the healthiest. According to research, these roadside momos are made from dog meat.
If it’s not dog meat, they are made with rotten chicken meat. There’s no need of telling how harmful they are. All you can do is head to YouTube and learn how to make momos yourself.
If this article has taught us anything so far, it’s to steer clear of canned goods. After all, mold, insects, and whatnot are crammed into those cans — and this product is no different.
Canned asparagus contains about 10% of egg sacs and/or beetles. Are you even surprised at this point? Clearly, canned goods aren’t the best choice. Perhaps it’s just better to buy these veggies raw and give them a really thorough wash.
Well, the lavish caviar that you save for your most special occasions has secrets of its own. Their journey from the ocean to your fancy china is certainly not the prettiest. The egg sac is sliced from the fish’s belly before the fish is gutted.
From there, the finest quality eggs are selected. They are then packaged, but not before generously bathing them in salt. The high cost is probably from all the suffering that the fish undergoes.
Blasting the Cheese Powder
The granular cheese powder on different cheese-flavored chips is like a dehydrated solution to keep the chips from spoiling. These cheese products were developed for the US Army as they can be preserved under any conditions.
The cheese is first dehydrated. Then, they are blasted through a hot dryer. This blasting creates a powdered texture. The extra layer of cheese that makes our life so easy does go through its fair share of blasting.
Who doesn’t love hotdogs? They are the perfect meal when you’re looking for something affordable. However, have you ever wondered how this super delicious and budget-friendly meal is made? Hot dogs are not made from perfectly sourced meat.
The butchers take the leftover scraps from different cuts of beef and pork. Then, they are mixed and ground up together with some chicken parts thrown in there. That’s why hot dogs contain a mixture of different meat.
Sometimes you come across the correct use of something and you realize that you were using it all wrong — and then you wonder whether or not your whole life has been a lie. Well, this is something like that. Your favorite potato chips, Pringles, are not made from potatoes.
They are made of rice, wheat, corn, and potato flakes. They are mixed and then dropped into boiling oil, which then forms their ultra-thin shape. Lastly, they are dried and dusted with flavors.
Maraschino cherries look like a fruit that Snow White would eat — we mean, instead of an apple. The cherries have a radiant color. But, have you ever wondered how these cherries even come to be that way? Well, they go through a rigorous process to become the Maraschino cherries that we know and love.
Their natural color is distorted as they are put in a mixture of sulfur dioxide and calcium chloride. At this point, the cherries take on a yellowish hue. Then, they are soaked in fructose corn syrup and red dye. The food coloring is made from ground-up insects.
Red Food Coloring
Most of us have red food coloring somewhere in our kitchen. The luscious red color does add some extra sparkle to our food — be it our favorite red velvet cake, a holiday-themed Frappuccino, or even ketchup. However, that red color doesn’t come as easily as you would think.
Believe it or not but that perfect red shade comes from crushed cochineal insects. Factories collect these little insects and crush them up. Then, they mix the crushed up insects with powder and water. Some of them are also made from coal or petroleum.
The non-dairy creamer is truly a wonder product. This creamer can stay in your pantry for weeks or even months. Though it’s used to give our coffee or tea that milky, creamy taste we all love, the product has no trace of milk in it.
The non-dairy creamer is made of corn syrup solids, a milk protein named casein, and many diglycerides and monoglycerides. These ingredients enable the creamer to mix well with liquid. So, the moral here is that although these creamers have a great shelf life, you’re not actually getting any milk out of them.
Let’s walk you through the process of how nuggets are made, because why not! First, there’s a de-boning department in which the chicken breasts are removed from the whole chicken. Then the chicken breasts are trimmed.
They are grounded up and blended with seasoning and chicken skin. Then, the chicken paste is shaped into different required shapes before they are battered and fried partially. Lastly, they are frozen and shipped to different places.
Marshmallows speak celebration and they are included in some of the best treats — s’mores, Rice Krispies treats, Lucky Charms. What you may have not known, though, is that marshmallows are made of sugar, gelatin, and water. Although it may seem like there’s nothing wrong with them, one of the ingredients used does have some secrets.
The gelatin used in making the marshmallows are made of different parts of innocent animals including bones, tissues, skin, and hooves. The animals have to suffer in making this gelatin, which is then used in making different foods, like marshmallows.
The process of making ground beef is truly horrifying. The cows are stunned with electric current and shot with a pistol or carbon dioxide. Then, the cows are slaughtered before the facilities and factories remove the internal organs.
The carcass is cut in half and hung in a cooler after being sprayed with water or chemicals. This increases the flavor and further tenderizes the beef. From there starts the grounding and packaging process.
Who doesn’t love jelly beans? They’re a colorful concoction of sugar, after all — or so we all thought. We’re sorry to break it to you but our next fact will probably make eating jelly beans a whole lot less pleasurable now.
So, let’s not beat around the bush — jelly beans are shiny because they’re coated in shellac, which is a resin that’s secreted by the female lac bug (laccifer lacca) after it drinks the sap of trees.
The orange color that makes the oranges so appealing is due to citrus red applied to them. The citrus red keeps the oranges fresh and attractive. This is a trick to increase the shelf life of the fruits, which shouldn’t be more than a few days.
The citrus red does its job perfectly but it is harmful to us, as it’s proven to be carcinogenic. Carcinogens may increase the risk of cancer by altering cellular metabolism or damaging DNA directly in cells.
Castoreum is a natural flavor that’s used to substitute vanilla. Castoreum is used in place of real vanilla in many desserts — including ice cream, pudding, and brownies.
Well, what you may find surprising is that castoreum comes from the beaver’s castor sac, located between the pelvis and base of the tail. Knowing this now, how do you feel about eating that big bowl of ice cream you just served yourself?
We all know soft drinks are not the healthiest of choices out there, yet we still pair them with our burgers or pizzas. Here’s a fact that might make you rethink the soda fountain you’ve grown accustomed to. Recent studies have found that these soda fountains — which dispense all types of soft drinks that quench our thirst and cravings — could also contain fecal bacteria.
According to a study published in the January issue of the International Journal of Food Microbiology, nearly half of the 90 beverages from soda fountain machines in one area in Virginia tested positive for coliform bacteria, which could indicate possible fecal contamination. Are you rethinking that order of Coke now?
Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter that your body makes, and it plays a role in how we feel pleasure. It’s a big part of our unique human ability to think and plan. Many food manufacturers have begun making their foods extremely addictive by pumping their products full of sugar.
Having that sugar could release dopamine, the feel-good hormone in the brain, which associates that food with pleasure — causing the body to crave more. This, in turn, increases the demand. So, keep this in mind when you’re ordering from a fast-food restaurant or buying snacks from the store.
By now, you’ve probably realized that the snacks and candies we eat are full of harmful ingredients, preservatives, and artificial flavoring. But, let’s get specific! Firstly, the shine that many candies and chocolates have is due to a substance called lac.
Lac — or shellac, as many know it — functions as a tough natural primer, sanding sealant, tannin-blocker, odor-blocker, stain, and high-gloss varnish. Of course, there are other ingredients mixed with the shellac to create those products but it’s not at all comforting to know that shellac is also in the snacks we eat. And that’s also because we’ve learned that lac is sourced from a female insect. So, long story short, the candies that you munch on during Halloween are sourced from a bug.
Gelatin is used to make different kinds of desserts — like ice cream, yogurt, Jell-O, and other sweet treats. However, the gelatin used to make these products are made from — you guessed it — animal parts.
These animal parts include bones, skin, and ligaments. Those parts are boiled to make gelatin, which is also oftentimes used to make beauty products including face masks and shampoos.
Who doesn’t love a good ol’ piece of steak and mashed potatoes? Because many of us don’t eat steak every day, it’s definitely a special treat. However, what if we told you that the steak you’ve been buying may not actually be just one cut of meat? At times, the steak flanks that you find at the grocery store are made with several chunks of meat. Now, how is the meat combined to form one whole flank? Well, there’s a special meat glue that’s used.
Meat glue is a food additive used to improve the texture and appearance of foods like processed meats. Though major food safety organizations consider it safe, some health concerns surround it, including an increased risk of bacterial contamination. Meat glue is used in several types of foods including imitation crab meat, chicken nuggets, and fish balls. It also creates reconstituted steaks, fillets, roasts, and cutlets
Before diving into what’s wrong with this product, let’s first talk about what it is. L-Cysteine is a type of amino acid that’s used to prolong shelf-life in products such as commercial bread. L-Cysteine can be found in duck and chicken feathers and cow horns. However, what’s mostly used in food comes from human hair.
It has been reported that most of the hair used to make L-Cysteine comes from China, where it’s gathered from barbershops and hair salons. Luckily, you can avoid L-Cysteine by buying fresh bread from a local baker, as it’s not an additive in flour.
Titanium dioxide is one of the most widely used food pigments. An odorless powder, titanium dioxide enhances the white color or opacity of foods and over-the-counter products including chewing gum, coffee creamers, candies, sunscreen, and toothpaste.
It’s also used in different food packaging to increase the shelf life as well as various types of cosmetics and beauty products. Although it’s considered safe for consumption to date, it’s important to be aware of its effects, so make sure you read the labels before buying a product.
Oregano is one of the most beloved herbs. People use it in pizza, pasta sauce, and whatnot. The flavor enhances the food’s taste and value. It’s a favorite in Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine. Oregano is one of the components of chili powder.
We’re not the only ones to love oregano, though. It happens to also be a favorite for other species. Aphids and spider mites sometimes infest oregano plants. There are around 1200 insects in about 10 grams of oregano. On average, about 300 fragments of insects are present. If you have your own plant at home, you can control mild infestations with a strong spray of water from a hose every other day until the insects are gone.
Cinnamon is an absolute must for so many dishes and desserts. The flavor makes the dish more flavorful. However, the time has come to bid cinnamon goodbye for good. Why? Well, this spice actually contains animal feces — and the FDA allows it! The amount of excrement permitted varies from food to food.
Many spices and herbs including pepper, thyme, hot peppers, cinnamon bark, and oregano have a limit of one milligram of excrement per pound of food. And while it’s a very small fraction of excrement, how does it make you feel knowing this now?
Dry fruits — one of the most recommended foods by health experts. Doctors often recommend that people make dried fruit a regular part of their diet. Why? Well, dried fruit generally contains a lot of fiber and is a great source of antioxidants, especially polyphenols. Polyphenol antioxidants are associated with health benefits such as improved blood flow, better digestive health, decreased oxidative damage, and reduced risk of many diseases.
Still, there are some downsides, at least in the case of raisins. According to studies, there are about 40 milligrams of sand in 100 grams of raisins. Now, these dry fruits may be healthy, but what do we do about the sand?
It’s no secret that wheat is one of the world’s most commonly consumed cereal grains. White and whole-wheat flour are key ingredients in baked goods, such as bread. Other wheat-based foods include pasta, noodles, semolina, bulgur, and couscous.
What you probably didn’t know, though, is that wheat can contain up to an average of nine rodent poop pellets per kilogram (or about four pellets/pound). And popcorn, which the FDA also permits rodents to gnaw on a bit, can contain up to one poop pellet in a subsample. Gross!
Peanut butter is a household favorite — whether you’re in the mood to make a PB&J sandwich, peanut butter cookies, or even an Asian peanut butter sauce. Well, if you use it a lot, here is a horrifying fact that may change your future choices.
There is rodent hair in every 100 grams of peanut butter. Still, peanut butter is one of the most controlled foods on the FDA list. An average of one or more rodent hairs and 30 (or so) insect fragments are allowed for every 100 grams, which is 3.5 ounces. The typical serving size for peanut butter is two tablespoons, unless you slather! So perhaps you shouldn’t give up peanut butter altogether!
There’s no need to explain what a brew or ale is, or why it’s so widely consumed. Some people just cannot cut these drinks from their lives. However, we have sourced a fact that might reduce the beverage’s position in your life.
One of the components of the drink is isinglass — a type of gelatin that’s taken from swim bladders of certain tropical and subtropical fish. Isinglass finings are widely used as a processing aid in the British brewing industry to accelerate the fining, or clarification, of the beverage.
Salami is a cured sausage consisting of fermented and air-dried meat. During the process, makers hang the salami in warm and humid conditions to encourage the fermenting bacteria to grow, before hanging it in a cool, humid environment to dry out. The bacteria that grows throughout this process produces lactic acid, which makes the meat an inhospitable environment for pathogenic bacteria. This makes the food safe to eat.
That is unless meat mites, beetles, and maggots find their way to the salami, as they feed on the surface of cured meat. Only a small number are necessary to begin a damaging infestation. And no insecticides can be applied directly to infested meats, meaning that proper measures must be taken to prevent infestation.
Kopi luwak is one of the most expensive coffees in the world. The extraction process of this coffee is what makes it so expensive — not to mention gross. The coffee consists of partially digested coffee cherries, which have been eaten and defecated by an animal known as the Asian palm civet.
A small to medium-sized mammal, the palm civet is native to South and Southeast Asia. Producers of this coffee bean argue that the process may improve coffee through two mechanisms including selection – civets choosing to eat only certain cherries — and digestion.
Now, it’s time for us to ruin honey for you. Raw honey can contain spores of the bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum. This bacteria is especially harmful to babies or children under the age of one. Why?
The bacteria can actually cause botulism poisoning that can, in turn, result in life-threatening paralysis. However, botulism is very rare among healthy adults and older children.
Casu Marzu Cheese
All you cheese lovers may very well be horrified by this next fact. What you see here is known as Casu Marzu, which can be translated into maggot cheese. If the sight of hundreds of tiny worms crawling around in your cheese doesn’t upset you, then you have an iron will.
To end up with this kind of cheese, the top half is sliced off so that flies can lay eggs inside, which then grow into larvae that consume the fat in the cheese. The final result is a cheese with a creamy texture on the verge of being classified as rotten. The cheese is eaten when the maggots are alive, as it’s considered unsafe when the maggots have perished.
We rely on the FDA to ensure that the food we eat is safe, right? However, facts like these can truly destroy our faith. Manufacturers are legally allowed to sell curry powder that has 100 insect fragments in every 25 grams.
The FDA completely allows these insects in our food. The reason is that even the most efficient modern technology cannot fully eliminate the defects. These are considered allowable defects by the FDA.
As yummy as they are, shrimps are actually one of the grossest types of seafood you could eat. They are found contaminated with different kinds of pesticides, chemicals, and cockroaches. And when we say chemicals, we mean the ones that have been banned.
So, you can imagine the extent of toxins and harm they contain. The main reason for this is the poor farmed conditions they are raised in. If you’ve ever eaten shrimp, then you’ve eaten the feces of several different animals — and humans! Are you gagging yet?
Salads are often people’s go-to meal. After all, they’re healthy and fairly easy to prepare. Just take the lettuce and vegetables, and cut everything up before drizzling the dressing. If you don’t even want to do that, you can buy the pre-packed salads, which most people do.
However, there’s also a risk with the fresh produce, as they contain all sorts of bacteria. This is more evident in the case of pre-packed salads. So, always make sure to wash your produce thoroughly.
Lemons are a perfect ingredient in almost anything. You can make salad dressing, you can marinate meats, you can add it for some zest or extra flavor in any dish, and then there’s lemon juice.
However, lemons contain high fecal content. So, next time you’re peeling a lemon, make sure to properly wash it beforehand.
Broccoli is a staple vegetable in almost any and every healthy diet plan. However, if the broccoli itself is contaminated, then what’s the point in a healthy diet plan?
There are about 60 mites, thrips, or aphids in every 100 grams of broccoli. It’s almost like you might have to call pest management to clean your broccoli so you can actually start a healthy and safe diet.
Chocolate bars are the perfect celebratory dessert — or so we thought. It turns out that chocolate bars contain an average of eight insect legs in them. We guess we’re not really in the celebratory mood, after all.
Well, we’re trying a lot of new things this year. So, with that, maybe this year we completely move away from chocolate. It might hurt, but who wants to eat insect legs?
What’s more perfect than a can of tomato paste when you’re making pasta or pizza? Little did we know, though, that the process of making tomato paste is a bit of a hassle — a hassle that we definitely wouldn’t want to undertake.
Maybe after hearing the fact that we’re about to mention, you will lean towards making your own homemade tomato paste. It turns out that canned tomato pastes contain around 45% percent of mold. In other words, almost half of the can is mold. Gross, and highly dangerous!
40+ Bizarre Food Eating Contests Across the World
Food eating contests are commonplace at county fairs and even in more highly competitive spheres. However, not all of them are as expected as eating as many hot dogs or pies. These are some of the weirdest foods and premises that have made their way into the competitive eating circuit over the years.
Live Roach Eating Contest
Even if garlic cloves aren’t the typical choice, at least they’re commonly used in cuisine. Some food contests rely on the added challenge of starring an ingredient you probably don’t eat frequently.
If you’re feeling brave, you can try this at a Live Roach Eating Contest. The current record-holder for this type of contest is Ken Edwards from Derbyshire, England. In just a minute in 2001, he managed to choke down 36 Madagascar hissing cockroaches to take the title. That’s a lot of cockroaches!
Caviar Speed Eating Contest
At this point, there are few things that would surprise us out of food competitions. Taking a normally luxurious dish like caviar and introducing it to speed eating definitely still gives us pause, though.
The biggest caviar speed-eating contest in Moscow, Russia was only held in 2012 by a team of producers of caviar. During the event, each competitor was given 0.5 kg of caviar. The champion won by finishing the kilo in 1:08. Because of the food in question, the event ended up costing £42,000 to run.
Fried Insect Eating Contest
If you like the taste of a freshly-fried insect rather than a live roach, you aren’t out of luck. You can try a Fried Insect Eating Contest like this one.
The contest occurs in Lijiang, China, and the “Bug Eating King” was dubbed in June 2017. This was when a competitor known as Peng ate 2.7 pounds of a fried mix including dragonflies, bamboo worms, silkworm pupa, and locusts. At least the contest offers plenty of variety.
St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail Eating Championship
We checked out a shrimp wonton contest earlier but this time, we’re just looking at shrimp cocktails. You can try your own mettle against it in the St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail Eating Championship.
The contest serves up shrimp cocktails. The cocktail sauce is from St. Elmo’s and it’s more than just extra flavor – it adds quite a kick to the meal as well! Once again, Joey Chestnut holds the top record for this contest. In 2017, he managed to eat a total of 10 pounds and 6.4 ounces of the combo.
World Brain Eating Contest
For a ghoulish food contest, you’ll have to join the Zombie Pub Crawl in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The crawl has a huge crowd of attendees dressed like zombies, ending in the contest.
Before you get too worried, though, this is a more familiar food, not brains. The “brains” in this contest are just as much pulled pork as contestants can eat. The current record holder is Joey Chesnut, a familiar competitive eater of hot dog fame. His record is a total of 54 “brains” in only eight minutes.
Whoopie Pie Eating Contest
If you’ve never had a whoopie pie, they’re a treat that features two cake-like cookies with cream in the middle. They’re close to the concept of a fluffy Oreo and Maine loves them.
They love them so much, in fact, that there are contests to see who can consume the most whoopie pies at the Maine Whoopie Festival. The competition is even split up so that anyone can try their luck, no matter if they’re an adult, teen, or younger child.
The World Slugburger Eating Championship
Corinth, Mississippi is the home to a contest that sounds purely unappetizing. Luckily, there are no actual slugs involved in the World Slugburger Eating Championship.
Instead, the slugburger refers to a particular burger recipe. The base is a patty made with soy meal and beef that’s deep-fried. Then, the burgers are served with pickles, onions, and mustard. If you want to beat the current record, we hope you can wolf down 44 of these and you only have ten minutes.
International Kimchi Eating Championship Chowdown
If you prefer Korean cuisine, you might want to check out the International Kimchi Eating Championship Chowdown. Don’t think that it’ll be an easy undertaking, though.
This is held in Koreatown in Chicago, Illinois. It’s attracted some fierce competitors over the years and the current record is astonishing. If you’re training to break the record, we hope you can eat more than 8.5 pounds of kimchi and, even more impressively, do that in under six minutes.
World’s Grits Festival
If you’re in the southern United States, you’d miss out if you didn’t hear about the local praise for grits. St. George, South Carolina even holds an annual competition to celebrate the favored food.
Actually, the World Grits Festival has two grits contests. The eating contest of eating a bowl of grits faster than your competitors is pretty standard. For a weirder experience, there’s the contest where contestants roll in grits with the goal of covering their entire bodies.
Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches Contest
If you’re an Elvis Presley fan, you’ll recognize the significance of the peanut butter and banana sandwich contest. The odd dish was the late musician’s favorite treat.
That’s why fans of The King gather in Biloxi, Mississippi compete in the contest to honor Presley. The person who holds this record is someone we mentioned before: Pat Bertoletti. She won the World Championship in 2011 by eating 28 total peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the 10-minute time limit.
Sushi Eating Contest
Sushi is a versatile food that almost anyone can find a version of the dish that they love. This even includes vegetarian and vegan options out there for you to love.
However, while many of us love to enjoy sushi until we’re full, it’s still a far cry from the level of competitive eating. There are competitions for sushi too. Tim Janus, better known as Eater X, took the time to break the world record for sushi eaten. He managed to down 141 pieces in six minutes.
World Deep Fried Asparagus Eating Competition
When it comes to vegetables, you can make a variety of food and play with cooking methods. One option for asparagus is to deep fry it for a crispy side.
For those that really like the taste, there’s a World Deep Fried Asparagus Eating Competition held each year in Stockton, California. This is also another contest that Joey Chestnut holds the record for. In 2011, he ate nearly 10 pounds of the food in only 10 minutes. That’s nearly a pound of asparagus a minute!
World Nettle Eating Competition
Another contest that features a surprising ingredient to some is one that focuses on nettles. In Dorset, you can join in the fun at the World Nettle Eating Championship.
In this contest, contestants work to eat as many leaves off of a two-foot (or about 60 centimeters) stalk as they can in the time they have. On top of eating them, they also have to strip the leaves themselves. It’s quite a contest if you want an earthy, tangy feast.
World Ice Cream Eating Championship
There are few people who can resist a cool ice cream cone on a hot summer day. Speed eating it doesn’t seem like the most enjoyable but it definitely offers oddly specific bragging rights.
As popular as it is, there are ice cream eating contests in plenty of places around the world. The most astonishing record comes from the World Ice Cream Eating Championship in Florida in 2014. Once again, Joey Chestnut dominated the competition by eating 15 pints of ice cream in six minutes.
Mayonnaise Eating Competition
Mayonnaise is a great addition to recipes or your favorite sandwich. Still, even those who like the condiment are likely to recoil at a contest for eating mayonnaise.
The contest is only one part of a larger event called the Glutton Bowl. This features two full hours of eating competitions, including mayonnaise among the various food items. Oleg Zhornitskiy holds the record with a stomach-turning four bowls of mayo. That’s the same as eating eight pounds of mayonnaise alone!
Milwaukee’s Cannoli Eating Contest
For those that love Italian food, there are few festivals with as much variety as the Italian Festival in Milwaukee. Plus, you can take part in another weird food contest while you’re there.
One of the most well-known Italian desserts is the star of the contest is the cannoli. These ricotta-filled sweet treats are delicious in moderation but a challenge when it comes to this competition. The winner becomes the cannoli champion by eating the most they possibly can.
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati World Bratwurst-Eating Championship
Oktoberfest is a chance to enjoy German food but you can take this to the extreme at the Oktoberfest Zinzinnati World Bratwurst-Eating Championship. The festival is held in September in Ohio.
The challenge is that the contestants have 10 minutes to eat as many bratwurst as possible. The world record holder is, once again, Joey Chestnut. The champion eater managed to eat 37 bratwurst at the competition in 2012 but the world record he holds beats even that at 42 bratwurst in the same amount of time.
Curry Eating Contest
Curry is a flavorful dish that is well-loved by many. If you want to push your love for the dish to the next level, though, you’ll want to check out the curry eating contest in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The challenge here isn’t necessarily eating the most curry but eating some of the spiciest curry. You can’t even enter the contest without a screening for health risks and signing a waiver that this is potentially dangerous. They even keep the British Red Cross on standby for the event!
Jalapeño Eating World Championship
This contest is only for those who don’t mind the spicier dishes the world has to offer. Otherwise, you’ll probably be miserable chowing down on a huge pile of Jalapeño peppers to take home the prize.
There are plenty of competitions like this but one of the biggest is the Jelapeño Eating World Championship at the Texas State Fair. The world record right now belongs to someone who competed as a 62-year-old retiree who traveled from Nevada. In only eight minutes in 2006, they ate 247 peppers.
Niko Niko’s World Gyro Eating Championship
Whether you grab them from a food truck or head to a Greek restaurant, gyros are popular for a reason. That’s why they have a special focus at the Houston Annual Greek Fest in Texas.
In this festival, one of the big events is the Niko Niko’s World Gyro Championship. Here, contestants try to eat as many gyros as they can in a 10-minute time limit. Matthew Stonie holds the current record by eating 24 gyros in the allotted 10 minutes.
Tomato Eating Contest
When it comes to food competitions, food festivals are a great place to turn. For instance, how would the Jacksonville Tomato Fest in Florida not feature a tomato eating competition?
The weirdest part is that this competition follows a contest where competitors peel tomatoes with only their teeth. The tomato eating contest is offered for both “celebrities and kids.” If you’re still feeling competitive, they also have a contest for growing tomatoes, packing tomatoes, and a salsa contest.
Raw Onion Speed Eating
Onions are great in a lot of different foods. You can also prepare them in a number of ways to shine on their own. Still, most people don’t eat them the same way they might an apple.
That is unless you’re trying to see how many raw onions you can eat in a set amount of time. Brian Duffield set the record in the U.K. in 2004 by eating a grand total of 212 grams or 0.47 pounds of raw onions in just over a minute and a half.
Oyster Eating World Championship
Oysters are a controversial food, to say the least. While some see them as the height of luxury or even romantic, others find that they’re unpleasant.
The latter category may want to steer clear of the Oyster Eating World Championship. In this competition, held annually in New Orleans, the challengers are meant to speed eat oysters. The winner is rewarded a $1,000 cash prize. The state record was set by Pat Bertoletti in 2011 when she ate 468 oysters in only eight minutes.
Butter Eating Competition
There are some food items that are frequently used but not necessarily eaten alone. Most people would pass on the offer to enjoy a stick of butter or two.
Like the mayonnaise contest, this bizarre competition is a part of the Glutton Bowl. The world record holder, Don Lerman, for the contest competed in 2001. He managed to eat seven salted sticks of butter in only five minutes. Each stick weighed a quarter of a pound.
Shrimp Wonton Eating Contest
If you were missing out on the shellfish from the Crustacean Celebration, you can always head to Singapore. This is where you can join a shrimp-related feast.
Specifically, the dish in question is massive piles of shrimp wontons in Singapore’s Shrimp Wonton Eating Contest. Unsurprisingly, Joey Chestnut has left his mark on this competition too. He even set the world record in the 2010 competition. To beat it, you’ll need to eat more than 380 wontons in only eight minutes.
Dairy Queen Dilly Bar Eating Contest
Wisconsin’s Sawyer Country Agricultural Fair is a great chance to see what the area has to offer. Plus, thanks to Dairy Queen, there’s a food eating competition as well.
This has become known as the Dairy Queen Dilly Bar Eating Contest. In the contest, contestants have to not just eat one type of food but make their way down Dairy Queen’s menu of chocolate-coated soft serve ice cream. This isn’t a competition for those without a soft spot for sweets.
Duck Embryo Eating Contest
The content matter of this food contest is enough to turn many unfamiliar diners away. Yet, in Hester Street Fair in New York City, specifically, East Village features “balut” to dine on.
If you aren’t familiar with it, balut is a fertilized duck egg that people eat straight from the shell. In this competition, they’re served hard-boiled and all-you-can-eat for five minutes. The standing champion is Wayne Algenio. He managed to eat 18 the first time but bump it up to 37 in his second entry.
Mashed Potato Eating Contest
Chicago’s Irish-American Heritage Center puts on a Gaelic festival full of contests. You can enter to see who can make the best Irish soda bread and even to judge who has the most freckles.
For an eating contest, though, the main event is focused on mashed potatoes. Both children and adults have a chance to see who can eat the most mashed potatoes before the time is up. Apparently, the contest can get pretty messy as the competitor’s feast.
Cheese Curd Eating Contest
If there was a perfect place for a cheese contest, it’s Wisconsin. After all, the state is highly associated with their love for cheese and they have some great cheese to boast!
Every year, Wisconson’s curds festival rounds out with a cheese curd eating contest. The goal is, of course, to eat as many cheese curds as possible. The interesting thing about this contest is that it’s specifically fun for the kids. You have to be between the ages of seven and 18 to participate.
World Crawfish Eating Championship
Crawfish are another shellfish that often make their way into popular dishes. At the World Crawfish Eating Championship, though, it’s all about eating as many as possible.
The competition is held in Atlantic City, New Jersey every year. If you want to beat the world record set at the competition, you’ll want to make sure you can eat a lot of food and quickly too. The record currently belongs to Chris Hendrix who managed to scarf down 331 pieces in 12 minutes.
Broccoli Eating Contest
Usually, we associate eating contests with weird fair foods or odd foods to eat in such mass. This time, the contest turns a healthy food on its head with a vegetable-based competition.
The Broccoli Eating Contest takes a popular vegetable and turns it into a mountain to devour. The broccoli is raw as well, so you’ll have to love broccoli freshly harvested. The reigning champion of this contest is Tom Landers with a stunning time of 92 seconds to eat a whole pound.
National Harbor World Peeps Eating Championship
The National Harbor World Peeps Eating Champion is still fairly new as it was only introduced in 2016. Still, it’s caught the attention of plenty of people in that time.
Some of the most famous competitors in the world have entered in the last few years including Gideon Oji and Carmen Cincotti. The first contest was where Matt Stonie ate 200 Peeps in five minutes and he later set the new world record with 255 Peeps in the same amount of time.
National Fried Mushroom Eating Contest
Mushrooms are another ingredient that can really divide a room. If you love them, then you can have as many as you can eat in the National Fried Mushroom Eating Championship.
This contest is held every year in Pennsylvania. Once the mushrooms are fried up, the contestants have to eat as many as possible to claim the crown. You’ll have to train hard to earn the world record which is set at nine pounds of fried mushrooms in eight minutes or less.
Berkwood Farms Bacon Eating Contest
At this point, it would almost seem weird to leave a bacon-eating contest off the list. While the food isn’t strange, the sheer amount of bacon people manage to devour does make it stand out.
You can enter the contest in Keystone, Colorado at a festival that has been around since 2008. The winner in 2018 was Matt Weis who managed to eat a full pound of bacon in one go. He described bacon as having “the perfect ratio of fats and protein with no carbs.”
Winter Park Pudding Eating Contest
If you’re planning on entering this food competition, we hope you have a sweet tooth. After all, the Winter Park Chocolate Festival caters to chocolatey sweets.
There are two rounds of the chocolate pudding eating contest. One round goes to adult competitors and another round is dedicated to children who want to try their hand at it. Oddly enough, if you eat enough pudding, you’ll win a golden ticket for more chocolate. Hopefully, you aren’t too sick of chocolate yet!
Habanero Eating Contest
The Jalapeño Eating World Championship is definitely a spicy contest. For those looking to turn up the heat even more, there’s always a Habanero Eating Contest.
This is a challenge that people try all over the world because the hot pepper is just such a tempting challenge. One such competition is El Pelon Taqueria’s Annual Chili Pepper Eating Contest where one college student took the crown. All it took was eating a mind-boggling 90 peppers.
Lobster Roll Eating Contest
In the northeastern United States, one of the most popular dishes is to grab a lobster roll. In turn, it makes sense that there’s a contest to test your might against other lobster roll lovers.
The lobster roll eating contest that gains the most attention is the Salem Willows Seafood Festival in Salem, Massachusetts. If you’re not interested in participating in the contest or somehow still have an appetite afterward, you can also check out other dishes at the festival like clams, scallops, shrimp, or chowder.
World Pickle Eating Championship
Pickles are another food item that people tend to either love or hate. For pickle fans, there’s nothing quite like the World Pickle Eating Championship in Pompano Beach, Florida.
The contest is the main event of the Isle Casino Pompano Park World Championship. In 2010, Pat Bertoletti managed to eat five pounds of sour pickles in only six minutes. Interestingly, she’d later call on her pickle experience to eat 275 pickled jalapeños in only eight minutes.
Steak Eating Contest
For many people, a single steak is already filling. This is especially true since a steak can be pretty big! Still, there are competitive eaters who go far beyond the average.
For those with a big enough appetite, Arkansas has an answer. At the Arkansas Steak Eating Contest, competitors try to eat as many steaks as they can to take home the title. Each steak is 16 ounces and there are as many as the competitors can eat.
Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship
We talked about sushi earlier and now we’re back to Japanese cuisine once again. This time, the competition centers around gyoza, a type of Japanese dumpling.
Even less surprisingly, the man on top of the Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship is another title belonging to Joey Chestnut. When he competed in 2018, in the 12th year of the competition, he managed to eat an entire 359 gyoza before the 10 minute time limit was up. He was one of 19 contestants.
Plum Dumpling Eating Contest
Plum dumplings may sound odd to some but they’re a popular food item in the Czech Republic. As such, that’s where you can find the Plum Dumpling Eating Contest.
This contest is also interesting in that the time limit is longer than average. Instead of forcing contestants to eat as fast as they can, they have an hour to eat as many plum dumplings as possible. The current record holder for this dessert dish ate 191 dumplings in an hour.
Stuffed Quahog Eating Contest
The Stuffed Quahog Eating Contest is held in Massachusetts and requires competitors to have a huge appetite and the ability to work fast. Otherwise, you’ll fall behind on the tight time limit.
If you don’t know what a quahog is, it’s a hard-shelled clam. They’re often found in the northeastern United States, making this a fitting contest for the locale. Once the contest starts, competitors have 90 seconds to eat as much as possible. The current title-holder is Rich Rogers at 90 stuffed quahogs.
Crocodile Egg Eating Competition
We all eat eggs pretty frequently. They’re popular for breakfast and they make their way as a protein in many dishes. These are usually from fowl like a chicken, however.
This contest, on the other hand, focused on eating as many crocodile eggs as you can muster. Well, to be more specific, you have to eat 10 crocodile eggs as fast as you can. The contest is mostly to boost tourism in Thailand and it’s held at the Pattaya Crocodile Farm.
Crustacean Celebration SPAM Eating Contest
In Maryland, it’s no surprise that there’s a festival known as the Crustacean Celebration. The celebration is actually for their minor league team, the Blue Crabs.
Yet, the main event for competitors here isn’t a huge plate of crab legs. The more eye-catching event is their SPAM eating contest. If you win, you get a shopping spree at a supermarket. After that, we would probably leave SPAM off the grocery list for quite a while – if not forever!
World Garlic Eating Competition
There are few foods that a chef can’t improve by adding a bit of garlic. Still, we mostly add garlic to our food rather than eating the cloves on their own.
That’s not the case at the World Garlic Eating Competition! This competition occurs in Chideock, Dorset County, England, and challenges its competitors to snack on some whole cloves of garlic. To give you an idea of how much garlic is here, David Greenman won in 2014 by eating 33 raw cloves in a single minute.