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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Photo of the Day: All You Can Eat

Women’s Georgia hot dog eating champion Larell Marie Mele ate 13 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.
  • Joeff Davis
  • Women’s Georgia hot dog eating champion Larell Marie Mele ate 13 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.
How many hot dogs and buns can you eat in 10 minutes?

The world record is held by Joey Chestnut, who gobbled down 69 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes at Coney Island, New York in 2009.

On Saturday, 13 competitors gathered at Junction Lanes Family Entertainment Center in Newnan to compete for the title of Georgia’s Hot Dog Eating Qualifier. The top male and female finishers go to New York to compete in the televised finals at the original Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest.

The 13 competitors in Newnan went head-to-head to see who could eat the most hot dogs in 10 minutes.

The rules of the competition are, you have to eat the entire hot dog and bun; you can dunk the hot dog and/or bun into a liquid, but only for 5 seconds and if any participant “suffers urges contrary to swallowing” they are disqualified. This is known as the "reversal rule," according to Richard Shey, president of Major League Eating.

All this went on while the U.S. Post Office was putting on their annual Stamp Out Food Hunger Day, the country's largest one-day food drive, also on Saturday. Last year, postal workers collected an amazing 77 million pounds of food donations along their postal routes. The food is needed in Georgia especially, since we're one of five states in the country that “exhibited statistically significant higher household food insecurity rates than the U.S. national average” in 2007-2009, according to Feeding America. The number of Georgia households receiving food stamps rose from 581,709 in 2009 to 716,749 in 2010 — an increase of over 23 percent in just one year, according to the USDA.

Meanwhile, Nathan's Hot Dog men’s Georgia winner Tim “Gravy” Brown who consumed 28 ¾ hot dogs in 10 minutes commented after receiving his trophy: "I feel full, man." When asked about the hot dog-eating contest coinciding with Stamp Out Food Hunger day, he said, “Things like this are not about hunger but the real problem is corporate greed that does not allow Third World farmers to compete. Competitive eating is just a sport.”

The women’s winner, Larell Marie Mele, ate 13 hot dogs and will also be going to New York to compete on the fourth of July. When asked what she was going to do after winning, she said, “I am going to go eat some ice cream.”

More photos of the hot dog eating competition

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