Facts About 9 Insane Record-Breaking Food Challenges

Insane Record-Breaking Food Challenges



Competitive eating is something that intrigues, interests, and disgusts in equal measure. For many of us it’s one of those “car crash” topics – we don’t think we want to see it or hear about it but we can’t resist.

That’s why Amica International decided to look into the facts of some of the craziest record-breaking food challenges they could find.

Bon appetite!

2001: Ken Edwards – Most Live Cockroaches Eaten in 60 Seconds.

World record for eating 36 live cockroaches

The thoughts of eating a cockroach would turn the stomach of most of us – eating a live one even more so.

Not a pleasant thought for the person eating or the cockroaches themselves!

But Ken Edwards from the UK broke this record live on TV back in 2001 by eating not one, but 36 of them in just 60 seconds!

Here are the facts:

  • 36 live cockroaches eaten in 60 seconds.
  • The cockroach species eaten was the Madagascan hissing cockroach, which is one of the largest cockroach species (all the more to eat).
  • Adult Madagascan hissing cockroaches can grow up to 3 inches long.
  • That equates to almost 10 feet (3 meters) of cockroach!

2002: Don Lerman – Most Butter Eaten in 5 Minutes.

Record for eating the most butter

For most of us, butter is something we eat as an accompaniment. Spread on to bread or toast – it’s delicious.

You might even want to add it to mashed potato or use it for baking.

Most of us would draw the line at eating spoons full of the stuff. Not US competitive eater Don Lerman.

In 2002 he broke the world record for butter consumed within 5 minutes by eating 28 ounces of salted butter in the time.

Here are the facts:

  • 28 ounces of salted butter eaten in 5 minutes.
  • That’s the equivalent of 2 footballs!
  • It’s around 5,691 calories.
  • That’s more than twice the recommended daily calorie allowance for the average man!

2002: Takeru Kobayashi – Most Cow Brains Eaten in 5 Minutes.

Most Cow Brains Eaten in 5 Minutes

Another thing most of us probably wouldn’t want on our plate is a cow brain. Just thinking about eating one is enough to turn your stomach.

Not if you’re Japanese competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi.

He munched his way into the record books by eating a whopping 57 of them in just 5 minutes.

Here are the facts:

  • 57 cow brains eaten in 5 minutes.
  • That’s over 11 per minute.
  • The cow brains eaten weighed 18lb (8kg)
  • That’s around the weight of a car tire!

2005: Alex Williams – Most Stinging Nettles Eaten in 1 Minute.

World record for eating the most stinging nettles

Ouch. Stinging nettles aren’t top on our list for dinner tonight.

But sometimes you can’t go back on that bet you made down at the bar with your friends.

That’s what seems to have happened for Alex Williams, who pledged to eat a stinging nettle over 15ft (4.5 meters) if anyone could find one – and they did.

Now he’s a record breaker!

Here are the facts:

  • 5ft (1.5 meters) of fresh stinging nettles eaten in 1 minute.
  • That’s as tall as a small person.

2015: Kelvin Medina – Fastest Time to Eat a 12” Pizza.

Fastest time to eat a 12" pizza world record

Pizza is certainly a favorite for lots of people and it’s not unusual to try to outdo your friends by eating more or eating it faster.

But what does it really take to be a record-breaker?

Kelvin Medina knows. He went through a series of elimination rounds before reaching the final and eventually, smashing the world record time for eating a 12” pizza.

Here are the facts:

  • 12” pizza eaten in 23.62 seconds.
  • Eaten with a knife and fork.
  • Beat the previous record by over 15 seconds.

2016: Gideon Oji – Most Kale Eaten in 8 Minutes.

World record for rating 408 ounces of kale

It’s time for a healthier challenge. Kale has long been hailed as a super-food, but we feel everything is best in moderation.

Not so for Gideon Oji, who broke the record for kale eating at the World’s Healthiest Eating Championships in 2016.

Our guess is he certainly wouldn’t have been constipated for a while after this!

Here are the facts:

  • 408 ounces of kale eaten in 8 minutes.
  • That’s the average weight of a 2-year-old child!
  • Kale is packed with protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, folate, omega 3 fatty acid – the list goes on.

2016: Oleg Zhornitskiy – Most Mayonnaise Eaten in 8 Minutes.

World record for eating the most mayonnaise

Just like butter, lots of us love mayonnaise as an accompaniment to our favorite foods. It’s great on a sandwich or with some fries.

Despite our love of the stuff, most of us would probably turn down a bowl full served alone.

Things are different if you’re Ukrainian-born Oleg Zhornitskiy, who holds the record for mayonnaise eating.

Here are the facts:

  • 4 bowls (128 oz) mayonnaise eaten in 8 minutes.
  • That’s the equivalent of 80 golf balls!

2017: Matt Stonie – Most Peeps Eaten in 5 Minutes.

World record for eating the most peeps

Peeps are a sweet treat sold in America. They’re enjoyed at Easter when many of us over-indulge in chocolate and candy.

Perhaps not quite so much as Matt Stonie, who took over-indulgence to the extreme to reach that world record.

Here are the facts:

  • 255 Peeps eaten in 5 minutes.
  • 7,140 calories consumed.
  • That’s almost 3 times the daily allowance for the average man, and what’s more, it’s almost all sugar!

2018: Joey Chestnut – Most Hot Dogs Eaten in 10 Minutes.

World Record for eating the most hot dogs

Hot dogs are much more appealing than cow brains or live cockroaches. Most of us will eat one or two in a sitting.

One of the world’s most notorious competitive eating challenges is “Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest”.

The current record holder is Joey Chestnut from the US. But what did he have to consume to take the crown?

Here are the facts:

  • 74 hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes.
  • That’s 444 inches (11 meters).
  • The equivalent of 2 giraffes!
  • It’s a whopping 21,460 calories.

While we’re on the topic of hot dogs, have you ever wondered: is a hot dog a sandwich or not?

Now you know the facts, do you think you’ve got what it takes to beat a record-breaking food challenge? Maybe you’d rather not…

About The Author

Luke Ward
Luke Ward

Luke Ward is the owner of The Fact Site. He has over 14 years of experience in researching, informative writing, fact-checking, SEO & web design. In his spare time, he loves to explore the world, drink coffee & attend trivia nights.

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