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Fact: In Somalia it is not at all uncommon to see people starving to death. Unless, of course, you are a pirate, or fortunate enough to operate in a lucrative business of some sort, it is highly unlikely you are guaranteed a meal every day.
But somewhere across the globe, Adam Richmanis struggling to down a giant pizza in a challenge for his show, Man vs Food: the Carnivore Chronicles. Not to come across as judgemental or self-righteous, but starvation – not just in Africa, but all over the world, the US included – is a reality. So a show like this is hard to tune into right after watching some or other sad documentary on the National Geographic channel.
Granted, as the host, Richman’s cultural explorations through food is a brilliant, but not-so-original idea. He travels across the US to learn more about the country’s diverse cultures. Since no one in America originally hails from there, except maybe the first Native American Indians, it is interesting to trace the history of everyone who made a home in the Land of the Stars and Stripes.
Richman is funny, always bubbly and when he gets talking you’d swear he was a young Jay Leno.
The man has a way with words, making it easy for those around him to relax and be natural in front of the camera.
The disgusting part comes when he tries to eat ridiculous amounts of food. Obviously when the show was conceived, perhaps this part was a selling point and it looked good on paper. The problem is that in reality it borders on gluttony and you are tempted to think of the other places you would rather be.
Forget Somalia, I am sure that living in the cities Richman visits are some starving individuals who would not mind a free meal.
Imagine that. He can still eat, or attempt to eat, his crazy amounts of food, only in this case he will have to share some of it.
The other disturbing thing about the show is that, as an obvious result of his gluttonous eating habits, Richman’s weight borders on morbid obesity. The man is on record as saying he works out every day, but that probably is retro-gressive since, in some instances, he proceeds to eat unhealthy foods straight after a workout. It would be nice to see him actually exercise on the show, just so his would-be disciples know it is necessary.
An interesting spin-off to Man vs Food would be a show where Richman eats as little as possible. So far food is winning the battle and even with all the practice, his attempts to make the Guinness Book of World Records have been futile.
This is a show to watch if you have to, otherwise America’s true history is available in other books.
• Carnivore Chronicles airs from August 25 at 8.30pm on Sony Max (Channel 126).