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Slow Eating. Jay Rayner is against it


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If it's a toss-up between a slow eater and a fast eater (Rayer fails to explain why 'fast' should be regarded as the normal eating speed; what happened to all the speeds between fast and slow?), I'll go with the former.

I can live with sitting about waiting for someone else to finish their food, but the fast eater is, in my experience, also quite likely to be the chewing-with-the-mouth-open/talking-with-the-mouth-full eater, and those are two things that make me feel a level of rage that borders on the homicidal. Even if the fast eater manages to keep his or her mouth closed while there's food in it, it's really unappetizing to watch someone shovel in their meal without ever putting down a utensil, as though they're competing/have a train to catch/fear that someone is going to take their food from them, if the don't finish quickly enough.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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What a ridiculously judgemental article. Slow eating is "a mark of a bad character"? "They simply don't like food"? Seriously? What is it about other peoples' eating habits that makes people so upset?!

For the record, I eat a little on the speedy side and it's something I'm constantly trying to work on. I actually like eating with slower eaters because then I'm a little embarassed to eat too quickly and finish a long time before them, so it forces me to pace myself. It makes me pause and think about the taste more, plus I chew properly instead of wolfing things down semi-whole!

I don't think I've never eaten with someone as slow as Jay is talking about (presuming he's not exaggerating wildly) but if I did I wouldn't be so rude about it. Who cares if someone wants to take their time? Maybe that's just how they enjoy their food.

ETA: Also, the morally superior thing is BS. A lot of the people I know who are slow eaters are just generally slow at doing things. They walk more slowly, they converse in a more slow leisurely way and they do things at a slower pace too. I on the other had do things stupidly fast, and I'm usually doing several things at once too. So I think a lot of it is just personality differences.

Edited by Jenni (log)
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Illuminating.

I look forward to Jay Rayner's future articles detailing why Mac users are better people than Windows users, Manchester United fans are superior human beings compared to Liverpool FC fans, and people who like prog rock hold good, wholesome values, unlike those shady punkers.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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I wouldn't want to be with one of these pretentious gits who count how many times they chew each piece of food. How is this supposedly "better?" Take all the fun out of eating by insisting that a person chew each morsel 20 times, and wait 30 seconds or more between bites. What a horribly prescribed and sterile way of eating. Besides, what if it takes this person an hour to eat a dish that should be served hot? Or cold?

Nor would I want to eat around one of the ravenous wolf-like shovel-it-in types, either.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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I wouldn't want to be with one of these pretentious gits who count how many times they chew each piece of food. How is this supposedly "better?" Take all the fun out of eating by insisting that a person chew each morsel 20 times, and wait 30 seconds or more between bites. What a horribly prescribed and sterile way of eating. Besides, what if it takes this person an hour to eat a dish that should be served hot? Or cold?

Nor would I want to eat around one of the ravenous wolf-like shovel-it-in types, either.

I am a fairly slow eater compared to most i dine with. I don't count chews or seconds, but I do eat at a pace where I can enjoy my food. No, not an hour to eat a bowl of soup, either. That's hyperbole.

It seems to be one of those trollish columns to get hits. For instance, if I penned a screed that I don't fancy sharing a table with a guy with long greasy-looking hair. :wink:

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I've never eaten with anyone that slow, but we have some friends who dawdle. I don't mind; it allows more time to drink wine.

What I don't care for is people like my sister-in-law, who eats like a prisoner: arm wrapped around her plate (to defend her food?), holding her fork like a club, shoveling in the food head down. [shudder]

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I prefer to take my time than to appease someone who may or may not be timing me.

I have no problems with how anyone else eats, as long as they do it with their mouth closed!

Articles like this need to be printed out, and laid in the bottom of a litter box somewhere.

Edited by Trev (log)

There are 3 kinds of people in this world, those who are good at math and those who aren't.

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The article was clearly tongue in cheek and very much in keeping with Mr Rayner's style. Maybe British humour doesn't travel well.

Well I am British, so that theory goes out the window. Mind you, don't read Jay Rayner usually so perhaps I am not familiar with his style. On first read it seemed like he was being a snotty git. If he was being tongue in cheek then fair play to him I suppose.

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There has to be a happy medium between "don't touch me, I'm eating" and "my darling, my hamburger", doesn't there? Some speed that allows for the appreciation of flavours and textures without ensuring that the last bites are cold?

And I'm with Jenni - I was raised in Canada with a British sense of humour, and this guy comes off as a right twit.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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The article was clearly tongue in cheek and very much in keeping with Mr Rayner's style. Maybe British humour doesn't travel well.

Rayner is entitled to his opinions, but the article is too heavy-handed to be described as 'tongue in cheek', even by the the most elastic parameters of the most compliant imagination. The greater part of the humour to which I've been exposed throughout my life has been British, and I recognize tongue in cheek when I see it, even in when it verges on the grotesque (e.g. a good deal of Little Britain or Come fly with Me), but this just comes off as a tedious and dribbly rant. Yawn.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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I simply do not understand the basis for his complaint.

A dinner, particularly one with friends, is to be savored and bolting down the food is to me an insult to good food.

I was raised in a time and a place where table manners were emphasized and one simply did not gobble the food on the plate as if one were a hog at a trough.

If one doesn't take time to actually taste the food, then there is no reason to be eating quality food in a nice (not necessarily expensive) restaurant. Any old swill will do and if he doesn't like it, let him go to a fast food place and have at it.

Truly, I do not see the purpose of this article. If it is a true rant, he doesn't give sufficient reason for it. If it was meant in jest, it missed the mark by a mile and I don't care if it was aimed at a British audience or an international one. It simply doesn't have enough humor to take it into that realm.

From my side, I would say that I am most annoyed at people who bolt their food, talking almost non-stop, and not bothering to observe good manners. There have been times when I have been on the edge of my seat, ready to jump up and administer the Heimlich maneuver to people who eat in such a fashion. Then I can't enjoy my food.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Clearly there's a happy medium. Too fast is gross. Too slow is annoying. The problem is defining what's unacceptable. I'd suggest that diners should eat slow( or fast) enough so as to roughly fit in with the speed of their companions (without, of course, compromising their etiquette ).

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I simply do not understand the basis for his complaint.

Have you ever seen one of the "chew it twenty times, then wait at least one minute before taking another bite" eaters? That's what the article is about. There's the "slow food movement" and then there's the quacky "slow food movement" where adherents think chewing a minimum of 20 times will result in weight loss and better nutrition. (Through portion control and better digestion through massive mastication.)

My read on the whole thing is, once the food is on the plate, it has the same kilojoules of energy no matter how it is eaten. Taking an hour to eat a slice of pizza isn't going to magically make the pizza more healthy.

And since many people out there treat diet like a religion, these "slow food" people are one of the most annoying groups on the planet. It's not enough that they eat the way they do. They have to spend three hours at mealtime trying to convert anyone who will listen.

We're not talking about normal, "slow" eaters here. We're talking about "post office during the holidays on quaaludes" slow.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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Newspaper journalists and many other commentators will take a small foible, exaggerate it, and talk about their extreme reaction to it.

This is a standard practice to get people talking.

It also tends to polarise people either in support of (those who agree) or against the author (those who disagree).

Seems Jay Rayner has done his job well.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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This afternoon I phoned a friend who is a gastroenterologist and she holds with the theory that rapid eating does more to contribute to problems she treats than any other eating habit.

She later emailed me a couple of links to sites that have plenty of data on this but I'm just going to include this one, which I found on my own, as it is quite easy to understand. The others are far too technical and frankly graphic to be posted here.

Consequences of eating too fast.

The author of the article seems to have little though for people who must eat slowly or at least slower than he does, due to reasons over which they have little or no control. One does have to have consideration for others.

I have to eat slower than most because I have an acquired defect in my esophagus and I can have serious problems if I try to eat too rapidly.

My friend said she should thank all the rapid diners and tell them to keep it going. She needs a new car!

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I thought it was just a jokey article.

I have a friend who is a slow eater, mostly because she loves to talk and also likes food. She plays the two out for a long time and drives her husband batty. She like to go out with me because we like the same kind of food and I know her habits and am content to sit and chat and sip.

Formulaic slow eating as described for health reasons I see as a "to each his own" situation. In a business setting it would not fly as there are generally time constraints. If you were with friends I imagine one would just chat and drink while 'Slow Sam' plugs away. Among friends I don't think it should preclude the rest ordering dessert and coffee or the like.

Bottom line though - I could not take the piece seriously; more like a contrived attempt to be cutely funny with an off the wall topic.

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I guess from the reactions there aren't many fans of Dennis Miller or Lewis Black around here. Rayner doesn't do angry rant nearly as well as either though, but that might just be the medium written word vs. TV.

It made me laugh though.

"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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