25 Years of Food Follies: 1987-2012

We're looking back at oddball food trends and nutritional nonsense. By: Jenny Everett

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Travel Channel makes gluttony a ratings smash
Photo: © Vico Collective/Michael Shay/Blend Images/Corbis

2008 | Travel Channel makes gluttony a ratings smash

ESPN signed up to broadcast the revolting Coney Island hot dog eating contest way back in 2004, but Adam Richman's Man vs. Food on The Travel Channel brings competitive eating to a whole new level. The show, stripped of virtually any culinary interest, focuses on Richman's sweaty battles to eat things such as, in the first season, the "7½-pound Kookamunga burger." Food Network star Alton Brown calls Richman's show disgusting. A fascinated/horrified U.K. Guardian newspaper blogger writes: "Richman is chirpy and cocky, shovelling handfuls of meat down his neck with the gluttonous abandon of a self-aware Homer Simpson."

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