I was in an eating establishment in town recently and as the other person I was having lunch with had not yet arrived. I had the opportunity to watch people eating.
I observed a couple in their mid 30s, sitting at a seat not far from me.
They appeared to be having an interesting conversation along with some drink when their meal arrived. On their plates were giant burgers, a mountain of fries, a side of deep fried onion rings and a small salad.
It wasn’t the amount of food in front of them that amazed me, it was how fast they gobbled down their food.
I could hardly believe the speed with which they were consuming their meal.
I wanted to tell them to come up for air. I don’t think 10 words were said between them during lunch. Looking around it appeared to me many of the people eating were going at it a little quick.
I saw a guy put a fork-full of steak into his mouth and about four chews later, it was swallowed. Would the stomach digest these big chunks of meat as easily as a piece that was chewed well?
Years ago when I started to learn to cook I also learned to eat slow and savour the food. Then 30 years ago a hypothesis was developed regarding people eating slower. It was said that if you ate slow, it was healthier for you.
There was no scientific backing for this idea. Just recently however, scientists at the University of Rhode Island did a study of 30 females over a period of time.
This is the first time such a study has taken place and the findings agreed with the previous suggestions that eating slower reduced calories.
Those who ate their pasta dish in 29 minutes ate 67 less calories that those who shovelled down the food in 9 minutes.
If you multiply 67 calories by three meals a day. That’s a big difference.
The research also showed that taking more time to eat provided a greater feeling of satiety at meal completion and up to 60 minutes afterwards.
One of the easiest ways to eat slower is to put your fork down on the table between bites.
When you have the goodies in your mouth just about pulverized then it’s time to ‘fork it’ again.
Eating fast can cause indigestion, belching and sometimes farting. So folks, those of you who ‘fork it’ quite quickly, try slowing down, savour the food, enjoy some conversation.
There shouldn’t be as many after effects and apparently it’s more healthy.
I don’t know how slow you can eat these next appetizer recipes — perhaps a few minutes between them would help!
Here’s one I really like. It looks good and it has a wild taste.
Snow Peas and Creamy Crab
• 8 ounces of snow peas
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1 tin crab meat finely chopped
• 3 oz package of cream cheese softened
• 1 tbsp horseradish
• 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
• Dash of lemon juice
• Cut peas in half, then mix together crab meat, cream cheese, horseradish, pepper and lemon juice. Fill pods full of mixture and put on serving plate that has a sprinkle of red pepper around. Looks great and tastes better.
Eat slow. Let your lips and palate have a chance at tasting the food. Put the fork down and enjoy.
Bye for now and Gooood Cooking!
Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist is the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.