The Food Network's Man vs. Food might look like a show about a guy eating way more than seems humanly possible, but it's much, much more, writes Greg Beato. When host Adam Richman dives into, say, a 10-pound hamburger, he's not just showing off—he's eating for the rest of us. "Richman sins to save us—or at least give us voyeuristic reprieve—from the virtuous restraint men are now expected to impose upon their desires," Beato writes at Double X.
"We drive gas sippers, not gas guzzlers. We drink lite beer. We can’t smoke in strip clubs, much less our offices. Our corporate sponsors dump us after just 10 mistresses. Where’s the manly appetite in any of this?" Hence, the rise of Richman and eating contests. "As cultural taboos against ungoverned appetites intensify, porn inevitably follows. And thus we have the phenomenon of expert gluttony." (Read more food stories.)